2000 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 and 2000 Relays
to our friend and Organs 'R' Us founding member, Paul McVetty, who has waited for a
liver transplant for almost four years.
After developing weakness 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 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. In December
1999, Paul and his wife Minda adopted beautiful baby Lilly, intensifying
Paul's need for a life saving transplant.
A GIANT STEP FOR DONATION
As an All-American college pitcher, Lori Gardner, wife of San Francisco Giants
pitcher Mark Gardner, did not know that her athletic training would undergo a
dramatic change. After being diagnosed with liver cancer, Lori developed endurance
unfamiliar to most athletes as she trains on a daily basis to face a life threatening
illness. "Although I must endure another major surgery, the hardest part is
waiting for a donor," Lori said as she prepared for her second transplant.
During 20 hours of surgery in July 2000, Lori received her second
liver. "I want to show that the Giants are behind Organs 'R' Us," Lori said
as she and Mark prepare to promote the importance of organ donation during The
ORGANS 'R' US SUCCEEDS
by generating $5 million dollars in publicity regarding donation. From 1997-2000,
Captain Kelly Olmo (thirteen) led the Channel 5 Organs 'R' Us Kiddie Pede to
victory in the Bay to Breakers. Paul, Lori, and organ recipients Miranda
Ashland, Samantha Blair, Joe Gerigk, Jerome Shelton, and others represent 70,000
people 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Since half of the commitments to donate organs were rescinded by family members after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, education and family discussions are necessary
to solve this medical crisis. Please help Organs 'R' Us relay the message on donation.
Join Organs 'R' Us sponsors Providian Financial, Channel 5, SangStat,
Anomaly Design, UPS and Nordstrom in promoting donation by seeking per mile pledges.
Ask your company to match your entry fee with a tax deductible donation.
During the race, cheer for SangStat Grafters/Organs 'R'
Us runners and join emcee Nancy Fox, Lori and Mark Gardner, Sallee D'Anna
and others supporting Paul and those who wait. Paul is quick to offer
kind words and a big hug. Please save a life by considering donation
and communicating your wishes to your family. In the long run, organ donation