This years Second Chance 5K is right around the corner and today is the last day adults can register for $15 and kids for free. After today at 5:00 MT prices will increase to $20 for adults kids. As it is the last day to register we wanted to share with those of you who participate what organ donation can do for those in need and share some stories that we have featured in our runs throughout the years. You can also read additional stories and get updates about our events by clicking “Like” on our Facebook page. The following are stories as shared by donors, recipients, and family members:
“I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease (lymphoma) in 2004 when I was 20 years old. I underwent 12 months of chemotherapy and 15 treatments of radiation and was declared in remission in January 2005.
“Life was looking good again, and that year I got married and started back to school. I had a son in fall 2006, and a month after having him, both of my legs went numb. They contined to get worse and were so severe by December, I could only walk with a cane.
“After a series of scans, I found out I had a tumor on my spine and went in for emergency surgery. The following months were full of more chemotherapy and radiation. However, this time a bone marrow transplant was required to complete the treatment.
“I had an autologous bone marrow transplant — a process where I was my own donor — in March 2007. This treatment failed as my tumors reappeared that fall.
“The next option in my treatment was to undergo a much stronger round of chemotherapy and yet another bone marrow transplant. This transplant needed to be an allogeneic transplant — where an outside donor was needed.
“All my siblings were tested, and my brother Jake was the best match. On December 6, 2008, I received my brother’s stem cells.
“It was a miraculous day. Today it has been over a year since my allo transplant, I have fully engrafted all my brothers cells. My body is healing and my quality of life has improved immensely. I am lucky to be here today because of my loving donor who literally saved my life.”
–Whitney Brenchley Balls
While Whitney received her transplant, others are still waiting:
“Forrest Purser, a biomedical engineering student at USU, was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis when he was just 5 years old. The disease caused his liver to scar itself and now it is estimated 15 percent of Forrest’s liver is functioning. In March 2007, Forrest was finally put onto the liver transplant list and is still waiting to receive his life saving organ. Forrest is excited to have a fully functioning liver someday and is anxious to enjoy the benefits of a healthier life. He strongly encourages everyone to say “yes” to organ donation.”
–From Second Chance 5K Fun Run, 2008
“Christmas of 1999 would not be like the Christmas’s of the past. My brother, Carly Burton, was involved in a car accident on December 22, in Price, Utah. He was life flighted to LDS hospital due to his injuries. He was in a coma for eight days. His brain began to swell on the last day. He would die. Our parents were asked if they would like to donate his organs. His orgains, including his heart, could help others. Our parents did not hesitate. We knew how others could benefit from organ donation. Our uncle, Larry Kennick, had received two heart transplants and was waiting for a third when he passed away in February of 1998. Our parents donated Carly’s heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and corneas. On his drivers license Carly indicated he was an organ donor. Carly died on December 30, 1999.
“Two years later, in 2001, my parents were contacted by the mother of the recipient of Carly’s kidney and pancreas. Her name is Jennifer Lee Jones. We call her Jen. She had been on dialysis and was doing poorly due to diabetes. We met her later tha same year. It was wonderful to see what Carly’s gift had done for her. Jen was married in October of 2005 to Steve who used to driver her to dialysis in his cab. Their wedding was beautiful. We are now family. She is my sister and my parents are her parents. While nothing can replace Carly, it is nice to have something new to continue on in his place.”
–Sister of Carly Burton, 2006
Save a life. Say “yes” to organ donation. Don’t forget to register for this years Fun Run!