MOUNT VERNON — It was a gift of life and new hope that continues to give.
For Mount Vernon’s Carol Fitzsimmons, who is leaving this week for Göteborg, Sweden, for the 2011 World Transplant Games, it was a miracle.
Fitzsimmons, a co-captain for Team USA, is entered in four swimming events: The 200- and 400-meter freestyle, the 50-meter butterfly and the 200 individual medley. She is now in her fourth trip to the World Transplant Games; Fitzsimmons participated in past games in Newfoundland, France and Australia.
“It’s a lot like the Olympics,” said Fitzsimmons. “The biggest difference is that we’re all on steroids.”
A bit of humor, but also some truth: Steroids help the transplant recipient fight rejection.
But behind her sense of humor is an overwhelming desire to make the world aware of the need for organ donors.
“The awareness that we are there is so important,” said Fitzsimmons. “We were granted a miracle by God’s work. Whether you have a donor or a deceased donor, it’s just a wonderful privilege to be able to travel around this world.”