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-Fristoe Happy To Bowl At Junior Gold After Heart Transplant

07/12/2001 - YABA
      RENO, Nev. -- Competing against the best youth bowlers in North America is an exciting experience for each of the participants at the USA Junior Gold National Bowling Championships. Tim Fristoe, 21, of Hayden, Idaho, is happy and thankful that his doctor gave him permission to bowl in the event just days before he was scheduled to leave for Reno.

      Fristoe received a heart transplant just two months after bowling in last year's Junior Gold National Bowling Championships. Feeling fatigued and sick during competition in Las Vegas, he returned home a day early. After visiting his doctor and undergoing numerous tests, he learned that his heart was enlarged and began to fail. He soon became a candidate for a heart transplant and received a new heart on Sept. 3, 2000.

      Fristoe was looking forward to bowling in this year's Junior Gold National Bowling Championships; however, several weeks before the event, his body began rejecting the heart he received from a transplant. He wasn't sure if he would be able to attend the event until a heart biopsy showed that he was doing better.

      "I'm happy to be here bowling," said Fristoe. "It was really important to me to come back and compete. Everyone has been really supportive and understanding."

      The first thing Friscoe asked his doctors after the transplant was, "When can I go bowling?" After rehabilitation and regaining his strength, Fristoe was back bowling again by last November. He began playing in a league and also competed in a local youth scratch tournament.

      "Originally my doctor wanted me to wait until January (2001) to start bowling again," said Fristoe. "But I wouldn't have bowled enough games to qualify for this tournament."

      Fristoe felt an overwhelming rush and relief as he entered the National Bowling Stadium at the opening ceremony. YABA Executive Director Jim Zebehazy formally recognized Frisote for making it back to the tournament only a year after his heart transplant. The bowlers, fans and parents gave him a standing ovation.

      "My main goal was to just be here and bowl again," said Fristoe. "Bowling is what I love to do."

      During his time in Reno, Fristoe has been enjoying time with friends and having fun while he bowls. He started the tournament by shooting a 210 his first game but admits that the shot has been challenging and that he is still missing spares.

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