Thomas Park wrote -
I'm running a marathon! Yes, that's 26.2 miles of good old fashion fun. Since this is my first (and perhaps only) marathon, I wanted to do something big as a fundraiser, and I couldn't think of anything else I'd rather run for than the memory of my good friend and cousin/brother-in-Christ, Todd Sato.
Todd Shigeru Sato (April 15, 1980 – June 27, 2009)
Todd was born with a congenital heart defect commonly called “Blue Baby”, a cardiac defect that causes inadequate oxygenation of the blood. When he was 8 months old he received the “Mustard Operation” which transpositioned his arteries and kept him in relatively good health until his senior year in high school, when it was determined that he would need a heart transplant.
On July 10, 1998, Todd was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center where he received a new heart. He called the scar on his chest his “badge of honor”, and became an outspoken advocate for organ donation. He even braved the cold weather and rode on parade floats promoting organ donation. He served as an ambassador for the OneLegacy organization, talking to numerous organizations about transplants and the importance of organ & tissue donation.
In January 2009, the heart that treated Todd so well for a decade needed to be replaced, and he was preparing and looking forward to being on the waiting list for a new heart. In late June of that year, Todd and his mom had just come back from shopping and were watching TV when Todd suddenly collapsed. Unfortunately his heart could beat no longer and he passed away on June 27, 2009.
Todd was passionate about OneLegacy and Donate Life, a statewide organ and tissue donor registry. In his last effort to give back, he helped some people on the list. He was able to donate his tissues such as cornea and heart valves – this was most significant. He gave the gift of life as someone had given to him. One of Todd’s goals in life was to inspire others to join in the cause that he felt so passionate about, to donate organs to those who needed so that others may receive the gift of life that he received so many years ago.
Join with me as I run in memory of Todd and help raise funds for OneLegacy for both Family Care and Public Education. Family Care is directed to bereavement support to donor families, for their grief journey is just beginning once the donation process is complete. Public Education supports efforts to inspire the public to support organ and tissue donation and enroll in the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry.
For more information about Todd through the Donate Life California website: http://register.donatelifecalifornia.org/ToddSato
Thanks for helping me raise support in memory of Todd!