Community Invited to Kick Off U.S. Transplant Games

WHAT: 5K Run/Walk for Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation to kick off the 2010 National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games®

WHEN: Saturday, July 31 at 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: Capitol Square in downtown Madison


MADISON - The entire community is invited to join the 7,500 visitors from all over the nation coming to Madison for the 2010 National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games® by participating in the inaugural 5K Run/Walk for Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation on Saturday, July 31 at 9:00 a.m.

The 5K Run/Walk is a way for everyone, not just members of the transplant and donation community, to get involved and raise awareness for the critical need for organ donation. In the U.S. more than 108,000 men, women and children are waiting for a life-saving organ donation. In Wisconsin, more than 1,500 still wait.

“On July 31st, when you say YES I WILL by running, walking or cheering from the sidelines, you will be saying that there is a way to ‘end the wait’ for those who are sick and need a transplant,” said Cindy Huber, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin.

The U.S. Transplant Games are a biennial, Olympic-style event, which began in 1990 and will be held in Madison July 30 – August 4, 2010. The event is a way to not only encourage rehabilitation benefits for transplant recipients, but it is also a unique opportunity for those recipients, along with living donors and donor family members, to gather together and celebrate the gift of life they’ve received, given or watched a loved one give.

“I know firsthand how life changing organ donation is because I donated a kidney to my brother several years ago,” said Jack Salzwedel, President and Chief Operating Officer of American Family Insurance, sponsor of the 5K Run/Walk. “I’d encourage anyone who is interested to attend these events and support the athletes and living donors, and remember those who passed away.”

The 5K Run/Walk gives everyone a chance to celebrate life. At the end of the Run/Walk there will be finish line festivities, sponsored by the Madison Area Lions and Lioness Clubs, including entertainment and awards, food and beverage and a pin trading area.

The deadline to preregister online for $20 is Friday, July 16. To register, go to and click on the run/walk dot. Participants can still register the day of the event for $30.

YES I WILL WISCONSIN t-shirts can also be purchased online and participants are encouraged to sport their spirit by wearing the t-shirt for the event.

The 5K Run/Walk for Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation will be an incredible experience for the entire community.

“You will see for yourself the living definition of a ‘second chance at life,’” said Huber about the event.