Transplant Athlete
Thursday, April 21, 2005
  Katie Ride For Life

I flew down to Jacksonville, Fl this past weekend for the First Annual Katie Ride For Life. The Katie Caples Foundation was started in 1998 by the family of Katie Caples, a young high school student from Jacksonville who became an organ and tissue donor after not surviving the trauma of an automobile accident.

"We are hosting this event in memory of Katie and the wonderful legacy she left behind," says David Caples, Katie’s father and foundation chairman. "Katie was an athlete, and it is fitting to her memory to host a sporting event like this in her name. She was also a generous child who gave many others a chance to live through her gifts of organ and donor tissue." Funds rasied at this event will help provide materials for high school health classes to educate students on the need for and benefits of organ donation.

This event was amazing. There was an great turnout for the event and it was so organized that it seemed as if they had been putting this race on for years. It really means a lot to those of us who have received the gift of life that people are willing to come out and ride for the cause. There was a light breeze which provided a good tailwind in the morning, but turned into a stiff headwind on the way back. On the way to St. Augustine, we passed the "Fountain of Youth" supposedly discovered by Ponce de Leon and an old fort, which unfortunately, I was going a bit too fast to get many details. Here are some pictures from the event. Click on them for a larger version.

Chris Klug Chillin' out
after the ride

The Caples Family

Jakson Badenhoop,
Ride Director

JT Rhodes, President of TRIO,
Northeast Florida Chapter

Lou and Chris Klug

Chris and Beth Ann

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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