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Love Give Live 5K Walk/Run Raises More Than $56,000 To Support Local Organ Transplant Patients In Need

Love Give Live 5K Walk/Run Raises More Than $56,000 To Support

Local Organ Transplant Patients In Need

TAMPA, Fla. – (February 15, 2017) – LifeLink Legacy Fund® hosted its Second Annual Love Give Live 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, February 11th, at Water Works Park in downtown Tampa. This family-oriented race was held to promote the lifesaving message of organ and tissue donation, while raising funds for both the LifeLink Legacy Fund, to provide financial assistance to organ transplant patients in need of medical care, and Donate Life Florida, to further statewide donation education efforts to grow Florida’s organ, eye and tissue donor registry. The event was sponsored by several community partner organizations, including SunTrust Bank.

This annual event drew in 390 race registrants from around the community and raised more than $56,000, to be distributed between LifeLink Legacy Fund and Donate Life Florida. The racers began the 5K with “Bicycle Marshal” Rodney Ford, who donated a kidney to his wife, Syrita, in March 2010 at Tampa General Hospital. Today, almost seven years later, both Rodney and Syrita remain in good health. According to Ruth Duncan Bell, Senior Vice President for LifeLink Foundation and race participant, “We appreciate the opportunity to spread the life-saving message of organ and tissue donation throughout the community.  Watching transplant recipients and donor families walk in support of donation, along with hundreds of other participants, is extremely gratifying and serves as a testament that organ and tissue donation saves lives.”

Race participants ranged widely in both age and experience levels. In addition to several familiar faces among the local racing circuit, there were many organ transplant recipients, organ & tissue donor families, LifeLink Foundation employees and other general community supporters among the racers. Winning categories included Top Male, Top Female, and Top Child (age 12 and under). Category winners were Mr. Larry Aiello, Top Male; Ms. Theresa O’Hern, Top Female; and JD Valdes, Top Child.

LifeLink Legacy Fund is a 501(c)3 established in 1990 to support LifeLink Foundation’s efforts in organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Over the last twenty-seven years, the LifeLink Legacy Fund has emerged into a boundless support system for pre- and post- transplant patients in need of financial assistance. The LifeLink Legacy Fund also provides funding for critical research and programs to improve organ and tissue donation and transplantation. To date, the LifeLink Legacy Fund has been privileged to contribute over $1.5 million to hundreds of individuals in Florida and Georgia.

Donate Life Florida is the statewide alliance of organ, tissue and eye recovery programs in Florida, as well as other interested parties, and is tasked by the state of Florida with overseeing the Joshua Abbott Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. Florida’s donor registry allows Floridians to express their legally binding decision to save lives as a donor, and is funded through contributions made to the state or Donate Life Florida. Support of Florida’s organ, tissue and eye donor registry enhances donation education in Florida, and expands opportunities for Floridians to join the registry when they get or renew their driver license or state identification card, or by visiting the registry online at