By Wakisha Bailey

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There were lots of runners out Sunday morning, including some raising awareness about one of the most impactful donations: The Gift of Life. Thousands of Donor Dash runners raised awareness about the power of organ and tissue donations. 

“To really showcase transplantation that works,” Richard Hasz, the CEO of Gift of Life, said.

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This year, donor recipient Brian Rath is celebrating his 10 year anniversary of receiving a liver transplant.  

Thousands Of Runners Participate In Gift Of Life Donor Dash In Philadelphia For First Time Since 2019

“I was told if I made it past five years, then my life could be a normal life expectancy,” Rath said. “I’ve made it past five years now.” 

If you weren’t running, you were walking.  

“I’m a proud donor mom,” Dawn Ortiz said.

Donor families held beautiful and heartfelt signs in memory of those who gave the gift of life like Ricky.  

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“He was a cornea tissue donor, and we couldn’t be more proud of him and the decision he made,” Ortiz said.

Thousands Of Runners Participate In Gift Of Life Donor Dash In Philadelphia For First Time Since 2019

Ortiz has been volunteering for years and every year she’s grateful her son’s organs gave someone else another chance at life. Similar to Carol McCloud’s family.  

“He was able to save four people with his gift of life,” McCloud said.

As these donor families were starting their walk, others were finishing their race like Amy Yanack, who will continue to pay it forward in honor of her father, Leo. And she’s hoping others will follow.  

 “It can change someone’s life,” Yannack said. “I’m thankful.” 

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“There’s no reason not to say yes…you get a chance to live twice,” she added.

Wakisha Bailey