July 18, 2024

Donation Essentials Blog

July 18, 2024

On Sunday, July, 21, thousands of people from across the country will gather with Donor Alliance at Denver’s Washington Park to support organ and tissue donation at the 25th annual Donor Dash 5K run/walk. Participants of all ages will come together to honor heroic donors and their families, celebrate alongside transplant recipients and recognize the nearly 1,300 Coloradans still waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant.  

(Donor Dash Denver, Colorado by Valeria Moonch Photography)

For those who haven’t had a chance to register, you can do so Sunday at Washington Park beginning at 7 a.m. at the Registration Tent. The race kicks-off at 8 a.m. The Diaper Dash is also returning this year for children 3 and under, which will begin at 9:15 a.m.

After the race, visit the expo area and enjoy the post-race program at 9:30 a.m. As Donor Alliance marks this milestone year, the 2024 Donor Dash program will feature incredible stories, touching videos, and an on-stage reunion you won’t want to miss! The ribbon ceremony will also return to the program this year to illustrate how we’re all weaved together on this journey. Make sure to grab a “connection to donation” ribbon in the expo area before the program begins. New this year, bracelets will also be available in the expo area to show us how we’re connected to organ and tissue donation.

Everything You Need to Know on Race Day 

To make the most of your Donor Dash experience, here is everything you need to know to help you prepare for race day: 

  1. Arrive Early! We are expecting nearly 6,000 racers this year so come early. Expect some congestion and use the extra time as an opportunity to meet some other people who have been touched by the gift of life.  
  2. Parking: Parking will be available at South High School across E Louisiana Ave. on the south side of the park. Transportation assistance will be provided from the parking lot to the start line, which is near E Mississippi St. and S Franklin St. Please reserve transportation assistance for those who are unable to make the trek.  
  3. Race, Expo and Program Start Times: The race begins at 8:00 a.m. for runners and 8:05 a.m. for walkers. The expo area opens at 8:00 a.m. near the finish line and the program will begin at 9:30 a.m.  
  4. Dogs and strollers are welcome. Please make sure all dogs are on a leash and wait to start your race with the back of the group and be courteous to the runners and walkers around you. After the race be sure to stop by the Chewy’s Bonetique Dog area where your pups can cool down with some water, pools, and more! 
  5. Directions: You can find directions and info about race day road closures here. The course and layout are similar to prior Donor Dash events and should look familiar to returning dashers.  
  6. Free Team Photos: Teams of 10 or more are eligible for a free team photo. All team members should report to the team photo area near the start line to take advantage of professional team photos from 7:00-7:45 a.m. or following the race from 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. If you are trying to get your photo taken pre-race, make sure to do so before 7:30 a.m.  

(Donor Dash Denver, Colorado by Valeria Moonch Photography)

The Donor Dash would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors, volunteers and community partners who have and continue to contribute the time, resources and enthusiasm to make this event a success for the last 25 years.  

Event maps and information on how to register or volunteer can be found on the Donor Dash event page. 

We’re looking forward to seeing you at this year’s Donor Dash!  

July 17, 2024

Donation Essentials Blog

July 17, 2024
July 12, 2024

Donation Essentials Blog

July 12, 2024

Young Man Returns to Colorado to Celebrate 25th Heart Transplant Anniversary

Each year, Donor Alliance brings the Colorado community together to honor the gift of organ, eye, and tissue donation at the 

Donor Dash 5k run/walk. In its 25th year, the annual event celebrates the lives of recipients, honors donors and their families and recognizes those still waiting for a transplant. This year’s event holds special significance for Colorado-born Thomas Williams and his family who will be returning to Colorado from Tennessee to participate. Thomas received a life-saving heart transplant in Colorado when he was just six months old and will be celebrating his 25th “heartiversary” at the event.  

Thomas’s story began when he was just five days old. He was diagnosed with multiple heart defects, and his parents were told he would need a heart transplant.

After Thomas was placed on the waitlist for a new heart, he and his family waited 65 days for the call that would change everything. There was a match for Thomas.

Thomas Williams Pitching  Thomas’s family was suddenly flooded with a mix of emotions. They were overjoyed by the possibility that their child’s life could be saved, but also felt extreme sorrow for the donor’s family who had lost their own child. 

After a successful transplant, Thomas was able to grow, learn and play. He never let his condition define him or limit his aspirations. Now, at the age of 25, he continues to remain thankful to his donor who played an enormous role in helping him achieve his life goals, including going on to play college baseball. Thomas has used his experiences to inspire others. “If he can be an inspiration to just one kid, everything he has been through has been worth it,” says his family.

Join the Celebration

Thomas and his family are returning to Colorado to celebrate his 25th heartiversary at the Donor Dash on July 21 in Washington Park, Denver. They last attended the Donor Dash when Thomas was just four years old and are excited to come “home” to share their story and spread awareness about how one family’s decision about organ, eye, and tissue donation changed the course of their lives forever.

Today, there are nearly 1,300 people across Colorado and Wyoming waiting on a lifesaving transplant. Transplants offer people like Thomas a new chance at a healthy and productive life, returning recipients to their families, friends and communities. At the time of their death, just one donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and save or heal more than 75 lives through tissue donation.

By participating in the 25th Annual Donor Dash, you can honor donors, promote the lifesaving power of organ donation and inspire others to consider registering to be a donor. Visit the Donor Dash website to register and to learn more about becoming an organ, eye, and tissue donor. Saying “Yes” to donation saves lives.

Register | CO
Register | WY
July 10, 2024

Donation Essentials Blog

July 10, 2024

Find our booth at the Aurora Global Fest! Aurora, proclaimed a Donate Life Community by Mayor Mike Coffman, is truly “The World in a City,” and nowhere is that more apparent than at Global Fest, the city’s signature event showcasing international cultures.

Now in its 11th year, Global Fest is a free, multicultural experience bringing the sights, sounds and flavors of nations from around the world to celebrate the diverse people and communities that call Aurora home. The family-friendly, one-day event includes two stages of vibrant musical and dance performances, a variety of local food trucks, an international marketplace, the Parade of Nations, a Fashion Show, art displays, creative activities for children, and much more.

Aurora is one of the most diverse cities in Colorado. About 1 in 5 people in Aurora are foreign-born and more than 160 languages are spoken in Aurora schools. Global Fest is an intentional event allowing the entire city to proudly embrace its global spirit.

Global Fest provides opportunities for local vendors and businesses to interact with thousands of community members. Attendees can also access important resources dealing with health, acquiring documents, food and other services.

July 10, 2024

Donation Essentials Blog

July 10, 2024
July 9, 2024

Donation Essentials Blog

July 9, 2024
July 9, 2024

Donation Essentials Blog

July 9, 2024
June 28, 2024

Donation Essentials Blog

June 28, 2024
June 27, 2024

Donation Essentials Blog

June 27, 2024

Organ Transplant Among Multicultural Communities

Organ transplantation is a critical, lifesaving procedure that can be successful regardless of the  ethnicity of the donor and recipient. However, the chance of longer-term survival may be greater if the donor and recipient share a similar genetic background.

Does Race or Ethnicity Matter in Organ Transplantation?

When it comes to matching donor organs and tissues for transplantation, factors such as race, Organ Transplant Among Multicultural Communities ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, income, celebrity, and social status are never part of the consideration. Organs are matched with people on the national transplant waitlist based on blood type, body size, the severity of the illness, donor distance, tissue type, and time on the waiting list. Due to these factors, patients frequently and successfully receive transplants from donors of different races and ethnicities.

The Importance of Diversity in Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation

People of color are more likely to need a lifesaving transplant. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, African Americans, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from end-stage renal disease, often as a result of high blood pressure and other conditions. Although patients can find organ matches from donors of other ethnic groups, having a diverse donor pool makes it easier to find a match for all patients, highlighting the importance of organ transplant among multicultural communities.

Organ Donation Across Race & Ethnicity

The national transplant waiting list currently stands at more than 100,000 people, with more than 60% of those waiting representing multicultural communities.

The need for donation and transplantation is more pronounced in minority communities where disproportionately higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease contribute to organ failure, especially kidney failure. African Americans are three times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure. Hispanics are also 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.

On average, African American/Black transplant candidates wait longer than non-Black  transplant candidates for kidney, heart, and lung transplants. These healthcare disparities reinforce the need for more education and outreach to save and heal lives in our communities.

85% of People on the Waitlist Need a Kidney Transplant

Organ Transplant Among Multicultural Communities

Kidney disease can affect anyone, regardless of age, though certain groups face higher risks. High blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease significantly contribute to kidney disease, particularly among African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American communities. Knowing your risk factors for kidney disease is crucial for taking proactive steps toward a healthier life. Take a quick kidney risk quiz to assess your risk—it only takes a minute.

Every eight minutes, another person is added to the waitlist. One person’s decision to be an organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and save and heal up to 75 lives through tissue donation. Each year, tissue transplants benefit tens of thousands of people suffering from injury, disease, trauma or blindness.

Why Should I Register?

Shared ethnicity is not a requirement for matching organ donors and recipients. Matches between donors and recipients of different ethnicities are very common. However, a more diverse donor registry gives everyone on the transplant waitlist a better chance to find a good donor match. Because the genetic markers used to match organ donors and recipients are inherited, people with rare markers are more likely to match someone with a shared racial or ethnic background.

How Does Healthcare Access Play a Role?

Minority populations may have less access to healthcare than other Americans. For example, studies found that about one-third of Hispanics/Latinos, 20% of Blacks/African Americans, and one out of three American Indians and Alaska Natives were uninsured.

The costs associated with receiving a transplant vary based on many factors, including the type of transplant, necessary care, location, hospital, and the patient’s insurance coverage. It’s essential to work with the financial coordinator at your transplant center, your insurance provider, and, if applicable, your employee benefits team to develop a financial strategy and review available resources.

While you should always discuss with your insurance provider and financial coordinator how to cover the cost of your transplant, there are additional resources that can provide financial assistance to transplant candidates, recipients, and their families.

Hispanic Transplant Program

Donor Alliance had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Sixto Giusti, Director of the Hispanic Transplant Program at UCHealth. Dr. Giusti emphasized the importance of educating multicultural communities about the lifesaving benefits of organ and tissue donation. He also discusses the need for more diverse donors to improve transplant success rates and outcomes.

Watch the full interview

Register today to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor at DonateLifeColorado.org or DonateLifeWyoming.org.

June 24, 2024

Donation Essentials Blog

June 24, 2024
June 24, 2024

Donation Essentials Blog

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