“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.