Interview with Marcelo Cantarovich about the 2017 World Transplant Games in Malaga
Interview with Marcelo Cantarovich, TTS Vice President on the recent World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain from June 25 to July 2, 2017.
TTSIHQ: Thank you for taking the time speak with us today. You both recently participated in World Transplant Games held in Malaga from x to. I would like to start with Marcelo by asking him the importance of these games for TTS as you attended as a representation of the TTS Council.
Marcelo: As you know TTS is working towards our 2018 Congress in Madrid and our theme is “Outcome Driven”. I cannot think of better outcomes than seeing healthy transplant recipients participating in physically demanding competitions. This was simply amazing. As professionals in the field we see our patients in a different light when they come to the hospital for visits. The chance of seeing the WTG participants full of life brings me great joy. I would recommend to all my colleagues to at attend WTG as least once in their life.
TTS IHQ: Tell us a little bit about the activities you attended or participated in.
Marcelo: The World Transplant Games in Malaga, 2017, included a large variety of activities. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in the world. I grew up in Argentina, a well-known football nation. I had the chance to participate in the football match that was the kick-off of the Transplant Games. It was a great experience wearing the jersey of one of the two teams, and being part of the lineup that included transplant recipients from a variety of countries, and from all the continents. As you can see on the attached picture, there were people from all ages, and from both genders. There is a young 9-year-old boy from France, who received a kidney transplant from his mother (standing behind him). I connected with players from Australia, Canada, China, England, France, South Africa, Spain, Uruguay, USA and Tunisia. It was interesting to find out that the treating physician of the player from Tunisia and I, trained at the same transplant center in Paris. There was a great sense of camaraderie before, during and after the game.
I also attended the paddle games, where I met with Dr. Harden from England (new WTGF board member), at the 5 K road run. It was a very hot morning. Chris Thomas ,the WTGF president, kindly offered me the privilege to start the race. The starting point was at the Malaga harbour (pictures attached). The views were beautiful. At the end of the race I had the opportunity of meeting with many transplant recipients, including a liver transplant recipient from our transplant clinic at McGill University in Montreal.
Caption: Audrée Descheneaux
TTS IHQ: Tell as about the your role as the official TTS at the games and what other initiatives we have planned with the WTGF.
Marcelo: The World Transplant Games provided an opportunity to liase with many people from around the world, in particular with the members from the WTGF board. Dr. Maurice Slapag, a retired British transplant surgeon founder of the WTGF in 1978, was the guest of honor of this event.
Marcelo: I was invited to attend the WTGF board meeting to present about a joint wellness project between TTS Education committee and the WTGF.
Marcelo: I was also invited to attend a medical symposium about overall aspects of fitness related to transplant recipients. The symposium took place the day before the initiation of the games. Dr. Beatriz Domínguez Gill (ONT President and TTS Councillor) presented at the symposium (picture attached). There were very interesting presentations. Amongst the panel of speakers there were two physicians, both recipients of solid organ transplants.
TTSIHQ: What does TTS hope to achieve in partnership with the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF) in the coming years?
Marcelo: The WTGF launched a project entitled Fit for Life. This initiative will focus on fitness in transplant recipients. The TTS Education Committee joined forces with the WTGF and designated a Working Group that will work on the details of a wellness module. The module will focus on nutrition, sex life, fitness, and mental health. We invited worldwide specialists to tackle this initiative. We are hoping to complete the module over the next 6-12 months.
TTSIHQ: How will the partnership be reflected in TTS 2018's Program?
Marcelo: The WTGF and TTS Education Committee will develop a premeeting session at the upcoming TTS congress in Madrid, in the summer of 2018. The program will outline topics related to the Fit for Life: A wellness module addressed to transplant recipients.
Q&A with Chris Thomas
TTSIHQ: What is the importance of having TTS represented and supporting the Games?
Chris Thomas: The World Transplant Games Federation's mission is to encourage all recipients to become more active around their transplanted organ. Some recipients naturally gravitate back to a life of exercise and activity post transplant because that was their lives before their illness. For the rest of the community we need people they trust and respect to encourage them to take the first step towards this new normal. The TTS, as the world's authority on transplantation, is essential as the conduit of our messaging to the transplant community.
TTSIHQ: What part of the collaboration with TTS is the WTGF most pleased with?
Chris Thomas: The passion and commitment of the TTS leadership and their understanding that the WTGF is not just there to run a games every two years but has a valued role in the promotion of the ongoing rehabilitation of recipients no matter their background.
TTSIHQ: How do you see the WTGF and TTS's relationship evolving in the future.
Chris Thomas: Together we can work on bringing a solid evidence base to the forefront of the transplant professional community so physical activity, sport and movement are not seen as some form of nice optional therapy but an essential ingredient in the rehabilitation of recipients both in the short and long term.
To learn more about the World Transplant Games Federation please visit http://wtgf.org/