PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ten-thousand people hit the pavement Sunday for the 24th annual Donor Dash at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to honor those who gave the gift of life to someone in need.

The run/walk is sponsored by the Gift of Life program to raise funds and awareness for organ and tissue donations.

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Many of Sunday’s participants were walking with gratitude for their donor, while others were honoring the memory of a loved one.

“I’ve made it my mission to recognize my donor, the hero who saved my life,” Derek Fitzgerald said.

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The donor dash also aims to educate people on the importance of becoming donors.

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According to the Gift of Life, more than 5,000 people in the region are waiting for a life-saving transplant.

(Credit: CBS3)

Up until last year, Dr. Neal Stansbury was one of them.

“I was on the list for three years before I got a heart, had a few weeks to live,” Stansbury said.

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The orthopedic surgeon, who gives others a new lease on life, is thankful he can get back to being active again.

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“It’s exciting,” Stansbury said. “I’m here today because someone else made the ultimate sacrifice.”