Team Noah Man to honor child, donations About Dash for Donation
By JENNIFER NOBLIT | ThisWeek Community Newspapers
Noah Maloney often was called a comedian.
"He made an impression on everyone," said his father, John Maloney. "He was a comedian. He made everyone laugh."
The impression Noah left on people could be why more than 160 people have joined Team Noah Man, which will honor and remember the 6-year-old at the Dash for Donation on July 9.
Maloney, a kindergartner at Bailey Elementary School, died March 12 after an accident while playing on an outdoor slide.
Noah's mother, Jennifer, said she is a tissue and organ donor and, after Noah's death, decided to make him one as well.
"It's important to help as many people as possible," she said. "We don't have control over death, so why not?"
"It's amazing how Jennifer didn't even hesitate one second when they asked," John said of the decision. "I don't know what I would have said."
According to Lifeline of Ohio, the nonprofit group behind the Dash for Donation, 303 Ohioans last year helped 901 people through organ and tissue donation.
One donor has the potential to save the lives of as many as eight people and enhance the lives of more than 50 others through vital organ and tissue donation, according to the organization.
The July 9 Dash for Donation, which features a 5K run/walk, is about education and honoring and remembering donors, said Rachel Lewis, Lifeline of Ohio community-outreach coordinator.
Lots of people are ready to honor and remember Noah on July 9.
"He was loving. He cared about everybody," Jennifer said. "He was a typical boy: rambunctious, into sports. He loved playing the Wii."
Noah was a curious boy, John said, always wanting to learn.
"He asked my mom for a Spanish dictionary when he was 5," Jennifer said.
Team Noah Man came together quickly and with little effort, Jennifer said.
"We heard about (the race) a week before the team deadline," she said. "I posted it on Facebook, and it just took off."
"It's the biggest team, and we have 120 teams," Lewis said, adding that the second-biggest team has 88 members.
According to John, the response to Team Noah Man is indicative of the support the family has received since March.
"We appreciate the support we've gotten from family, friends, the school and the Dublin community," he said. "People have come up to the door and dropped stuff off. People have put cards in our mailbox. Some are people we don't even know. Everyone who knew him was affected by this devastating (accident). Everyone's been amazing. We're just trying to get through this."
Noah also will be recognized at the Donor Remembrance Wall at the dash.
Jennifer said her daughters, Jordan, 17, and Marissa, 8, are putting some photos together.
"I wanted to remember Noah and celebrate what he's done by giving to so many people," she said.
Noah was also known as a giver in life.
In preschool, Noah was in the peer-mentoring program that places normally developing children in a classroom with children with disabilities.
There he was able to help a lot of his classmates, his parents said.
All of Noah's classmates were invited to his fifth birthday party, John said.
"The parents were grateful that he invited everyone," he said.
Jennifer said she heard a story about Noah helping a classmate who couldn't speak or walk very well on the playground.
"Noah would help him on the playground," she said. "The teacher told him to be careful, and Noah turned around and said, 'It's OK. I've got his back.'"
THE DASH FOR DONATION
The Dash for Donation is a 5K run or walk organized by Lifeline of Ohio to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation and encourage people to sign up for organ donation.
The 12th annual walk/run is slated for July 9, with registration starting at 6:30 a.m. and the 5K run/walk at 8:30 a.m.
The event also includes a short race for children and local mascots at 8 a.m. and a 1K family fun walk at 8:10 a.m.
The Dash for Donation will start at 200 W. Nationwide Blvd. and travel through downtown Columbus and a few surrounding neighborhoods.
The event, which expects 3,500, will include food and entertainment afterward, said Rachel Lewis, Lifeline of Ohio's community-outreach coordinator.
At the race, all participants who have been affected by a donation or transplant will receive a green T-shirt to show a "sea of green," according to information from Lifeline of Ohio.
Registration for Dash for Donation could be completed online at lifelineofohio.org or at the event, starting at 6:30 a.m.
Lifeline of Ohio is a nonprofit organization that works to "promote and coordinate the donation of human organs and tissue for transplantation," according to the organization.