Cross-Country Bike Trip Raises Donor Awareness

Jeff Schuman reports,

A transplant recipient is riding his bike 50 miles in 50 states in 50 days to raise awareness of the need for donors.

"July 4, 1999," kidney transplant recipient and cyclist David Landsberg said.

That is the day David Landsberg's life forever changed. Suffering from a genetic kidney disease, David had both kidneys and his spleen removed.

"About 18 people a day on a national level die on the transplant list just waiting for an organ and it's very solvable."

He was fortunate enough to receive a kidney transplant from a 6-year-old boy that tragically lost his life, and he is now paying it forward.

"I want to honor the donor family that made that selfless decision to be able to give me a second chance at life," he said.

He received the idea from a marathon runner who ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. So the mission was simple.

"If a transplant recipient did a 50 day event, I'd be able to get attention. And again, once I got the attention of the event, then I direct them to education about organ donation."

The journey began on July 4th in Austin, Texas and will conclude on August 23rd in Oklahoma City. The ultimate goal is to open discussion about the need for organ donation; something one Cheyenne resident and donor mother is all too familiar with having lost her son.

"He was a donor; organ, tissue and eye, and I feel that this is bringing awareness for a great cause in the community," donor mom Debbie Janos said.

Today there are over 110,000 Americans waiting for a life-saving transplant. While David has received his, it's his hope that more people will recognize the need for donors through his quest.