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Chris Klug

Chris Klug

Getting and Giving Life

Champion Snowboarder Speaks April 7 About His Life-Saving Liver Transplant and How to Return the Favor

April 1, 2008
by Mimi Ko Cruz

During the summer of 2000, champion snowboarder Chris Klug underwent a liver transplant operation. His liver was failing from primary sclerosing cholangitis, a disease of the bile ducts that channel bile from the liver into the intestines, and the transplant saved his life.

“To receive the gift of life is a humbling experience,” Klug testifies on his web site. “I will forever be grateful for my second chance.”

With his new liver and new perspective on life, Klug took to the slopes again and some of his accomplishments since his surgery include being named:

  • Winner of the 2000 Grand Prix Giant Slalom in Okemo, Vermont
  • Winner of the 2000 Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) World Cup Parallel Giant Slalom (PGS) in Berchesgaden, Germany
  • Winner of the 2000 Grand Prix Giant Slalom in Breckenridge, Colo.
  • Winner of the 2001 FIS World Cup PGS in Olang, Italy
  • Champion of the 2001 U.S. National PGS in Sunday River, Maine
  • Champion of the 2002 U.S. Nationals, Slalom in Northstar, Calif.
  • Bronze medalist in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Winner of the 2003 King of the Mountain in Aspen, Colo.
  • Champion of the 2004 U.S. Nationals in Breckenridge, Colo.
  • Winner of the 2005 Continental Cup PGS in Copper Mountain, Colo.

On April 7, Klug will kick off the Titan Lifesavers’ “Save a Life” campaign, featuring a series of blood and marrow donation drives taking place on campus throughout the month. Event organizers said the goal is to inspire people to register to be organ, tissue and marrow donors and to donate blood.

Klug will be joined at the 11:30 a.m. program by Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk; Mike McGee, a Cal State Fullerton professor of art who is waiting for a kidney transplant; Amanda Magana, a Cal State Fullerton student and kidney recipient; Gilbert Garcia, a retired firefighter who has donated bone marrow; and representatives from Donate Life California, American Red Cross and National Marrow Donor Program.  The event will be held at Becker Amphitheater.

According to health care agencies, more than 38,000 blood transfusions are needed daily and nearly 100,000 people are awaiting an organ transplant nationwide.

As part of the “Save a Life” campaign, Cal State Fullerton, the American Red Cross, Donate Life California and National Marrow Donor Program will be offering information on how to register to donate organs, tissue and marrow, and collecting blood on campus from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 9-10, 29-30 beside the walkway to the Kinesiology and Health Science Building, and from 6 a.m. to noon April 26 near the Memorial Grove south of the KHS Building.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, visit, and enter the sponsor code: CSUF.


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