On a mission | AspenTimes.com

On a mission

Dear Editor:

I will be one of the hardy souls participating in the 2009 Summit for Life race on Saturday. The event is to support the Chris Klug Foundation in its efforts to promote education and awareness about organ and tissue donation. The event 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 I will be celebrating my 10th anniversary of the transplant. And what 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 100,000 people in this country are waiting for the gift of life through organ donation; more than 2,000 live in Colorado and Wyoming. One deceased donor can save eight lives, and 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 go to http://www.summitforlife.org and select sponsor a racer and then 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. On the Summit for Life website are other ways to participate, so please check it out at http://www.summitforlife.org.

“With more than 100,000 people currently on the national transplant waiting list, we feel that a fun and educational event like Summit for Life will help us move toward our goal of ‘eliminating the wait,'” said Morgan Ilika, the executive director of the Chris Klug Foundation. “Getting out, getting active, and having some fun while supporting organ donor awareness are all parts of the Chris Klug Foundation’s mission, and what better place than the Aspen to hold such a fun weekend of events!”

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Thank you for your time, and please sign an organ donor card and let your family know your wishes.

Michael Wells

Aspen