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Georgetown teenager heading to Transplant Games

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Posted at 9:04 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 21:04:33-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Maddie Blankenship is like any other 16-year-old.

She knows practice can make close to perfect.

"I bowl a lot," Blankenship said. "I just finished up my Wednesday night league in Cynthiana, which is really fun."

Bowling isn't always fun and games. Sometimes your release can result in a spare or strike, but a gutter ball can happen too. Blankenship tries not to dwell on anything in life, including her limitations.

"I got a little second chance at life," she said.

Blankenship received a liver transplant when she was just three months old.

"My uncle actually gave me a fourth of his liver," she said. "I have a liver transplant."

Her parents didn't have to look far to find her a second chance at life.

"Her uncle volunteered to be tested," said her mother, Stephanie. "He was the closest match at almost a 98 percent match for her."

Blankenship says this doesn't come without limitations or challenges today.

"Yeah, it has," she said. "But I mean you can't let it stop you from being you. It's just something that you have to deal with."

Next week, she'll embark on a journey to San Diego for the Transplant Games. She will drive because one of the limitations includes flying on public aircrafts. Instead of focusing on what she can't do, she focuses on what she can do.

"I got a second chance to live my life," she said. "You have to be positive about that. You can't just wallow in your pain."

Blankenship looks forward to what is ahead in San Diego. That includes trading pins, bowling, and most importantly the time in between.

"It's the people," she said. "The people make it the most fun."