Taking the ‘Ride of Your Life’
Most Aspenites know the story of Chris Klug, who received a liver transplant and then went on to win a bronze medal in snowboarding at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Klug is a local guy with an extraordinary story, and his experience has made him a symbol for organ donors and recipients worldwide: a guy who got his “second chance” and went on to do great things.On Saturday, Klug’s new film, “Ride of Your Life,” will have its local premiere at the Wheeler Opera House. Sponsored by the Chris Klug Foundation, the film intertwines stories about Klug and two other organ transplant candidates waiting for their chances at new life. After the film, attendees can stick around for a free concert by the Coyote Gospel.We recommend people attend the event, especially those who aren’t familiar with Klug’s story, but the film’s local premiere gives us an opportunity to drive home Klug’s message about the importance of organ donation.According to Klug’s foundation, which promotes and supports organ donation, roughly 100,000 people across our country await a life-saving organ transplant. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough organs to go around. Each day, 17 people die while waiting for an organ. (Organdonor.gov reports 19 people per day.)Clearly this is a problem that any functioning, healthy Aspenite can help solve – by donating his organs and tissues at the time of his death. When you no longer have a need for that kidney, it may prove to be a life-saver for a transplant candidate.Aspen High School graduate Robbie Wade decided that he’d like to be a donor shortly after hearing Klug’s story, never thinking that something might happen. When the 19-year-old died as a result of a skateboarding accident in summer 2002, his family fulfilled his wishes and saved a number of lives in the process. How do you become an organ/tissue donor? Register with the Colorado Organ and Tissue Donor Registry at coloradodonorregistry.org. This is a centralized, confidential database of all the Coloradans who have decided to donate their organs and tissues when they die.Please consider adding your name to the list. It’s a service that most Roaring Fork Valley residents can perform without risk of any discomfort or inconvenience, and it could save someone else’s life.Such a donation helped put Chris Klug on the podium in Salt Lake, and the opportunity for a similar miracle exists with every new name on the registry.
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