Red Shoe Run for Donor Awareness April 12 at NIU-Rockford

Staff Report

The annual Red Shoe Run for Donor Awareness will begin at 8 a.m., Saturday, April 12, at NIU-Rockford, 8500 E. State St.

The event is held every April to celebrate National Donate Life Month, increase donations of organs, tissue, eye, blood and marrow, and to raise money.

The event includes a competitive 5K run with prizes in 17 age divisions, non-competitive fitness walk, awards ceremony and inspirational program. Those interested in participating or making a pledge can visit or call (815) 398-9628.

Money raised at the Red Shoe Run pays for tissue typing those who join the Be The Match Registry with the Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC).

Every year, thousands of patients are diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, genetic disorders, sickle cell disease, immune deficiencies and more than 70 other life-threatening diseases that can be successfully treated with a marrow cell transplant. A matched donor must be available for patients to receive the medical treatment that could cure them. Only 30 percent of these patients will find a match in their family, while 70 percent look to the Be The Match Marrow Registry hoping to find a match. About 12,000 patients need a transplant and don’t have a family match. Those interested may join the registry at any RRVBC location or drive, or can visit and click the “Marrow Program” tab to join online.

Every week, the RRVBC must collect 1,000 units of blood to save the lives of area families, friends and neighbors. A single donation can help save up to three lives. Blood is only available for surgeries, accident victims and those who need it if people take the time to donate. Schedule an appointment to give blood at or call the RRVBC at (815) 965-8751.

Organ, tissue and eye donors save and restore lives. More than 120,000 people are waiting for an organ in the United States. Eighteen patients die every day because of the shortage of organ donors. More than 1 million tissue transplant surgeries take place every year in the U.S., restoring movement and sight and alleviating debilitating pain. Say “Yes” when asked to join your state’s organ and tissue donor registry, or go to and click on your state. To register with Illinois’ Organ & Tissue Donor Registry, visit

Pledges are the key to fund-raising for the Red Shoe Run. Make a donation first, and then ask family and friends to support your efforts in the run or walk through monetary donations.

All pledge money must be turned in prior to the race. Grand prizes will be awarded to the top individual fund-raiser. Special prizes will be given to individuals for pledges totaling $100, $200, $300 and $500.

From the April 9-15, 2014 issue

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