18 years after cross-country lawnmower ride, Utahn remains an advocate for organ donation

FOX 13 Salt Lake City | Hope Woodside

SALT LAKE CITY -- Back in 1997, a young boy from Utah rode a lawnmower across the country in a quest to raise money for organ donation. Now, a grown up Ryan Tripp continues to be an advocate for live-saving donations.

Tripp was twelve when he heard about Whitnie Pender in 1997. She was a 3-month-old who needed a liver transplant but didn't have the money to pay for it.

“We had a crazy idea to ride a lawnmower across the United States,” Tripp said. “We thought it would be a perfect platform for raising money for Whitnie and raising awareness for organ donation.”

Whitnie's mother, Le Ann, sent FOX 13 News this statement: "We will forever be truly grateful to Ryan and his family for the sacrifices that they made on behalf of our family and all families who are awaiting a donor." Continue reading VIDEO