Team Transplant

Survive. Thrive. Together.

Survive

Each transplant experience is different and unique. Team Transplant members connect and relate to each other and help patients Survive.

Thrive

The journey continues after a transplant surgery. Team Transplant provides inspiration with physical fitness and support to Thrive.

Together

Team Transplant’s community of transplant recipients, donors, their caregivers and supporters celebrate a healthy lifestyle Together.

Team Transplant at UW Medicine

Overview and Mission

University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) Team Transplant provides a life-changing wellness program for transplant recipients, donors, caregivers, UW employees, family and friends. Team members train together and complete local walking or running events by following a regular exercise plan and healthy diet.

UWMC Team Transplant was established in 2001 and is led by four-time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Alysun Deckert, a registered dietitian at UWMC.

Team Transplant’s mission is to promote the importance of physical activity in the transplant community. The strength of individuals and the team as a whole show that transplant recipients and living donors can and do live active, healthy, meaningful and productive lives.

Join Team Transplant

Transplant recipients, donors, caregivers, UW employees, family and friends are welcome to join Team Transplant. Team Transplant members find their participation to be a wonderful way to celebrate the incredible gift of organ donation, to meet up with friends outdoors, and to strive toward a goal to improve health and fitness.

Participants must be able to walk three miles before joining the team, and transplant recipients are required to submit an updated Physician Release Form each year. All teammates must complete a Team Registration Form and Liability Release Form that is updated and resubmitted annually.

After joining the team, participants will be invited to receive weekly emails with pertinent information about practices, training schedules and team events. Participants will also be invited to join a members-only app that provides information and alerts plus allows teammates to send messages to each other.

Races and Events

Every year Team Transplant has two 16-week training seasons that each culminate with a half marathon. The spring season starts in March and ends in June; the fall season starts in August and ends in November.

Why a half marathon? The half marathon at the end of each training season is the signature Team Transplant event for the following reasons:

  • At 13.1 miles, the half marathon is a distance that requires a commitment to training. But the commitment will not consume your life.
  • Having a goal — something specific to train for — can be a great motivator, especially when you are with a group of people who share the same goal.
  • The season and training distances are long enough that you have time to get to know your training partners. And by race day, you will feel like you’re part of a team.
  • Completing a half marathon is often an achievement many Team Transplant organ recipients never dreamed of doing prior to becoming ill and finding out they needed a transplant — let alone something they thought they would do after transplant.
  • For those who were active prior to transplant, training for and finishing a half marathon represents a huge comeback.

Half marathons that the team has completed in the past include: Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon & Half Marathon; Snoqualmie Valley 10k and Half Marathon; Seattle Rock’n Roll Half Marathon.

Team Transplant also completes a 5k during the middle of each training season. 5k events that the team has completed in the past include: Alaska Airlines Dawg Dash; Top Pot Doughnut 5k; Big Backyard 5k; Issaquah Salmon Days.

Each season begins with a Team Transplant kick-off breakfast and ends with an end-of-season team celebration.

Training

Participants are given a training schedule at the beginning of the season based on their current level of fitness. The schedule allows enough time for participants to build up to the half marathon distance, and the schedule provides recommendations for workout mileages throughout the week.

There are five training schedules. Each schedule is designed with the same goal; to complete the race distance on race day.

  • Beginning Walker: Participants who are up to the 3-mile walking requirement for joining the team.
  • Advanced Walker: Participants who have been walking 4-6 miles per day, 3-4 times per week.
  • Beginning Runner/Run-Walker: Participants comfortable running 2-3 miles, 3-4 times per week; or transitioning from a walking to a running program.
  • Intermediate Runner: Participants comfortable with running 3-4 miles, 3-4 times per week.
  • Advanced Runner: Participants comfortable with running 6+ miles, 3-4 times per week.

Group practices are held on Saturday mornings at 8:00 a.m., and are rotated through a variety of neighborhoods and beautiful parks in the greater Seattle area. The mileage of these Saturday morning workouts gradually increases over the course of the 16-week period. By following the schedule, all participants will have completed two to three workouts of 10-12 miles prior to race day.

Volunteer

Volunteer opportunities abound with Team Transplant and give participants an extra opportunity to build camaraderie and closeness with teammates, while helping grow and sustain the team. Opportunities include:

  • Assist with Saturday course setup and takedown 
  • Volunteer for the nutrition and water station at a Saturday practice
  • Help coordinate race day events
  • Serve on the Team Transplant Fundraising Committee
  • Join the Team Transplant Booster Club

Donate

If you are unable to volunteer, your financial donation directly supports organ transplantation and allows Team Transplant to raise public awareness about organ donation and transplantation.

Make a gift to the Team Transplant Fund

Contact

If you are interested in joining Team Transplant, please email: teamtx@uw.edu

Or follow us on Facebook at: facebook.com/UWMCTeamTransplant

Watch some of our team training videos at:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpA1iYYE-lh2HrPTB9Rluyr8Hjw8SNkuR