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This fundraiser ended on 06/01/11

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We are the Friesens, and we are trying to compete in the 2011 World Transplant Games, held in Sweden. Lindsea and I (Shivan) have both had heart transplants. We have been to other games, but cannot afford this next one. We would love to go compete.


At the age of 6 years old, Shivan Friesen fell ill to a horrible viral attack on her heart. The diagnois? Dilated Cardiomyopathy. She spent 15 days in the PICU in the Mattell Children's Hospital at UCLA (now the Ronald Reagon UCLA Medical Center), after being airlifted from Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA. After a while the doctors told the Friesens some really scary news: Shivan would need a heart transplant.

Shivan was put on at least 14 different medications, and then was allowed to leave the hospital under strict medical care. During this time frame, Shivan's heart stopped while going down a McDonalds slide. She was resuscitated by her father, but she had been out for at least 3-5 minutes. After that, Shivan needed a pacemaker. She had the device until she got her transplant.

On January 29, 2001 the Friesens got the call that a heart was ready for Shivan, and on that day after 4 hours of surgery, Shivan had a "new" heart. She would have to be on medication for the rest of her life, but she was given another chance.

3 years later, Lindsea fell sick (at the age of 6 as well) at the same time Shivan had gotten sick. She was in the PICU for 48 days -- she never left the hospital or the PICU due to a blood clot on the left ventricle of her heart. She got her transplant on November 20, 2003.



Shivan and Lindsea found out about the Transplant Games through a letter in the mail. They immediately registered for it, eager to compete with other transplant recipients. The Friesens went to the 2005 World Transplant Games in London, Ontario, Canada. Shivan and Lindsea both won silver and bronze medals in different sports, mostly swimming for Shivan and bowling for Lindsea.

They then went on to compete in the National Games, held every other year in the United States. They went to the 2006 Games in Louisville, Kentucky; and to the 2008 Games in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They WERE going to go to the 2010 Games in Madison, Wisconsin but due to insignificant funds (we never recieved candy to sell from our Team SoCal), they couldn't go.


The 2011 World Transplant Games in Sweden are a big deal. They are a big deal for everyone involved in the Games, from the city hosting it to the coordinators who set everything up for their teams to the participants/transplant recipient who train all year just to prove they can do what "regular" people can do. 




We would really like to go. Competing for me, Shivan, means a lot. I think that through competing in these games, I'm doing what my heart donor loved to do. Since I've met his family and they've explained that he was a football player in his junior high school, I've been very interested in sports and competing. Plus, I really do like representing the United States and my state - California - when I participate in these Olympics. Going to Sweden and competing for the last time as a child/minor would just be the greatest thing. :)

Meeting other recipients who take part in these amazing games is just unbelievable. It really makes you appreciate life and strive towards living it the best you can. The friendships you make with other people not only in your own state/country, but other states and countires is something truly remarkable.

If you can support my family and I towards our trip to Sweden, I would be extremely grateful. If you cannot, then I would just like to say thank you for taking some time to read this. And please: consider being an organ donor. You only live once, and the greatest gift you can give (besides love) is the gift of life.  

Shivan Friesen



If you would like more information on the World Transplant Games; click here.

If you would like to learn more about becoming an organ donor; click here.




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