Glendale resident Ed Ozier wants other transplant recipients to receive the same kind of support and care as he does.
He volunteers for the Donor Dash on Saturday December 4th at Kiwanis Park in Tempe. It benefits the Transplant Community Alliance Life Support Fund.
“This is Donor Dash’s second year,” said Ozier, who has lived in Glendale for 50 years. “The Transplant Community Alliance is raising funds so that they can help a lot of people, whether it is for drugs or everyday items and chores.
“I understand that a few years ago a young girl with a transplant problem had to stay home, so the alliance bought her a computer so that she could stay awake with her homework. It’s really, really, really humiliating some of the things they do.
Transplant Community Alliance supports recipients through organ donation and transplant promotion and educates the public with events.
The Startline Racing event features a fun 10K, 5K and 1K family run and dog race. Participants will receive a bib with a timing chip, a running t-shirt, a loot bag and a participant medal.
The results and the prizes will be presented immediately after this last finalist and will be awarded to the first three in the general classification. Additional prizes will be awarded to top team fundraisers and individual fundraisers.
Ozier, 75, said the event is inspiring, especially when he sees young transplant recipients.
“It’s always quite astonishing to see a young child who has had a transplant participate in these kinds of events,” he said. “It’s really humiliating to see this kind of thing. They are brave and may have had a heart transplant.
“Heart transplants are amazing. With a kidney transplant, we have a bridge. The bridge is called dialysis. With a heart transplant, they have a bridge, but it’s temporary.
Ozier underwent three kidney transplants at Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix – as a NAU student in 1985 that lasted 14 years, another in 2002, and the third six years ago. Kidney problems run rampant in his family.
“My two daughters are past that age so it’s pretty much guaranteed they won’t get anything,” he said. “My great-great-grandfather from Italy died of kidney disease. My grandmother passed away when I was 6 months old. I have always had problems with my feet with gout. I didn’t know it was an indicator of kidney disease.
His kidneys were from corpses and he thanked the survivors in letters for their difficult decisions.
Former owner of the Christian bookstore Pain de Vie, Ozier is a strong advocate of organ transplantation. After his wife retired, they became involved in the Transplant Community Alliance. He also participated in the Transplant Games of America.
“I went to Salt Lake City and played table tennis,” he said. “It was amazing to see thousands of transplant people gathered in one place doing normal things like playing tennis, golf, boules and darts.”
Since his first transplant, Ozier has witnessed changes with organ transplantation.
“There were no support groups,” he said. “You were alone. There is more information there. We (through the Transplant Community Alliance) have a Zoom call once a week. We have speakers from the Mayo Clinic or a social worker from Banner.
“Some people just had a transplant two or three months ago, or six months or a year ago. Some of them don’t know what to do: stay home or whatever. That’s why I’m on these calls. I have some experience and I can help guide them with some of the things I have experienced in the kidney transplant business.
WHEN: 8 am registration on Saturday, December 4; 10K starts at 9 a.m.
O: Kiwanis Park, Tempe
COT: From $ 25