The Swing Easy Hit Hard Charity Golf Tournament held at the Windermere Golf Club in Cumming, GA on April 18, 2013, raised $2,500 to support the patient and family support programs at the Emory Transplant Center. Another $2,500 raised from the tournament will be used to support programs at Georgia Transplant Foundation.
Kirk Franz, a liver transplant recipient who celebrated his third-year transplant anniversary in May, was one of the transplant charity event’s organizers. Kirk is the recreation manager for the City of Johns Creek and an avid golfer.
“We really appreciate our golfers, sponsors and supporters who contributed to the tournament and made it a bigger success than last year,” says Kirk. “More than 40 golfers participated in the tournament and we hope to have more players and contributors next year to increase the support we can give to patients and families who are faced with organ transplantation.” He also received support from Drs. Stuart Knechtle and James Spivey, surgical and medical directors of the liver program, respectively. “They supported and participated in the tournament, too,” he says.
The golf tournament was organized in 2010 by Kirk’s family and friends to support his liver transplant fund. Now that he has recovered, he and his family have established a nonprofit foundation to continue hosting the annual transplant charity event to benefit transplant programs at Emory and the Georgia Transplant Foundation. In addition, Kirk and his wife, Shannon, actively volunteer with the Emory Transplant Center’s patient and family advisory council and mentor transplant candidates for the Georgia Transplant Foundation.
“I received so much support from my family, friends and the ETC team after my transplant, that I wanted to find a way to ‘pay it back’ and support others who are faced with an organ transplant,” Kirk says.