Greg Backstrom via Crowdrise
November 07, 2011
BENEFITING: LiveOnNY, Inc.
EVENT DATE: Nov 06, 2012
Last year, I ran the NYC Marathon to support Smile Train, and with the incredible support of friends and family, including a benefit concert with Brian and Ted Farley, David Gurland, and Rob Maitner, we were able to provide life changing cleft and palate surgeries for over 26 kids!
So now, NYC Marathon 2011. How can we top what we did in 2010? Don’t worry. I know times are tough, so I’m not asking you to give as generously as you did last year. In fact, I’m not asking for any money. Just your organs.
Less than two months after singing in the benefit concert during marathon weekend, David died suddenly of a massive brain hemorrhage. As many of you know, David was full of life – he was the life of the party, he laughed out loud (very loud), he was always singing, and he was one of the most caring people I knew. David’s sudden passing was a huge loss to so many people, but in the days spent at the hospital following the hemorrhage, I was witness to countless acts of kindness and strength. David’s final act was the kindest and most heroic of all. David was a registered organ donor, and his heart, kidneys, and liver were placed through the New York Organ Donor Network. David’s heart never stopped beating because he made the choice to keep life going.
I’m running the 2011 NYC Marathon to raise awareness for more people to become registered organ donors.
Did you know…?
- One person can save eight lives through organ donation (heart, 2 kidneys, 2 lungs, liver, pancreas, small intestine).
- In the United States, 18 people die everyday waiting for life saving organ transplants – in New York, someone dies every 13 hours waiting for an organ.
- Every 11 minutes a new name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
- In the United States, over 110,000 people need life-saving organ transplants. Despite this great need, there were only 7,943 deceased organ donors in 2010.
- In the greater New York metropolitan area, 8,000 people need life-saving organ transplants, yet in 2010 there were just 242 deceased organ donors in the area.
- In New York, only 16% of all eligible organ donors are registered organ donors. This is the second lowest percentage in the United States, second only to Texas.
So Greg, what can I do?
- Are you a registered organ donor? I thought I was, but I’ve learned that signing the back of your license is not enough. You must register at the DMV (and it will be noted with a heart on your license), or in New York you can do it online at www.donatelifeny.org (for all other states go to www.donatelife.net and it will take you to the registration site for your state). Because New York does not have an electronic signature, you still have to print out the authorization form, sign it, and mail it in. Do it!
- Yes, of course I’m a registered donor. Great! How about your friends and family? Your co-workers (yes, even that crazy secretary you try to avoid, who sings Rihanna songs – ask her!)? Your favorite bartender? If everyone gets at least one more registered organ donor in New York, it gives us a shot of distancing ourselves from Texas!
- The economy sucks, but you still want to donate money, just because that’s the type of person you are? Wow. Suggested donations of $26.20 made to the New York Organ Donor Network will support their public education programs about organ, tissue and eye donation. The major goal is to encourage all individuals age 18 and over to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry. To donate, visit my Crowdrise fundraising page at www.crowdrise.com/keeplifegoingnycmara/fundraiser/gregbackstrom.
- Report back! It’s all about awareness, so share your story on the facebook page (www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=252939528091115 )) ) and ) ) and tell everyone if you’re already registered, or better yet if you’ve gone ahead and registered or gotten someone else to, and that you’re dedicated to Keep Life Going!
Race day is Sunday, November 6! Details on pre and post race activities to come, but the first post-race drink is on me for all registered organ donors!
For a ton more information about organ donation, go to www.donatelifeny.org, which has great Q and A’s about organ donation. Also, don’t forget to like them on Facebook so that you can continue to spread the word!