Human Interest

Judith Blair earns three gold medals, promotes organ donation in Nevada Senior Games

Three months ago, I spoke with Judith Blair — mom of former Arizona basketball standout Joseph Blair — about her donating a kidney to save an Arizona professor’s life 16 years to the day.

At the time, Blair, who turns 70 on Dec. 21, mentioned she had aspirations of competing in the Nevada Senior Games this weekend. She was not quite sure if she could prepare herself in time.

Judith Blair won three gold medals in running events yesterday in the Nevada Senior Games at UNLV (Blair photo)

Let’s face it — Judith, a woman of strong conviction and faith, was not going to let “no” be an answer to compete in running events although she performs her physical training every day in the swimming pool.

Judith not only competed yesterday at UNLV, she earned three gold medals.

She has now competed in the Senior Olympics in Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas, St. George (Utah) and Houston with the effort in mind to promote organ donation.

Judith tries diligently — through numerous media interviews over the years and participation in senior sporting events — to spread the word about the benefits of organ donation. She stresses to register at or call 1-800-94DONOR to become an organ donor.

“I just perceived it as a mandate from God that I was to do that,” Judith said of the kidney transplant 16 years ago. “I didn’t have any fear, any anxiety. I was just going to do the surgery.

“I had no idea I was going to spend the next 16 years promoting organ donation. I considered myself part of the naive status quo. I had no idea until after the donation that thousands of people are waiting for a phone call just to live. We’re cremating and burying organs that can keep them alive.”

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