Runners took to a rainy course in Greenlawn Sunday to support organ donation but some had more personally invested in the matter than others.
Several runners in the 5k race, along with others in the audience, were beneficiaries of organ donation: hearts, lung and kidney.
Colleen Mahoney of Centerport was one of the recipients. In November 2016, she suddenly collapsed, and was eventually diagnosed with Giant Cell Myocarditis. In April 2017, she was so sick that she was admitted to a hospital and told she wouldn’t be leaving without a transplant. On May 17, 2017, she received a heart.
The race was organized by Michael Dubas of Simply Fit, a personal trainer who has worked with Christian Siems, a heart recipient, in his return to health.
“Christian is our inspiration,” he said. “At 24, he’s been through more than anyone that age should have to.”
Several town officials, including Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Town Board members Mark Cuthbertson and Joan Cergol, and Town Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman came out to cheer on the runners as they crossed the finish line and top finishers received their medals.
The race raised funds for LiveOnNY.org, which supports organ donation and recipients.