1999 DEDICATION TO PAUL MCVETTY
Through Organs 'R' Us, The Relay promotes awareness about
the critical shortage of organ donors. The transfer of the baton from runner
to runner symbolizes the transfer of an organ from donor to recipient. The
1997 and 1998 Relays were dedicated to three-year-old Delaney Corbitt who
waited since birth for a kidney transplant. We dedicate the 1999 Relay to our
friend and Organs 'R' Us founding member, Paul McVetty, who has waited for a
liver transplant for almost three years. Paul has endurance training that many
athletes do not understand because he trains daily to face a life threatening
After developing extreme lethargy in 1992, Paul was diagnosed with Hepatitis C,
which infects more that five million Americans. Over the next four years, the
virus destroyed Paul's liver. Since the virus can incubate for 25 years, it is
likely that Paul became infected while using intravenous drugs as a teenager.
In addition to being drug free for over 20 years, Paul has worked with others
struggling to lead healthy lives as a counselor for teenagers in drug rehabilitation
programs and supporting AIDS patients through the Shanti Project.
Although he can no longer run, Paul promotes awareness about the
shortage of donated organs as a dedicated Organs 'R' Us volunteer. "I want to give now
to the community so that I feel good about receiving when someone donates their liver
to me," Paul explains with a glowing smile. Paul and his loving wife Minda, are in the
process of adopting their first child and Minda is being evaluated to donate part of
her liver to Paul.
After her kidneys were damaged by blood clots before birth, Delaney's body ran a
marathon daily just to survive. Miraculously, on August 29, 1997, Delaney received a
gift of life from seven-year-old Alexandria who was struck by a car while riding her
bicycle. Knowing that Alexandria's organs would save other children, the Cotti family
brought life from tragedy through donation. On September 20, 1997, while runners
crossed The Relay finish line, President Clinton signed a Relay shirt for Delaney at
ORGANS 'R' US
In 1997, 1998 and 1999, Captain Kelly Olmo (age twelve, liver recipient) led the
Channel 5 Organs 'R' Us Kiddie Pede to victory in the Bay to Breakers. Centipede
members Paul, Delaney, Samantha Blair (age seven, liver recipient) and others
represent 60,000 people (including 2,000 children) in the US waiting for transplants.
Sadly, of those waiting, half will die before an organ becomes available.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Since half of the commitments to donate organs were rescinded by family members after
a potential donor's untimely passing, increased awareness, education and family
discussions are necessary to solve this medical crisis. Join Organs 'R' Us sponsors
Providian Financial, Channel 5, SangStat, Anomaly Design, ColorTone Digital and
Nordstrom in promoting organ donation. During the race, cheer for Team Organs 'R'
Us/SangStat Grafters and offer support to Paul, Delaney, Kelly, Samantha, the Cotti
family, Nancy Fox (heart lung recipient) and others. Paul is quick to offer kind words
and a big hug. Talking with Paul will change your life. Please save a life by
considering donation and communicating your wishes to your family.