The Donor Games Championship: Bringing Awareness to Living Kidney Donation
Cornelius Bornman’s life changed forever on October 7, 2021.
Bornman and his wife were putting their ten-year-old daughter, Jaelle, to bed one night when she started panting. Her neck started pulsing extremely fast, and her heart rate seemed out of control.
The family whisked her to the emergency room and nervously waited for the diagnosis.
“She had kidney and heart failure and had to be put on a ventilator. Her heart rate was so high and out of control because it was trying to solve things in her body. After all, the kidney wasn’t doing its job.”
Thankfully, she wasn’t in pain. Bornman explains why.
“A kidney stone is super painful, but kidney failure is literally silent – a silent killer. If we were to let her go to sleep that night, she probably wouldn’t have made it through the night.”
Everything happened in fast forward from that point on.
“When we got to the hospital, the doctor told me the risks of the surgery and the complications, and he gave me some paperwork to sign because they wanted to put her on a ventilator. I started to ask questions, and he just put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘Listen, if we don’t do something now, she won’t be with us very long.’ I started signing away as quickly as I could.”
Jaelle was in the ICU for seven days. She returned home a few days later, and for six months, she did dialysis three days a week.
Bornman describes the process: “We live over an hour from the hospital. And so you get your fourth grader, put her in the car at six in the morning, and have to be at the hospital by seven. She does bloodwork, gets hooked to the machine, and sits there for four hours. We have a picture of her sitting there with our laptop hooked up to the dialysis machine, trying to do homework.”
The family continued dialysis for six months and started the process of finding a donor immediately. Bornman was cleared to be the donor and started to think ahead about the process.
He had always been in good health but never on a consistent exercise program.
“Once a year, I would run in a 5k, and that’s about it. I never played sports in high school, and I never was athletic. For me, this CrossFit experience is the first chance I’ve ever had to work towards something and then compete with it, too. I love it.”
Knowing he was a donor, Bornman wanted to be as healthy as possible leading up to the surgery, both for himself and for his daughter. He knew overweight people have more complications and recover slower from surgery, in addition to having more pain with the surgery. He wanted none of that–he wanted to recover as quickly as possible so he could help his daughter through her recovery.
Bornman only got in three months of CrossFit at his buddy’s gym before the surgery date arrived, but he felt the difference. He had already gained some muscle, lost some fat, and realized he wasn’t out of breath when he walked upstairs.
“The surgery happened on a Tuesday, and I was home by Thursday. They told me I should expect six to eight weeks off work for recovery, and by the second week, I was walking around the yard picking up sticks. I was back to work at the end of three weeks, and I returned to the gym on the fourth week.”
🎙️ 🎙️ The Weekly Buzz: Check out our news brief collab between the Morning Chalk Up and Kettlebells and Cocktails and get caught up on some of the top community, affiliate, and sport stories of the week.
On this week’s episode: Joe and Niki discuss some of the high and lowlights of the 2024 CrossFit Games season announcement, tips for getting ready for the Open (just about 100 days away), fundraisers around the community and more.
🚨🚨 The WOD Life x Wanderlust Fitness Retreats: Enter now to win a Bali Fitness Retreat from The WOD Life and Wanderlust Fitness Retreats. One lucky person will win a seven-day fitness retreat at CrossFit Wanderlust, Bali’s largest elite training center, plus roundtrip airfare form anywhere in the world.
💪🔥 FitFest 2023 VIP Events: The Birmingham, UK event featuring a Pro CrossFit Athlete showcase with some amazingly stacked teams announced a series of VIP events including workshops, Q&As with athletes, and a special elite workout on Friday, December 8. Learn more and get your tickets now.
One Hour to Go All In: The Gauntlet at TYR Wodapalooza is open for registration now. If you haven’t experienced it, The Gauntlet is a way for spectators to throw down in front of the crowds at TYR WZA and compete in some seriously tough workouts. Check out the divisions and register for a time slot now.
Three Reasons Why CrossFitters Should Start Using Creatine with HMB
According to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in December of last year, only about 23% of recreational CrossFit athletes currently take creatine as part of their regular supplement routine.
Meanwhile, the vast majority, if not all, of the elite CrossFit athletes you see at the CrossFit Games take creatine every day.
In fact, the two greatest male CrossFit champions of all time, Mat Fraser and Rich Froning have openly discussed and promoted the use of creatine to improve strength and performance in the sport.
WheelWOD Heads up CrossFit Games Adaptive Division, Looks to 2024 with Optimism
Champions like Rogan Dean, Casey Acree and Bayleigh Hooper have, for the past three years competed for the title of Fittest on Earth in their divisions alongside other divisions at the CrossFit Games.
But in 2024, they will compete separately, at The Adaptive CrossFit Games by WheelWOD.
Remind me: The 2021 CrossFit Games hosted the adaptive division for the first time and included 16 categories of athletes, eight each for men and women.
Leading up to that year’s Games, an adaptive athlete policy was penned and released that included details on each division, classifications, rules and standards. The Open workouts were adapted from the able-bodied division to maintain inclusion and continuity.
It was at the CrossFit Games that same year, that Dave Castro, (who at that time was CrossFit’s General Manager of Sport) had a conversation with Kevin Ogar (co-owner of WheelWOD) who was working with CrossFit, helping to implement and execute the adaptive division competition at the 2021 Games.
Castro was already envisioning a split: that the adaptive division would eventually have its own CrossFit Games.
Before the 2023 Games, Ogar was allowed to share his idea with the CrossFit Games team, that WheelWOD could potentially take over the entire season, and lead the adaptive division of the CrossFit Games by programming, classifying athletes and playing host.
What we know: After three years of adaptive athletes competing on the same weekend as the age group athletes, the teams and individuals, it was announced in October that this will no longer be the case moving forward.
What Ogar has proposed is being made into a reality–WheelWOD is going to take over programming, classifying and hosting the CrossFit Games for the adaptive divisions.
In regard to the upcoming season, definite dates and locations are still unknown, but the 2023 WheelWOD Games will be held November 30 to December 3 of this year in Raleigh, North Carolina. There is speculation that the adaptive division of the CrossFit Games for 2024 could potentially be held in the same location, but with a slight change to the calendar.
Ogar indicated that the Adaptive CrossFit Games by WheelWOD will be held in September or October, verifying that it could be held possibly in Raleigh, but potentially somewhere else. Ogar also shared that there will be 15 divisions competing (as described in the 2024 season schedule update).
“Now that WheelWOD is partnered with CrossFit for this, we have so many options for locations and so many more resources,” said Ogar. “This continued partnership with CrossFit, and this change will give us more space to grow, and more of a chance to focus on our athletes.”
In regard to classifying athletes in appropriate divisions, Ogar shared that they will be using the same classification system that they’ve been using for a year and a half, but they are constantly tweaking it and renewing it, trying to give their athletes the fairest competition and experience possible. He shared the same sentiment in regard to programming, that the workouts will be fair for all, with movements and movement standards that create an even playing field amongst all athletes.
As CrossFit has faced many growing pains in regard to the Adaptive division over the past several years, many are looking at this big change to be a solution. With an organization like WheelWOD steering the ship, (while still backed and supported by CrossFit), athletes and spectators are anxious to see how certain sticking points in the past are managed.
The bottom line: Ogar expressed that the response from his community has been mostly positive about this adjustment to the Games format. It is his opinion that CrossFit has made this decision for the betterment of the adaptive athletes and the division.
“I know this will be such a positive change, but it’s up to the athletes to really make it great. And it’s a chance for the athletes to show what they can do, and they’re going to be given more opportunities for this, more opportunities to make a living, and to inspire people,” said Ogar.
Black Friday | Cyber Monday Buyers Guide
We've compiled a list of all the goodies coming out hot for you on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Check it out, save your favorites and set your alarms!
Unlock your full potential with AIRWAAV's cutting-edge mouthpiece that gives you the ultimate competitive advantage. AIRWAAV has their EARLY BLACK FRIDAY going on right now. Don't miss your opportunity to step up your game and perform at your best.
The ever-popular 16 ounce Yeti Stackable Pint is 25% off, and is available in all colors, including limited edition Power Pink and Cosmic Lilac. These come with the Magslider lid and are cupholder compatible.
Games athlete James Newbury shows us some great scaling options for the bar muscle up, using a low bar and maintaining correct body position. If you're still working on your BMUs, give this scale a try, or share with your fellow athletes.
Scarlett, of the Coastside CrossFit community in Bournemouth, UK, after being diagnosed with stage four cancer, has undergone multiple surgeries and 12 rounds of chemotherapy. No longer able to undergo any other treatments in the UK, she is headed to Japan to continue exploring alternatives. Coastside CrossFit has raised funds to support her in this, but they are hoping the greater CrossFit community can help as well. Scarlett is 31 years old and optimistic that she can overcome her cancer with immunotherapy treatments. Visit her Go Fund Me account for further details.
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