SOURCE: OneLegacy

OneLegacy

April 11, 2016 13:14 ET

Organ Transplant Recipients Will Gather in Guinness World Records Title Attempt at the Donate Life Run/Walk & Family Festival

14th Annual Run/Walk Honors Those Touched by Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation, Inspires Southland Residents to Donate Life

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - April 11, 2016) - Building on more than a decade of bringing the Southland community together around the life-saving cause of organ, eye and tissue donation, the Donate Life Run/Walk & Family Festival is poised to achieve a new milestone this year on April 30, 2016 by setting a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the largest gathering of organ transplant recipients in one location.

Sara Castro, who celebrates the 25th anniversary of her heart transplant this year, will be among the more than 400 recipients gathered at Cal State Fullerton this month participating in the record attempt. "Without the generosity of an organ donor, I wouldn't be here today," said Castro.

A gathering of more than 400 organ recipients would be a significant and rare feat. In 2014, the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement for the largest number of heart transplant recipients in one location was set in Durham, North Carolina with a gathering of 189 people. But if the group of heart, lung, kidney, pancreas, intestine and liver transplant recipients assembled at the Donate Life Run/Walk is successful, the milestone will be the first of its kind on record.

The Run/Walk, now in its 14th year, attracts more than 12,000 people organized into hundreds of donor family teams, 100 teams representing local hospitals and dozens of other groups and supporters -- making this event the largest of its kind in the country.

"My family and friends have the opportunity to get together and honor my donor and the second chance at life he gave me," said organ recipient and returning participant John Whalen. "Not only that, but we get to be with other donors and donor families to honor and support them. It's very important to me to do that."

Whalen added, "My inspiration comes from the fact that not everyone is lucky enough to receive an organ. The awareness that the Run/Walk brings lets people know the importance of registering to be a donor."

The mission of the Donate Life Run/Walk & Family Festival is to inspire and educate the community about organ, eye and tissue donation and encourage people to register as a donor. The local family who founded the event share a personal connection to the cause: Craig Hostert received a kidney from living donor and wife Kathleen, and a second kidney from their son, Justin.

The Donate Life Run/Walk is produced by OneLegacy, the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven Southern California counties.

"More than 22,000 Californians are currently awaiting the donation of a life-saving heart, liver, kidney, lung or pancreas, while thousands more are in need of donated bone, skin, tissue and corneas," said Tom Mone, CEO of OneLegacy. "But there is hope. If enough of our fellow Californians make the generous decision to become organ and tissue donors, these lives can be saved and healed."

All proceeds from the Donate Life Run/Walk benefit the OneLegacy Foundation, which conducts public education efforts to inspire people to choose donation and funds research to improve outcomes for donors, their families and recipients.

Individuals and teams can register to participate in the Run/Walk at www.donateliferunwalk.org, where information is also available for transplant recipients interested in joining the record attempt.

To register as a donor, please visit www.donatelifecalifornia.org or www.donevidacalifornia.org.

About OneLegacy
OneLegacy is the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. Serving more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers and a diverse population of nearly 20 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the world. For more information, call OneLegacy at (800) 786-4077 or visit www.onelegacy.org.

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