BOULDER, Colo. — More than 50,000 runners and walkers will fill the streets of Boulder on Memorial Day for the running of the BOLDERBoulder. Many of those people will be first-time participants, but others will be running their fifth, tenth, or even 41st races.
“It’s just a fun event and I love it. It’s a great way to stay in shape,” said Kathy Lynch.
Kathy will be running her twelfth BOLDERBoulder this year, but this time around, it’s got a special meaning all because of something that happened back in January.
“I got a phone call right when I came home and they said, ‘We have a liver. You have to come in for surgery,’ and I was shocked and I couldn’t believe it,” she remembered.
Five years ago, Kathy was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), a rare autoimmune disease that destroyed the bile ducts of her liver. She had been on the list for a new liver ever since.
“The doctors are surprised at how well I’m doing,” she said. “They feel I’m ahead of schedule as far as recovery goes.”
Kathy was one of 378 Coloradans waiting for a new liver. Across the state, just under 2,000 people are waiting for transplants; 1,540 are waiting specifically for kidney transplants.
“When they get this new organ, it’s almost like getting a new life and they are able to continue on with what they used to love and do before,” Donor Alliance’s Brianna DiPilato said. “You can go run races. You can do whatever you did before.”
Kathy and her family expect that it may take her a bit longer this year to cross the finish line, but they say it’s going to be very special when she gets there.
Not only will she be doing it with a smile on her face, but she will be doing it with a ring on her finger inscribed with the date of her transplant.
“It reminds me every day of the donor who donated and his family,” Kathy said. “I’m so grateful and I’ll be thinking of them all.”
For more information on how to become an organ donor, visit the Donor Alliance webpage and click on "Become a Donor" in the upper left corner.