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A gift that keeps on giving
by Andrea Tyrell
Sep 13, 2013 | 1222 views | 1 1 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Participants of last year’s Donor Awareness Walk stroll around the Sparks Marina.
Participants of last year’s Donor Awareness Walk stroll around the Sparks Marina.
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In the United States, there are more than 120,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ. Eighteen people die every day waiting. Only 38 percent of the American population are registered organ and tissues donors, leaving the demand for organs and tissue high. Those supporting Sunday’s Sierra Nevada Donor Awareness Walk hope to improve the low statistics and help bring in more donations, especially for those in need in the Truckee Meadows area.

“This is our sixth year hosting the walk,” said Tracy Copeland, president of Sierra Nevada Donor Walk. “We’re really excited to honor donors and their families and provide a little comfort to those who need it.”

The Sierra Nevada Donor Awareness Walk will be held Sunday at the Sparks Marina. The event kicks off at 7 a.m. with a two-mile walk around the marina starting at 8 a.m. The event includes guest speakers and a raffle.

“Speakers include a donor family who unfortunately lost their son in an accident. He donated most of his organs and helped save several lives,” said Copeland. “They’ll talk about how meaningful it was for them, having their son donate his organs to help save someone’s life.”

People will be able to ask questions and hear from donor recipients, as well.

“We hope to raise about $10,000 this year,” said Copeland. “We set up a raffle to highlight local businesses. We really just want to get the community involved.”

“One body- someone’s heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestines, corneas and body tissue- can help save eight lives,” said Copeland. “Some people don’t understand how one person’s body can help so many people. And with those donators currently living, people can donate say, a portion of their liver, and keep on living their normal, every day lives.”

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, currently in the state of Nevada, there are approximately 65 people waiting for various organs, with women 50 to 64 years of age in need the most. The average Nevadan waits between six months to one year for an organ.

“I had a liver transplant,” said Copeland. “I fell ill quickly and was in a coma, needing a liver badly. I was forunate to receive one so quickly but I know that others are not so lucky.”

The proceeds from Sunday’s walk will provide financial aid to those impacted with tissue and organ donation and for those seeking surgeries and medical treatments.

“Everyone should be a donor,” said Copeland. “You can really save a life.”

For more information about the Sierra Nevada Donor Awareness Walk, visit sierranevadadonorawareness.com.
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Tracy Copeland
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September 13, 2013
Thank you so much Sparks Tribune for sharing this wonderful event. Just to clarify the timing.

Same day registration will open at 7:30am; the presentation will start at 8:00am. We hope everyone will join us by 8:30 to honor 40 donor families from our area. The walk will start at 9:00am and the raffle will immediately follow.

Hope the community can come support this event.
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