Gift of Life MOTTEP Walk/Run raises awareness about the importance of minority organ donations

Gift of Life Michigan logo

DETROIT – More than 1,000 supporters of efforts to expand minority patients’ access to tissue and organ transplant operations will participate in the 17th annual Gift of Life Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP) Foundation’s Walk/Run on Saturday, July 26, 2014, at Belle Isle State Park.

The event, which will begin at the Belle Isle Casino, will feature a 5K walk, 5K run and 10K run. Participants typically include medical and corporate professionals, community leaders, media personalities, elected officials, donor family members and transplant recipients who support Gift of Life MOTTEP’s efforts to address the shortage of organ and tissue donations in minority communities. Funds raised will benefit public education about organ, tissue, eye, blood and bone marrow donations in Michigan.

The issue is critical given the challenges facing minorities who are waiting to receive transplants:

  • Half of the 123,000 patients who are on transplant waiting lists are members of an ethnic minority
  • 47 percent of patients awaiting kidney transplants in Michigan are African American
  • 18 transplant patients die each day while waiting for an organ

MOTTEP strives to address these disparities by debunking myths, easing fears and boosting awareness about the life-saving nature of organ transplants. Each new donor is critical because one donor can provide life-saving organs for eight people and quality-improving tissue for up to 50 people.

Recipients, waiting recipients and donor families will be recognized at the event. Participants will also celebrate the life of Angelo Henderson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Christian minister, community activist and radio host who died suddenly in February. Henderson was a longtime supporter of Gift of Life MOTTEP. Henderson’s widow, Detroit News Assistant Managing Editor Felecia D. Henderson, serves as the event’s honorary chair. Leslie Andrews, director of Community Relations and Corporate Partnerships for Rock Ventures LLC, serves as the event’s grand marshal and corporate champion co-chair. Kevin Tolbert, executive director of the UAW-Ford National Program Center, will serve as the event’s corporate champion co-chair. Luther Keith, executive director of ARISE Detroit, is the event’s community engagement chair.

While pre-event registration has closed, supporters can register onsite beginning at 7:30 a.m. The onsite registration fee is $25 for walkers and $30 for runners. The 5K and 10K run is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K walk will begin at 9 a.m. For more information, visit

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