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Paying it Forward in 2018

In 2018, families and friends of donors and transplant recipients hosted external events to raise awareness about the importance of donation, sharing their personal stories through unique events.

While each event maintains its own character, they share their stories to accomplish three things: honor their loved one or their loved one’s donor; inspire others to register as donors; and raise money to ensure the education and donor family support programs provided by LifeSource are available throughout our region. Over $68,000 was raised through outside events in 2018 – THANK YOU!

In this and future editions of our newsletter we plan to showcase these incredible people lending their energy to the cause and sharing their powerful stories.

Recycle Yourself 5K

The inspiration for this event came from two families in Dickinson, North Dakota. As noted on their Facebook page:

  • In January of 2013, The Theurer family suffered a tragic loss. Their son, brother, nephew and grandson Kevin, 20, passed away after a car accident. They made the choice of donating Kevin’s organs. Through that decision many lives were saved.
  • On September 3rd, 2015, The Torstenson family received a phone call that they waited 6 years to get; there was a donor kidney for Tyler. Because of that donation, Tyler received the gift of life on September 4th, 2015.
  • We want to bring awareness to the community about how important being an organ donor is. Two families in the Dickinson community have been impacted differently by organ donation. By coming together, we believe we can make a difference.

In a recent letter to LifeSource, Kevin’s sister, Courtney writes:

“That choice [to donate Kevin’s organs] has brought us so much peace and hope through his passing. We have gotten very close with one of Kevin’s recipients. Wally received Kevin’s lungs and has made the trip with his wife, Theresa, all the way from Minneapolis to be a part of all three 5K events. He has even been able to walk the whole 5K thanks to having a brand-new pair of lungs! … It’s pretty neat how our families have been brought together through Kevin’s gift.”

Plans are underway for the 4th Annual Recycle Yourself 5K in April 2019.

Pull for Papa Sporting Clay Tournament

On September 29, 2018, family and friends of James (Jim) Mueller gathered at the Wild Marsh Sporting Clays, just outside of Clearwater, Minnesota to take part in an activity that Jim loved – enjoying the great outdoors with people who meant the most to him. Despite unseasonably cold temperatures, this was a day for good-natured competition, supporting Jim’s family in their grief, and sharing the importance and the ultimate healing impact of organ donation for donor families as well as transplant recipients. Jim’s daughter, Alison, shared:

“It was our privilege to honor our Dad and support LifeSource’s mission through this event. The staff at LifeSource was amazingly respectful, compassionate, and supportive during an extraordinarily difficult time for our family.”

Learn more about hosting fundraising events. There you can find an Event Toolkit and descriptions of other event that have been hosted by friends and families in the past year.