19th Annual Donor Dash 5K Brings Thousands Together to Celebrate the Gift of Life
The 19th annual Donor Dash 5K hosted by Donor Alliance, the federally designated non-profit organization that facilitates organ and tissue donation in Colorado and most of Wyoming, returns to Denver’s Washington Park on Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 8 a.m. Donor Alliance is aiming to top the success from last year’s event that saw nearly 6,000 participants.
The Donor Dash 5K brings participants of all ages from across the nation together to celebrate and honor the lives of organ, eye and tissue donors; celebrate the lives of organ, eye and tissue recipients; and recognize those who continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant.
Joining the Donor Dash this year is IndyCar driver, Stefan Wilson, who is a spokesperson for organ, eye and tissue donation. A Colorado resident and the brother of a donor, Stefan is a passionate advocate for the cause. He was touched by donation when his older brother Justin died tragically in a racing accident in 2015. Justin was a registered organ, eye and tissue donor and was able to save five lives through donation. Hoping to inspire and encourage all residents to sign up to become organ, eye and tissue donors at the time of their death, Stefan will sign autographs, pose for pictures and meet with attendees in the post-race expo area from 8:30 – 9:30a.m.
“We are now in our 19th year and continue to grow more grateful to be part of such an inspiring and compassionate community,” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance. “We look forward to another year joining thousands of participants from across the region that have been touched by donation and have come together to celebrate the lives saved through donation and honor those who gave the gift of life.”
Following this year’s race, Stefan Wilson and a select group of Coloradans will briefly share their unique stories and how they have been touched by donation during a post-race inspirational ceremony. Transplant recipients and family members of deceased and living donors have come from across the state to speak to participants, and include:
- Claire Montour, heart, liver and kidney recipient, Denver: Claire has a rare form of familial Amyloidosis, a protein folding disorder, which resulted in her becoming the recipient of a rare triple transplant. Only the eighth person in the nation to receive a heart, liver and kidney triple transplant, Claire is grateful to be able to spend more time with her family and friends thanks to her donor’s gift of life.
- Dana Rojas, daughter of a transplant candidate, Colorado Springs: A result of injuries suffered during the Vietnam War, Dana’s stepfather, Al Lucero, is currently waiting for a lifesaving kidney transplant. Diagnosed with kidney failure, Al has been undergoing dialysis treatments several times a week to keep him alive. Dana has made it her personal mission to not only advocate for her stepfather’s transplant, but to also bring awareness to the need for donation and transplantation across the state.
- Dave Repsher kidney and tissue recipient, Silverthorne and Matt Martinez, living donor, Superior: While serving as a Flight for Life nurse, Dave suffered catastrophic burns to most of his body in a helicopter accident in 2015. During the healing process Dave received temporary donor skin to help protect his body from infection. A result of his injuries, Dave faced renal failure and was dependent on dialysis to keep him alive while he awaited a kidney transplant. Dave was fortunate to have found a living donor in Matt. Dave and his family are forever thankful for Matt’s gift of life. Dave and his wife, Amanda, cherish Matt and consider him to be a part of their family.
- Genaro Barrón, son of a donor, Denver: Genaro’s mother, Irma, was a kind, loving and selfless person that always wanted to help. She was passionate about talking to others about the lifesaving gift of donation and transplantation. When she passed away, she left behind a legacy of saving and healing lives as a tissue donor. Knowing his mother was able to change someone’s life has given Genaro a new appreciation for the heart on his driver license.
Participants can register for the Donor Dash by forming a team or registering as individuals. Online team registration for the event is open until Sunday July 8 and for individuals until July 13. Race day registration will begin at 7 a.m., followed by the 5K run/walk at 8 a.m. A Diaper Dash for children 3-years-old and under will be held at 9:15 a.m. After the race, participants may visit the expo area to get more information about donation and transplantation, browse exhibitors and enjoy a children’s play area.Event maps and information on how to register or volunteer for the 2018 Donor Dash 5K can be found on the Donor Dash event page.
For more information about organ, eye and tissue donation, please visit DonorAlliance.org. To register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, please visit DonateLifeColorado.org, or call 303-329-4747 for more information.
Race Day Schedule – Sunday, July 15, 2018
7:00 AM – Race Day Registration/Packet Pickup
8:00 AM – Expo Area Opens
8:00 AM – 5K Runners Start
8:05 AM – 5K Walkers Start
9:15 AM – Diaper Dash – Expo Area (ages 3 and under) – Free
9:30 AM – Recognition Ceremony
10:00 AM – Conclusion of Ceremony