TAMPA, Fla. – (December 8, 2015) – LifeLink Legacy Fund® hosted its “Love Give Live 5K Walk/Run” November 7, at LifeLink Foundation’s headquarters office in the Brandon area. 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 and Grow Financial Credit Union.
This inaugural event drew in nearly 200 racers from around the community and raised nearly $20,000$, to be distributed evenly between LifeLink Legacy Fund and Donate Life Florida. The race was kicked off with a ribbon cutting by Ms. Christine Daniels, a Hillsborough County resident with a special connection to donation. In 2011, Christine’s son, Chris, saved four lives as an organ donor following his death after a tragic hit and run accident. Chris was only 18 years old. Following the ribbon cutting the racers began the 5k with “Bicycle Marshall” Rodney Ford leading the way. Rodney too has a special connection to the DONATE LIFE cause. He donated a kidney to his wife, Syrita, in March 2010 at Tampa General Hospital. Today, more than five years later, Syrita is in great health and was also in attendance at the event to cheer her husband and other racers on.
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 195 racers. Winning categories included Top Male, Top Female, and Top Child (age 12 and under). Overall winners were Mr. Glenn Lindie, both overall 1st Place and Top Male, with a time of 22:22; Ms. Katherine Ostroot, Top Female, with a time of 22:57; and Leonel Reyes, Top Child, with a time of 29:33.
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-five 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 $1.4 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 www.DonateLifeFlorida.org.