Southern Miss Track Coach To Represent Mississippi At US Transplant Games
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Miss’ Assistant Track and Field Coach Kevin Stephen will be among Mississippians chosen to participate in the U.S. Transplant Games, July 27, in Minneapolis, Minn.
Stephen, in his fifth year on the coaching staff at Southern Miss, is responsible for coaching the throws and multi-events. He has coached the Conference USA record holder in the both the decathlon (Jason Wilson) and women’s heptathlon (Hope Sinclair-Singleton).
A former standout in the decathlon at Alabama, Stephen had his track career cut short, because of a kidney disease while competing at Alabama. After three years of dialysis, Stephen received a kidney from his sister and the operation was a tremendous success. Shortly thereafter, he made Hattiesburg his home and joined the Southern Miss track and field staff.
“One look at these competitors, and it makes it clear that transplant recipients are not only survivors, but also go on to lead active and normal lives,” Stephen said. “On the other hand, they are a wake up call for potential organ donors. Their newly improved quality of life should motivate people to seriously consider organ donation.”
Jan Morrison of the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency said, “The U.S. Transplant Games are not just about competition and winning. All the competitors are winners in the game of life. After receiving life saving organ transplants, their mission now is to build awareness around the nation. These competitors are a light at the end of the tunnel for those with failed or failing organs who feel like their lives are over.”
Team Mississippi is looking for support to ensure that all team members are able to participate. At present, the cost per team member stands at close to $1,000, and any help to defer cost is much needed and appreciated. For more information on the U.S. Transplant Games, to become a team member, or to donate to this worthy cause, please contact Morrison of Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) at 1-800-690-8878 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Kevin Stephen at (601) 266-5038 or e-mail at Kevin.Stephen@usm.edu.