July 3, 2018
Dr. Jim Gill, Founder of Wilkinson Animal Hospital in Gastonia, North Carolina, competed in 6 swimming events for Team North Carolina at the 2018 Transplant Games of America in Salt Lake City and brought home 4 gold medals, plus 1 silver and 1 bronze and set 3 new American records!
Team North Carolina brought 17 athletes to the Games where nearly 1000 athletes from the US and abroad competed. There were an estimated 8,000 attendees. Overall, Team North Carolina brought home a total of 27 medals.
Athletes that participate in the Transplant Games must have received a life-saving organ transplant – Dr. Gill’s sister Carolie donated a life-saving kidney to him in 2003. The Transplant Games hope to increase awareness to the importance of organ, cornea, bone marrow and tissue donation and increase the number of donor candidates.
Per Jim, “the games give us a chance to show our undying appreciation for this incredible gift of life. My sister, Carole, is the true hero.”
“I’m extremely proud of not only my amazing team, but all of the transplant athletes who participated in the games who have overcome tremendous odds to compete. To show this gratitude to the living donors and donor families who attend the games is a truly rewarding experience.”
Dr. Gill is also a gold medalist and world record holder in swimming in previous U.S. and World Transplant Games, which take place again in 2019 in England. “I’m planning on keeping up my training and hope to compete again next summer in England.”
The next American Games are in 2020 in New Jersey and Jim hopes to see more transplant recipients attend from North Carolina. “It’s a great opportunity to support a great cause and no doubt, an uplifting and emotional experience that you won’t regret.”
Wilkinson Animal Hospital, along with sister veterinary clinics in North Carolina - Bonnie Brae Veterinary Hospital and Charlotte Street Animal Hospital - and Southern Veterinary Partners, sponsored Dr. Gill and Team North Carolina.