Ed Ozier, who lives in Glendale, wants other transplant recipients to receive the same kind of support and care as him.
He volunteers on Saturday, December 4th, with Donor Dash at Kiwanis Park in Tempe. It benefits the Living Assistance Fund of the Transplant Community Alliance.
“This is the second year for Donor Dash,” said Ozier, who has lived in Glendale for 50 years. âThe Transplant Community Alliance collects money so that it can help many people, be it for medication or everyday things and tasks.
âI heard that a few years ago a young girl with a transplant problem had to stay at home, so Allianz bought her a computer so she could stop doing her homework. It’s really, really pretty humble some of the things that they do. “
The Transplant Community Alliance supports recipients through organ donation and transplant advocacy, and informs the public with events.
The Startline Racing Event features a 10K, 5K, 1K Family Fun Run and Doggie Dash. The participants receive a start number with a timing chip, a racing T-shirt, a swagbag and a participant medal.
Results and prizes will be presented immediately after the last finisher and awarded to the top three. Additional prizes are given for top team fundraisers and one-on-one fundraisers.
Ozier, 75, said the event was inspiring, especially seeing young transplant recipients.
“It’s always amazing to see a young child with a transplant attend events like this,” he said. âIt’s really humbling to see something like this. You are brave and may have had a heart transplant.
âHeart transplants are amazing. With a kidney transplant, we have a bridge. The bridge is called dialysis. With a heart transplant you have a bridge, but it’s temporary. “
Ozier had three kidney transplants at Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix – as a NAU student in 1985 that lasted 14 years, another in 2002, and the third six years ago. Kidney problems run in his family.
“My two daughters are over that age so it’s pretty certain they won’t get anything,” he said. âMy great-great-grandfather from Italy died of kidney disease. My grandmother died when I was 6 months old. I always had foot problems with gout. I never knew that this was an indication of kidney disease. “
His kidneys were from corpses and he thanked the survivors by letter for their difficult decisions.
Ozier, former owner of the Christian bookstore Bread of Life, is a strong advocate of organ transplants. After his wife retired, they became involved in the Transplant Community Alliance. He also participated in the Transplant Games of America.
âI went to Salt Lake City and played table tennis,â he said. “It was amazing to see many, many thousands of transplants all in one place doing normal things like tennis, golf, bowling and darts.”
Since his first transplant, Ozier has seen changes from organ transplantation.
âThere were no support groups,â he said. âYou were alone. There is more information out there. We (through the Transplant Community Alliance) have a Zoom call once a week. We have speakers from the Mayo Clinic or a social worker from Banner.
âSome people only had a transplant two or three months ago, or six months ago, or a year ago. Some don’t know what to do – stay indoors or what. That’s why I take these calls. I have some experience and can help guide you through some of the things I’ve been through with kidney transplantation. “
WHEN: 8 a.m. Registration Saturday, December 4th; 10K starts at 9 a.m.
WHERE: Kiwanis Park, Tempe
COST: Starts at $ 25
THE INFORMATION: transplantaz.org/donor-dash/