FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 9, 2011

Contact: Anastasia Darwish, Executive Director
American Transplant Foundation
anastasia@americantransplantfoundation.org
(303) 757-0959

 Double-lung recipient runs with marathon team to support other transplant patients

Runs in Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon with Transplant Leadership Council team, proving lung recipients can still be athletes

(DENVER, CO) – Everyone agrees that running requires a healthy set of lungs.  Today, double-lung transplant recipient Gavin Maitland proved that they do not have to be the lungs you were born with.

Maitland and twelve teammates of the Transplant Leadership Council (TLC) charity team ran the half-marathon relay, half-marathon, or full-marathon of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver event today.  All are raising funds to provide emergency financial assistance to other transplant patients across the country through the TLC. Maitland ran the first leg – 7.8 miles – of the half-marathon relay.

“This was the longest run since my transplant.  I ran the Bolder Boulder this year, but this was the first time I went beyond 10K with my new lungs,” said Maitland.  “I had to really push myself, but I know I can go a lot further with more training.”

As an active advocate for organ and tissue donation, Maitland hopes to draw attention to the tragically long transplant waiting list.  But his main reasons for running are far more personal: stay healthy, and make the most of the gift he received.

“I’ve always enjoyed running, and it’s a great way to stay healthy.  When I run, every step I take, I feel my breath and it reminds me how grateful I am to breath.  Before I got my transplant, it was so hard to breath for such a long time.”

Another member of the team is local chiropractor and fitness expert Jeff Stripling, who donated one of his kidneys to his father two years ago. To prove that you can become a living organ donor without limiting yourself, Stripling plans to run the Leadville 100 mile Ultramarathon next year.  He ran the full-marathon today as part of his training program.

“I want to shatter the myths about living organ donation,” said Dr. Stripling.  “Donating a kidney to my father was one of the greatest events of my life, and I have continued to play sports, run, climb, hike, and lift weights.  I’ll bet that nobody who saw me running today would think that it’s holding me back.”

TLC is a young professionals organization that assists the American Transplant Foundation in the mission to reduce the growing list of men, women and children who are awaiting a lifesaving transplant.  For more information about TLC, please visit www.americantransplantfoundation.org.

The American Transplant Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that works to increase the donation of organs and tissue to reduce the growing list of men, women and children who are awaiting a lifesaving transplant.

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