Eighteen months before winning third place in the giant slalom at the Olympic Games on February 15, 2002, Klug underwent a liver transplant. The professional snowboarder was the epitome health until 2000 when a rare liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis had destroyed his bile duct.
Klug not only persevered physically – with the bronze medal to prove it – but also mentally and spiritually.
Today, through several non-profit organizations including The Chris Klug Foundation and Donor Dudes, as well as speaking tours, interviews and his book To the Edge and Back: My Story From Organ Transplant Survivor to Olympic Snowboarder, Klug has become a passionate advocate for organ donations. For almost a decade, he’s been educating people of all ages on the importance of transplants and improving the quality of life for recipients, donors and their families.
In a one-on-one interview on genConnect.com, Klug reflects on his journey, how donors give people second chances and ways he inspires others affected by organ donation.
Click the play button below to watch the videos, and here’s an excerpt:
I’d like to just tell [transplant recipients] that you can get through this and bounce back stronger and healthier than ever. I think people see my story and they recognize that transplantation isn’t a death wish or compromised lifestyle. You can continue to pursue your dreams and goals.
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