Man competes in Transplant Games with teammate's heart
October 4, 1997
Web posted at: 4:01 p.m. EDT (2001 GMT)
SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- Sydney won't host the Olympic
Games until 2000, but this week it is the site of another
international sporting event: the World Transplant Games.
The biennial games, started in 1978, are for people who have
received organ or bone marrow transplants. Among more than
1,200 athletes from 51 countries are two men who have what
may be the most unusual relationship in sports today.
Jose Lopez and Keith Webb are teammates in 10-pin bowling and
rivals in the 5-kilometer (3-mile) race-walk. What sets them
apart is their unique bond: Keith is competing with Jose's
heart. Jose's old heart, that is.
In 1990, both men were dying -- Jose of lung disease and
Keith of heart disease. To lessen the chances of rejection,
Jose received both a donor's lungs and heart.
But Jose's original heart was in good condition, so it was
transplanted into Keith.
Jose and Keith now say they're "best mates," or best friends,
but that didn't stop Jose from jokingly demanding his heart
back after he and Keith lost the bowling competition.
The World Transplant Games aim to highlight the need for
organ donors, honor donors and show the quality of life
transplant recipients can enjoy -- as Jose and Keith show so