Donor Games Athlete Profile: Cornelius Bornman

About Cornelius Bornman

Cornelius Bornman competed in his first Donor Games event, the Bonnyman Workout 2023 Open, in January 2023, less than a year after donating his kidney. In September 2023 he competed in the Donor Games Championship, placing third in the Donor Men category. Participating in the Donor Games has given him many opportunities to share his story and encourage others to donate. Cornelius started learning CrossFit to get in better shape for his donation surgery and fell in love with exercising. He now averages 4-5 days per week in the gym.

Donor Story: On March 15, 2022, Cornelius donated a kidney to his 10-year-old daughter, Jaelle. An unexpected trip to the emergency room led to a diagnosis of kidney and heart failure and the discovery that Jaelle’s kidneys had never fully developed. She was on dialysis for five months before receiving her transplant. The next year, she cheered her father on as he competed in the Donor Games Championship.

Personal: Cornelius lives in the small town of Vestaburg, MI, with his wife Cherri, and their three daughters Abigail, Rebecca, and Jaelle. He works as a Chief Operator for Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative at a small peaking powerplant near his home. In addition to exercising, he loves reading, juggling, hunting, and fishing. Cornelius serves on the board of a local chapter for Youth For Christ, an organization that exists to meet and build Christ sharing relationships with teens through after school programs.

Founding Sponsors

  • National Kidney Foundation
  • National Kidney Registry
  • National Kidney Donation Organization