St. Joseph Golfer Preparing for Return to Course in Transplant Games

Published 07/08 2014 10:56PM

Updated 07/09 2014 12:36PM

(ST. JOSEPH) Tim Ramsey has enjoyed golf from a young age even with the breaks he's had to take from the game. 

Born with a blood infection called Beta Strep, Ramsey has received two kidney transplants: one from his mother at age 15, and the other from an unknown donor two years ago at 30. 

"There's a lot of things you can't do with that such as physical contact, football, things like then when you're growing up," he said. "You also have a very strict diet. It hasn't been too bad honestly You just get used to it. It becomes part of your life and you don't even notice it after a while."

After getting his first new kidney, there was still a chance for the Northwest Missouri State and Savannah High School graduate to compete: the Transplant Games of America. The events are catered towards anyone who's undergone a life-saving operation and range from track & field, golf, and swimming to zumba, cornhole, and ballroom dancing. 

Ramsey, now a member of the Missouri MO-Kan Team, will compete in golf and Texas Hold 'Em this weekend at the 2014 Games in Houston, Texas, which go from July 11-15 and expect to draw several thousand participants. It's a return to competition for him since his latest operation. 

"I took last year off because it was still pretty sore. They put the first (kidney) on the right side and the second one's on the left, so that swinging pattern still kind of hurts. I haven't played as much this year but I'm getting back in the swing of it more and more each day." 

While sharpening his game, Ramsey's become an advocate of organ donations while remaining thankful for the new chances from the ones he received. 

"Thanks to them, I'm able to live the life I'd like and not be hooked up to a dialysis machine all the time and it's wonderful." 

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