So what can a patient do after a lifesaving organ transplant This amazing story of Chris Klug s return to Olympic level athletic competition after his liver transplant in 2000 serves as an inspiration to all of us that we can do just about anything we set our minds to During his young life devoting everything he has to a love of the then new sport of snowboarding, Chris had come to know the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat and with that, the injuries and pains that come with such a So what can a patient do after a lifesaving organ transplant This amazing story of Chris Klug s return to Olympic level athletic competition after his liver transplant in 2000 serves as an inspiration to all of us that we can do just about anything we set our minds to During his young life devoting everything he has to a love of the then new sport of snowboarding, Chris had come to know the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat and with that, the injuries and pains that come with such a dangerous sport But even those come backs were only a prelude for the effort it would take to come back af ter the lengthy battle with liver disease that led to the long wait and extensive recovery from such devastating surgery Those who have survived similar transplant surgery to get back to normal living will come to realize that the Chris experience is a totally different level of rehabilitation and recovery, one that gives testament to what the human body can do with the determination and devotion that youthful dedication to a dream and an ideal can produce If you, like me, know nothing about the sport of snowboarding, you will learn a lot from this reading, probablythan you ever wanted to know But in following his story from youth to present day standing on the world Olympic stage accepting the first medal ever won by an organ transplant recipient, such detail gives us perspective to fully appreciate the whole journey, a journey that take him from youthful enthusiasm to professional athletic excellence, only to lose it all to the life threatening liver disease Applying his determination and skills to the post transplant recovery process, overcoming emotional upsets and the many side effects of the medications we all know only too well, Chris rebuilds his body against all odds and advice, to an even higher level of performance This book uses an interesting style that often provides a candid view from others in Chris life From such insights we get a picture of this youthful athlete as he deals with all the trials and resultant outbursts that only youth can express in those growing years Imagine how you would feel if after devoting your entire life to the Olympic dream with its many years of training and pain , only to have it all dashed with the failing liver that threatens to not only destroy that dream, but threaten your very life Fellow patients will recognize themselves in this story, and hopefully will read past the physical and emotional valleys to share in the inspiring outcome as he comes back to not only win, but to take center stage to tell the world that transplantation works in a way that everyone understands For those who are out there sharing stories of transplant success to convince others to make a decision to be an organ donor and tell their families , this Olympic image is a strong support that can be connected to our own story in making the point clear Who will ever know how many of those who follow in our steps awaiting their own life saving transplant will benefit from the increased organ donations that result from this highly visible and vibrant message Whether at the Olympic Games receiving his medal, or at the 2004 US Transplant Games presenting donor families with medals honoring their loved ones, or the many other ways that Chris support s organ donation, it is easy to share the excitement he brings while helping to make a difference in this transplant world in which we participate together as one big family Onefinal thought to take way from this reading As Chris deals with the shock of Walter Payton s death, his athletic idol, to the same liver disease Chris himself is facing, he begins to think of his liver thing in a motivational way and shares Every season, every race, every wave, every snow covered hill hell, every turn seemedprecious than the last, and I didn t want to waste any of it It was back to Enjoy the moment and the people around you, because you never know when it will be your last game together Reading this book just may put your own life challenges into a different perspective as well as giving you the inspiration to make your own life choices in light of such examples in aempowering way Just maybe, you will find yourself motivated to come out to the next US Transplant Games to claim your own medal which just might be presented to you there by this Olympic medalist transplant recipient, Chris Klug Such dreams really do come true Just ask some of those who lived this dream with Chris at the 2004 Games As one who was there in Minnesota, let me assure you this young man is even better in person than in this book, and that s saying a lot see this andthan a hundred other organ donation transplant related books many with my personal reviews at Without a doubt an interesting story, but not very well written or edited I know Chris is not an author, he s an athlete, but the editing could have used a bit of fine tuning. Watching Chris Klug in the Olympics back in 2002, his story of being a liver transplant recipient fascinated me as the commentators gave a brief summary of his rise to success after his major health issues Now that I ve worked in the field of organ transplant for over a decade, finding this book and being reintroduced to his story allows me to see his accomplishments from a different perspective than 15 years ago The book also goes much further in depth than the brief TV spots during the Olymp Watching Chris Klug in the Olympics back in 2002, his story of being a liver transplant recipient fascinated me as the commentators gave a brief summary of his rise to success after his major health issues Now that I ve worked in the field of organ transplant for over a decade, finding this book and being reintroduced to his story allows me to see his accomplishments from a different perspective than 15 years ago The book also goes much further in depth than the brief TV spots during the Olympic games, covering Klug s early days all the way through his immediate post Olympics fame, which he used to promote the message of organ donation awareness whenever possible.Klug grew up in an era when snowboarding was regarded as an activity for teenagers and pot heads, especially by those in the skiing establishment who weren t too keen on these wild newcomers invading their pristine mountain slopes and resorts Klug freely admits that he and his friends didn t do a whole lot to change that image of snowboarders, although once he became ill with his liver disease, he toned his wild ways down significantly and instead focused those energies on bettering his boarding For the most part, he was in denial about how sick he was, and staying in excellent physical shape helped to keep that mindset, as his snowboarding related injuries took a harder toll on him than the disease.Klug took great pride in watching snowboarding s rise to exceed skiing s popularity, especially in the U.S and become an Olympic sport, debuting in Japan in 1998 Klug participated in those games, competing in downhill alpine snowboarding but did not place in the medals It was his goal to improve enough to represent the U.S team again 4 years later in Salt Lake City and medal, but when his liver disease put him at the top of the transplant list in 2000, those goals seemed out of reach Assuming he lived long enough to get a transplant, his doctors couldn t guarantee he would be cleared to return to the slopes although his orthopedic doctors said the same thing after a horrible knee injury and he proved those guys wrong , and every day spent waiting would add a day to his potential recovery time Olympic spots are allocated based on performance at various qualifying events held throughout the season, so miss too many due to the surgery and Klug s chances were nil A liver did become available, when a teenager and his friend were messing around with a gun and the friend ended up shooting him in the head, and Klug is forever grateful to the boy s parents for allowing their son to save many lives, including his Not a lot of the book was focused on the actual medical recovery, probably because Klug figured his audience was primarily people who knew of his athletic talents and would be bored by the minor details Instead, he detailed the physical recovery, how he got back in shape and ran in those qualifying races to keep his dreams alive Knowing that he would be on the world s stage again with a new lease on life, he felt that the best way to honor his donor was to become a champion for organ donation and prove to other young people in his situation that receiving a transplant should be an opportunity to live life to the fullest Of course, I would have likedof the medical details, as my experience is primarily with kidney transplants, but for the non medical reader, this is an autobiography that fulfills Klug s intents perfectly In fact, it exceeds the scope of the title, as his perspective on the early days of snowboarding, before he even knew he needed a new liver, was as fascinating and educational as the rest of the book Based on an internet search, it appears Klug is still doing well though no longer competes on an Olympic level I would love to see him as a contributor to this coming winter s Olympic games, so that his story can reach a whole new generation of snowboarding fans I remember Chris Klug s story airing before his event in the 2002 Winter Olympics I thought it was amazing that someone could rebound so quickly from a liver transplant and win a bronze in snowboarding Since that time, I had always referred to him as my favorite Olympian whenever those conversations would take place.There are a few comments about the writing, but I think it s perfect for his story You want that authentic voice, as he takes you from his early years to snowboarding culture to I remember Chris Klug s story airing before his event in the 2002 Winter Olympics I thought it was amazing that someone could rebound so quickly from a liver transplant and win a bronze in snowboarding Since that time, I had always referred to him as my favorite Olympian whenever those conversations would take place.There are a few comments about the writing, but I think it s perfect for his story You want that authentic voice, as he takes you from his early years to snowboarding culture to his health issues to all he accomplished afterward It s a great read Displaying faith, courage, and perseverance, snowboard racer Chris Klug battled for years to have his extreme sport accepted in the mainstream He rose through the World Cup ranks and won a bronze medal at theWinter Olympics less than two years after undergoing a lifesaving liver transplant Not since Lance Armstrong s It s Not About the Bike has a stricken athlete s story been as poised to transcend the sport In , during snowboarding s World Cup season, Chris was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis the same disease that would cause the death of his childhood hero, football great Walter Payton His four year wait for a donor came to an end when his rapidly failing liver prompted doctors to move him up on the transplant list With the shooting death of a thirteen year old boy, Chris was given the organ that gave him a second chance at life From his youth as a high school football hero, to his campaign for snowboarding s acceptance, and through surgery, recovery, and Olympic glory, every setback and victory in Chris Klug s ride is riveting To the Edge and Back will be cherished as a story of an athlete who represents the best of the human spirit