DETROIT – Hundreds laced up their running shoes and hit the pavement on Belle Isle Saturday morning for a good cause.
The Detroit Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program Foundation sponsored a walk, run to raise awareness on the importance of organ and tissue transplants. Whether you’re walking or running, the goal is to simply finish.
“My transplant date was February 15, 2008,” said Taneisha Campbell.
It’s a date Campbell will not forget. She said that day is like her second birthday. “I received a kidney transplant a little over 11 years ago,” Campbell said.
Before that transplant, Campbell wasn’t sure how much longer she could live. Her kidney had started to fail, causing her to be on dialysis.
“So in the country currently, there are over 114,000 people who are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Right here in Michigan, there are over 3,100 people waiting for a lifesaving transplant,” Campbell said.
She said those transplants are possible when people sign up to be a donor. Her nephew Amari Wilson died at 5 months old. But his organs were used to save other people's lives.
“I’m out here in memory of my niece who passed away December 24, 2012,” Cheryl Bondy said.
This time of year is always an emotional one for Bondy. Her niece died from an aneurysm. July 28 was her birthday.
“She was so young. That’s why it still hurts,” Bondy said.
Bondy said this event helps cope with the loss. Recently, she met the people whose lives were saved by her niece's organs.
“Three of the young men we have met. Two young boys and an older gentleman, Waly. She donated six major organs but one person received two of her organs,” Bondy said.
To learn more about the DMOTTEP Foundation, click here.