Last month, Transplant Community Alliance held its annual fundraiser Donor Dash. The event hosts avid runners who are looking to get official times for other qualifying races, weekend warriors who like to get organized exercise, families out to enjoy fun fitness activities, and the robust transplant community.

A friendly competition sprouted among the registered teams. Jim Cooper, Team Captain for Mayo Liver Transplant Support Group (fondly known as Jenna’s Groupies) had 36 members and raised $8,800. Team Sean, led by Maureen McGuire, had 11 team members and raised $1,000.  Kickin’ Asphalt, led by TCA Board Member Suzanne Reed, had 12 team members who raised more than $400.  Mayo Transplant Team raised $620 with 39 team members. Banner Transplant Centers represented 4 teams totaling 24 racers and raising over $1,000.  In addition, the Banner Transplant Heros Team sold raffle tickets among their hospital staff for a fall basket and raised an additional $500. These are just a few of the stories that led to this year’s fundraising success.

The stories of many of our racers are what keep bringing our community together.  Young Isaac Bondoc celebrated his 4th liver transaversary at Donor Dash. He and his family celebrated this year by competing in the 5k race at Donor Dash. It’s not always about the kids…both Isaac’s parents, Ryan and Alona, placed in their respected age categories. Congratulations, Isaac!!

Lynn Stackrow, a 2015 lung transplant recipient, celebrates her gift of life by enjoying an active lifestyle with running, kayaking, and hiking. She ran Donor Dash to honor her own donor and celebrate her dear cousin,  Carmela Nolin, who passed away last year and gave the ultimate gift of life.  The community rallied behind TCA and Donor Dash with nine corporate sponsors including; Presenting Sponsors Banner    Transplant Centers Phoenix and Tucson, Tempe South Rotary Club, Dignity Health, Donate Life AZ, GoodNature, Mayo Clinic, Liver Foundation, and Tortoise and Hare Sports.

In addition, many community partners were supporting TCA by being present at the event with vendor tables and contributing to our silent auction. Our community partners included- Abnormal Hearts, Agave Farm Boys, Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels, Hope Kids, Icing Smiles, Kidney Foundation, Liver  Foundation,  Make-A-Wish Arizona, Nudge, Phoenix  College Massage Therapy, and Walgreens.

With the help of hundreds of individual supporters, corporations, and nonprofits Donor Dash set new records from the past years.  The growing success of Donor Dash led to a sell-out! Some of our stats include 312 racers; 65 silent auction packages, 16 active teams, generous sponsorships, and numerous supporters. In all, Donor Dash raised over $34,000. Thank you so much for your generosity! These funds will allow Transplant Community Alliance to continue offering support programs to transplant recipients, caregivers, and donor families.

It’s inspiring to see our unique community come together to raise awareness of organ donation and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and given the gift of life. It’s stories such as Isaac’s and Lynn’s that fuel the passion of Transplant Community Alliance and its volunteers.  We are honored to be able to come alongside transplant recipients during their journey and offer support!