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24th Annual Dash: Racing to Save Lives

24th Annual Gift of Life Donor Dash Draws 14,000, Raises $600,000

April 23, 2019

Philadelphia, PA – More than 5,000 men, women and children in Gift of Life Donor Program’s region are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Runners and walkers from across the tri-state area joined together April 14 in their name to raise awareness and support for organ donation. 

The 24th Annual Donor Dash drew 14,000 dedicated Dashers and raised $600,000 to support Gift of Life outreach programs to educate the community about the significant need to register more organ and tissue donors.  Individuals who missed the Dash, but still want to donate, can visit donordash.org.

“When it comes down to it, no city has more heart than the City of Brotherly Love. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support for the Dash and for the many thousands of people who ran and walked in support of organ and tissue donation. This is a tremendous way to stand up for the thousands of families waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. And it is a heartwarming tribute to the people we have lost, including many who gave others the gift of life,” said Howard M. Nathan, Gift of Life Donor Program President and CEO. “I hope everyone who hears about this weekend’s events will be inspired to take a few moments and register as an organ donor at donors1.org.” 

10k runners run through the starting line at the 24th Annual Donor Dash.

On average, 20 people die each day in the United States while waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. The Donor Dash, founded in 1996, was created to raise awareness about this critical need, to increase the number of registered organ and tissue donors. 

The 24th Annual Donor Dash offered several course options for participants so people of all fitness levels could get involved: a 5K Run, a 10K Run and a 3K Walk.  The Dash began at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and continued along Martin Luther King Drive, a USA Track and Field certified course. A popular event was the Kid’s Fun Run, for children six years old and younger.

The Dash capped a weekend of events with Gift of Life. On Friday, buildings and bridges across the city were lit up in blue and green – the official colors of organ donation awareness – as part of National Donate Life Blue and Green Day. Buildings included the Ben Franklin Bridge, the BYN Mellon Center, Two Liberty Place, the Cira Centre Towers, and more.On Saturday, Dash participants joined a picnic at the Gift of Life Family House to pick up their race packets. And on Sunday, April 14, “Dash Day,” Mayor Jim Kenney proclaimed April 2019 to be National Donate Life Month in the City of Philadelphia.

Children six years old and younger participated in the Kids Fun Run.

The Dash has grown significantly over the past two decades. In its first year, just 800 people participated. The event first began as a result of Claire Braverman’s wish to honor her husband, Mickey, who passed away while waiting for a liver transplant.  Claire wanted to turn her grief into something positive, so she organized the first-ever Dash in his memory 23 years ago.  

The Dash would not be possible without the strong support from its sponsors.

  • Presenting Sponsor: Community Tissue Services
  • Platinum Sponsors: 
  • Einstein Healthcare Network, Glenmede Trust Company, MTF Biologics, and Warner Benefits
  • Diamond Sponsors: 
  • Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Temple Health and Venture Jets
  • Bronze Sponsors: 
  • Bridge to Life, Jefferson, CSL Behring, Main Line Health, NORA, Penn State Health Transplant Surgery, Penn Transplant Institute, Quick Courier, VRL, Eurofins Pre-Transplant Testing
  • Kids Fun Run Sponsor: 
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 
  • Supporting Sponsors:
  • Abington – Jefferson Health, CareDx, Inc., Christiana Care Health System Kidney Transplant Program, CTI Clinical Trial & Consulting, Lehigh Valley Health Network, SightLife, Veloxis Pharmaceuticals Inc, Waters Medical Systems, LLC
  • Patrons:AmeriHealth Caritas, Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., Coim, Cornerstone Institutional Investors, Inc., Cozen O’Connor, CryoLife, Inc., International Transplant Nurse Society, LifeNet Health, Organ Recovery Systems, Sanofi Genzyme, Scott Honda of West Chester
  • Media and Community Partners: 6abc, iHeart Radio/WDAS FM, KYW Newsradio 1060, 96.5 FM, The Inquirer, Ceisler Media, Philadelphia Runner, Black Girls Run, Rita’s, The Bishop’s Collar, La Calaca Feliz, London Grill, Jack’s Firehouse, Le Pain Quotidien, Sabrina’s Café, Urban Farmer, Power Crunch, Wegman’s, SPIN

Click here to see photos from the 24th Annual Donor Dash.

If you’d like to use any photos, please attribute them to the Gift of Life Donor Program. 

About Gift of Life Donor Program

Gift of Life Donor Program is the non-profit, federally-designated organ procurement organization, serving 11.2 million people across Delaware, southern New Jersey and the eastern half of Pennsylvania. Its annual donation rate ranks among the highest in the world. Since 1974, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 47,000 life-saving organs for transplant, and approximately one million tissue transplants have resulted from the generosity of donors and their families.  One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and a tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 75 others. For more information or to register, visit donors1.org. 

About the Gift of Life Donor Dash

The Dash began with a group of only 800 people, as a result of Claire Braverman’s wish to honor her husband, Mickey, who passed away while waiting for a liver transplant.  Claire wanted to turn her grief into something positive, so she organized the first-ever Donor Dash in his memory.  Today, the Dash continues to honor Mickey, donors and donor families – and the more than 5,000 men, women and children in Gift of Life’s region who are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant.

Consider saying YES to saving lives. Register to be an organ donor today.