Running So Others Can Live

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.

  “I have run many races for autism in the past and I have run two since my heart transplant,” she said. “My reason for running is because I realize how important it is to be an organ donor and to raise awareness about it.  When I saw the flyer posted in my neighborhood it just seemed like fate to participate.  Without organ donation I would not be here to run in any race.  It is a cause that is very important to me and close to my heart.
“I received the gift of life and am forever grateful. I am so fortunate to my donor family for this gift of life.”

 

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.

 

 

 

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