2003 DEDICATION TO GILDA, DAVID AND GREG
Through Organs ‘R’ Us, The Relay promotes donation. 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. The 1999 and 2000 Relays were
dedicated to Paul McVetty who waited in vain four years for a liver. The 2001 and
2002 Relays were dedicated to Nicholas Green who donated his organs to
seven Italians. The 2003 Relay is dedicated to Gilda Vallente, David Mehran and Greg
GILDA WAITS FOR A KIDNEY
After coughing for several months, 35-year-old Gilda was devastated to learn that
her kidneys were failing. With nine hours of dialysis daily, Gilda's body
runs a marathon every day to survive. Gilda's brother and two sisters in the
Philippines considered donating a kidney, but failed to match. Although she tires
easily, Gilda and her husband Raaj Gopal, work at Home Depot. To promote organ
donation, Raaj will run on team Organs 'R' Us.
TEAM DEAN RUNS FOR DAVID
At two months, David Mehran of Bulingame was found to have biliary atresia. At
eight months, one week before the 2002 Relay, David was admitted to the intensive
care unit at Packard Children's Hospital with liver failure. As "Team Dean"
Karnazes of San Francisco began his solo 199-mile run dedicated to David, Ardeshir
Mehran prepared to donate part of his liver to his dying son. Six days after Dean
crossed the finish, David recieved a liver from a three-year-old boy. David
represents 2,500 children in the US waiting for organ donors.
GREG HOLDS THE RECORD
for completing the most marathons after receiving a heart transplant. On October 26,
1992 in Cincinnati, Ohio, doctors told Greg's family that he would not survive
another 24 hours. Later that day, a stranger's family saved 38-year-old Greg's
life by donating a loved one's heart. Greg's Olympic determination has carried
him through heart failure and lymphoma and now, across the country, to inspire
others by runnng on the Organs 'R' Us team.
ORGANS 'R' US RELAYS THE MESSAGE
by generating $20 million in publicity promoting donation through athletics. From
1997 - 2003, the Organs ‘R’ Us Kiddie Pede (ages 1 - 15) ran to victory in the
Bay to Breakers and other events.
DISCUSS ORGAN DONATION WITH YOUR FAMILY
Seek per-mile pledges and ask your company to match your entry fee with a tax-
deductible donation to Organs ‘R’ Us. Encourage beginners to raise
$1,000 in the Organs 'R' Us "Learn to Run, Save a Life" program.
HELP SAVE 18 AMERICANS WHO DIE EVERYDAY WAITING FOR ORGANS
In the long run, organ donation saves lives.