Cdn Transplant Games brings people together

The swimming events for the 2018 Canadian Transplant Games were hosted this week and there are some UBC elements to the stories that unfolded at the UBC Aquatic Centre.
Marie-Joelle Coutu (Montreal, QC) and Shelby Gielen (Maple Ridge, BC)  didn’t know each prior to this week, however the national event for transplant recipients and donors brought these women together. Marie-Joelle,  a double-lung transplant recipient, competed in 50m, 100m, 200m freestyle, 100m breast-stroke whereas Shelby, twice liver transplant recipient, competed in the 50m, 100m freestyle, 50m breaststroke, and the 50m backstroke. Both athletes also competed in the community relay which saw donors, recipients and the transplant community come together for the last event of the swimming competition. Both Marie-Joelle (left in photo below) and Shelby had friends and family at the UBC Aquatic Centre to support them.
Bringing the 2018 Canadian Transplant Games required the commitment of many local volunteers. VPSC (Vancouver Pacific Swim Club), the key youth performance club training out of the UBC Aquatic Centre, was integral to ensuring that the swimming competition for the event was hosted successfully.
Gielen is a alum of UBC Nursing and UBC Varsity swimming and shared “just the journey for us to get here to compete, everybody’s stories are just unbelievable. Thank you to the organizers for making this happen.”

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