Tag Archives: Summit For Life

Aspen Event to Promote Organ and Tissue Donation

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The 7th Annual Summit for Life Event in Aspen on Dec. 7-8 will raise money and awareness for organ and tissue donation. I participated last year and many of you made donations in my honor. This is a great event, full of energy and enthusiasm to celebrate second chances. My husband was given a second chance four years ago. Below is a video from the event last year. See if you can spot my cameo appearance.

This year, I’m making my donation in honor of Chris Klug. In 2000 Chris received a life saving liver donation and then went on to win a bronze medal in the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Games. When my husband was waiting for his liver transplant and heard about Chris’s story, he was motivated and hopeful. Chris gave John the hope and drive to get through the ordeal. Since meeting Chris and participating last year, I can say he’s one hell of a guy. His enthusiasm for life is infectious. Being a part of Summit For Life last year was fun and exhilarating. It is a celebration of life.

Today Chris heads the Chris Klug Foundation, which promotes donor awareness and puts on great events such as Summit For Life. Today 116,000 people are waiting for lifesaving organ donation. One donor can save 8 lives through organ donation and enhance 100 lives through tissue donation. 90% of Americans support organ and tissue donation, but only 30% take the necessary steps to becoming a donor. Thanks to people like Chris Klug, this is changing.

Please visit Chris’s donation page and support the cause.

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Weekly High-Five Report: Summit for Lifers

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Enjoying that post-climb high with CFK Executive Director Jenny Dziura and Chris Klug at the top of Aspen Mountain

As you might already know, I raced in the Summit for Life event at Aspen this weekend to raise money for the Chris Klug Foundation. The mission of CKF is to raise awareness for tissue and organ donation. With their Donor Dudes program, they aim to educate every young person getting their driver’s license to check the box for organ donation.

Every ten minutes another person is put on the national organ waiting list. That waiting list currently has 112,000 critically ill patients on it. 18 people will die today waiting for an organ. When John needed a liver, his only option was a live donor, because the wait for a deceased donor would be too long. He had only 120 days after cancer treatment, and the waiting list was two years.

One donor can save 8 lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of 100 others through tissue donation. Today with cutting edge surgical techniques, more and more lives can be saved. But it takes donors.

Crossing the Finish Line

Becoming an organ donor is a final gift of life. Chris Klug received a liver 11 years ago and went on to become an Olympic medalist in snowboarding. He believes in second chances, and so do I. Two particularly inspiring participants joined together on Saturday night and raced together–one received a life-saving organ donation, the other was a family member of the deceased donor.

Chris is an inspiring leader. His charisma is heartfelt and his compassion is blinding. This year 500 racers and riders supported the Summit for Life event in which competitors raced to the top of Aspen Mountain by the light of the full moon. When the evening ended, after the awards ceremony in which Keegan Swirbul won with an impressive time of 46:31, after Chris gave an inspirational speech, I rode the gondola down alone. The moon shone high in the sky, lighting the Roaring Fork Valley in splendor, I felt inspired and blessed. Three and a half years ago, my husband got a second chance. And thanks to Chris and his foundation, many more lives will be saved.

Here’s a high-five to my awesome sponsors (I personally raised $600), the 500 racers, the 40 volunteers, the race coordinators, Chris, Missy and Bali Klug, Warren and Kathy Klug and all of the CKF team. If you ever doubt that a small group of committed people can make a difference, join me next time for the Summit for Life.  I’ll be back for sure.

Last Chance to Sponsor me in Summit For Life

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The Summit for Life is a weekend celebration of donor awareness activities in Aspen, Colorado centered around a nighttime uphill race benefiting the Chris Klug Foundation. The 6th Annual Summit for Life event goes off this weekend, December 9th and 10th, and I couldn’t be more excited. Combine a rando rally with the chance to save lives through organ donation, and you have two of the most precious aspects of my life combined in one awesome event. As a racer and participant, I’m trying to raise $500. Help me raise funds by clicking on my fundraising page.

Founded in 2003 by liver transplant recipient and Olympic Medalist snowboarder Chris Klug, the Chris Klug Foundation is dedicated to promoting lifesaving donation and improving the quality of life for donors, donor families, organ transplant candidates and recipients.

It’s a great cause and a great opportunity to save lives while participating in an awesome event. Anyone interesting in racing or attending any of the other awesome weekend events, check out the Summit for Life website. High-five!

Here’s the video from last year’s event. Now that it’s getting closer, I’m hoping I can keep up at that altitude. Regardless is a great event for a great cause. Besides, today is my birthday. Instead of sending me a gift, which I know all of you were about to do, go to my fundraising page and support tissue donation. You rock.

Summit For Life: Raising funds for tissue and organ donation

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The Summit for Life is a weekend celebration of donor awareness activities in Aspen, Colorado centered around a nighttime uphill race benefiting the Chris Klug Foundation. The 6th Annual Summit for Life event goes off in Aspen December 9th and 10th, and I couldn’t be more excited. Combine a rando rally with the chance to save lives through organ donation, and you have two of the most precious aspects of my life combined in one awesome event. As a racer and participant, I’m trying to raise $500. Help me raise funds by clicking on my fundraising page.

Founded in 2003 by liver transplant recipient and Olympic Medalist snowboarder Chris Klug, the Chris Klug Foundation is dedicated to promoting lifesaving donation and improving the quality of life for donors, donor families, organ transplant candidates and recipients.

It’s a great cause and a great opportunity to save lives while participating in an awesome event. Anyone interesting in racing or attending any of the other awesome weekend events, check out the Summit for Life website. High-five!

Here’s the video from last year’s event. Doesn’t this look cool? I can’t wait.

Donor Dudes: Promoting organ donation awareness

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Chris Klug and John Kircher, both post-transplant

Chris Klug, Olympic snowboard medalist, wants to increase organ donation awareness. Like John, Chris was diagnosed with Primary Schlerosing Cholangitis and told he would need a liver transplant someday. Not only did Chris receive the surgery, he also went on to win a a bronze medal in Salt Lake just eighteen months later. I’ve written about Chris before, but I wanted to let you all know a little more about him and an upcoming event for donor awareness.

John and I had the chance to meet Chris at the Vancouver Olympics, and he’s a truly amazing guy. I’m currently planning my upcoming book tour, and one stop will be in Aspen in December so that I can join Chris in his Summit for Life event. His mission is to raise awareness for organ donation through this uphill skiing race/fun run. I’m looking forward to joining Chris and his Donor Dudes in December. The event starts at the base of Aspen Mountain. Participants ski, snowshoe or can even take the gondola to the top of the Sundeck at the summit. Last year, 400 people participated.

Donor Dudes are like ambassadors, spreading the message of organ donation to young people. Through his charisma and positive attitude, Chris works to recruit the “dudes” to help spread the message. I love this part of Chris’s foundation. Not only is he getting the word out, he’s also offering a road map to young people showcasing how to make a difference.

Anyone up for a fun, athletic event that will contribute to saving lives and furthering Chris’s awesome message should join me in December. Check out Chris’s website for registration information.