Six Years Running: Marathon Team Races To Raise Organ Donation Awarenes

VERMONT PUBLIC RADIO | Andy Gardner and Mitch Wertlieb
The members of Spare Parts 6, a relay team in this year's Vermont City Marathon, are running to raise awareness about organ donation. The team is part of the Transplant Donor Network, and it's the sixth year the network has had a team run the marathon.
JENNIFER DEMARONEY, COURTESY
They range in age from their mid-twenties to their mid-sixties. Their ranks include teachers, physicians, administrators and a former state commissioner.

Together, they make up the team Spare Parts 6 in this year’s Vermont City Marathon, and they are running for a cause: to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation throughout the state.

The five relay members — Dr. Harry Chen, Dawn Bissonnette, Shaina Kaye, Dr. Bridgett Marroquin and Jean DeMaroney — are part of the Transplant Donor Network (TDN), which is affiliated with the University of Vermont Medical Center. Bissonnette and DeMaroney are transplant recipients. The team wears bright fluorescent yellow shirts with “Donate Life” emblazoned across the front, and it’s the sixth year a TDN group has run the relay.

“This is my first time being on the team, and it is such a cool opportunity to run for this cause,” said Kaye, a senior hospital and community relations specialist for the Center for Donation and Transplant in Albany, New York. “I work with many donor families and transplant recipients, and they are here because somebody said yes. It’s the circle of life — one decision can have such a huge impact.”

This will be Bissonnette’s third time on the team, and she holds a place of honor — if she’s not at the top of the list, she is at least in the conversation for the longest-living kidney transplant recipient, at 44 years. Continue reading
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