An anniversary of life | AspenTimes.com

An anniversary of life

Dear Editor:Recently, I accepted the 2006 Aspen Summit For Life challenge. I will be one of the hardy souls to participate in the Dec. 2 Storm the Stars race. The event is to promote education and awareness about organ and tissue donation. The event is also emphasizes the fact the transplant recipients and living donors can, and do, lead healthy, active lives.I have a unique perspective of this event because on Dec. 2, 1999, I received a liver transplant at the University of Washington, so this day will be my seventh anniversary of the transplant. What a better way to celebrate than be an active participant to show that organ donation does work? Without the transplant I would not be here to participate and enjoy the paradise that we live in, and the aches and pains that result after the race.More than 93,000 people in this country are waiting for the gift of life through organ donation; more than 1,600 live in Colorado and Wyoming. One deceased donor can save eight lives; 18 people die preventable deaths every day due to shortage of available organs. Both living and deceased donation makes the difference in determining who will be given the gift that allows them to summit everyday challenges.Please join me in the fight to save lives through organ donation, and enhance the lives of many others through tissue donation. To pledge your support with a tax-deductible contribution to fund education and awareness programs throughout Colorado, go to my.summitforlife.org and select “Sponsor a Racer,” select a racer’s name, and donate. There are several local people who are going to participate and, of course, I will be glad to accept any donations under my name, Michael Wells. If you do not want to donate online you can send a check to the American Transplant Foundation, 410 17th St., Suite 2200, Denver, CO 80202. Also at the Summit For Life website there are other ways to participate in the event, so check it out.Thank you for your time and support for promoting organ and tissue donation.Michael WellsAspen

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