April 15, 2013
12,000 Participants Expected at Donate Life Run/Walk on April 27 at Cal State Fullerton
Thousands of Donor Families and Transplant Recipients to be Joined by “Bean,” KROQ Morning Personality and Living Kidney Donor
Marking its 11th year, the annual Donate Life Run/Walk is gearing up for another blockbuster event on the morning of Saturday, April 27, at Cal State Fullerton to inspire people to become organ, eye and tissue donors. This program is the largest of its kind in the nation and caps April’s National Donate Life Month observances throughout the Southland. More than 12,000 supporters are expected to join founders Kathleen and Craig Hostert (Fullerton), who have a personal celebration this year: Craig’s kidney transplant on Dec. 11, which was donated by his 23-year-old son Justin.
The Hosterts will be joined for the first time by longtime radio celebrity Gene “Bean” Baxter (from KROQ’s Kevin & Bean) and his friend and colleague Scott Mason, the station’s chief station engineer. Bean offered his kidney to Scott after seeing how he had been affected by kidney failure. The transplant took place last November, and now Bean and Scott will walk with their fans as “TEAM BEAN” on April 27.
“We thought the Donate Life Run/Walk’s tenth year was significant, but this year could be even bigger because of what it means to us and families like ours,” said Kathleen and Craig Hostert. “There is no greater gift than the gift of life, whether it comes from a living donor such as a friend or family member, a deceased donor, or an altruistic donor who simply recognizes that almost anyone can donate a kidney and help someone in need. We are thrilled to have Bean and Scott with us this year along with more than 220 donor family teams and dozens of teams organized by hospitals, community partners, and transplant recipients. We also thank our returning sponsors whose contributions make the Donate Life Run/Walk possible.”
The Donate Life Run/Walk raises funds to advance the mission of OneLegacy Foundation to ensure more people receive successful transplants in a shorter time and also honor the organ and tissue donors whose gifts make this possible.
The event features a variety of entertainment, recreation, food, and shopping in a festival atmosphere with almost 80 exhibitors. The presenting sponsor is Moss Adams, LLP, the 11th largest accounting and consulting firm in the U.S., which has a multi-year commitment to the event. Returning sponsors include W.L. Butler Construction, Inc. in Irvine; Vons Stores; and St. Joseph Hospital of Orange.
Elected officials and businesses from more than 40 cities across the Southland will participate in the event; many have proclaimed April as DMV/National Donate Life in answer to the organizers’ “Mayor-athon” challenge. State officials who are expected to attend include: Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (Fullerton area), Senators Bob Huff (Dist. 29) and Lou Correa (Santa Ana), and Congressman Ed Royce (Fullerton). Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson has supported the program since its inception.
“The Donate Life Run/Walk highlights a month of events to focus attention on the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donors,” stated Tom Mone, CEO and executive vice president of OneLegacy, the non-profit, federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization serving the seven-county greater Los Angeles area, and OneLegacy Foundation, the agency’s charitable arm. “Together with our many donation partners in our diverse communities, we achieved a major milestone with the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry enrolling ten million designated donors statewide.”
Among the hundreds of teams forming for this year’s Run/Walk are:
- “Team Leslie” – Christina Tolentino-Baldridge (Long Beach) has started a team for her sister in-law, Leslie Baldridge, who is in desperate need of four organs: liver, small bowel, pancreas, and a kidney.
- “Hayden’s Halos” – Michelle Meier (Rancho Santa Margarita) honors her 14-year-old son Hayden, who became a donor after being killed by a truck;
- “Team Rhythm Heroes” – Jason Dang (Van Nuys) received a heart transplant nine months ago. This is the first time he will be able to run since he was 14;
- “Team Erma” – Daughter Darlene Reynoso (Alhambra) honors her mother Erma Saldate, who became a donor in 2012 and whose kidneys saved a brother and sister.
- “Be a Donor” – Bea Schweder (Yorba Linda) received a heart transplant in 1999, six weeks before her young husband died suddenly from heart failure and became a tissue donor.
Returning this year to highlight the post-walk Family Festival will be Grammy Award-winning pop group All-4-One, who will perform their classic “I Swear” as well as “When I Needed an Angel,” dedicated to a fan who was waiting for a liver transplant.
For more information about the featured participants, founders, or to register to participate in the Donate Life Run/Walk, please visit www.donateliferunwalk.org. For information about OneLegacy, the non-profit organ and tissue recovery agency serving the seven-county greater Los Angeles area, and the OneLegacy Foundation, visit www.onelegacy.org. To register as a donor, please visit www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org.