Small town set to run to honor organ donor - WNEM TV 5

Small town will walk, jog and run to honor organ donor

Lon, Trevor and Brandon Lon, Trevor and Brandon
Kids Run in downtown Millington Kids Run in downtown Millington

Hundreds, in the small Tuscola County town of Millington, are expected to gather Saturday for the third annual "Race for Chase" event hosted by Tri-for-Life, Inc.

The event is in memory of Chase Coleman, a 20-year-old who lost his life in an auto accident in 2003.

Dozens of people in need of transplants received Chase's gift of life – including a then 50-year-old father of four named Terry Gould. Gould would eventually receive Chase's heart, linking the two families forever. 

A few short years later, Chase's brothers, Lon, Trevor and Brandon, founded Tri-for-Life, Inc. Tri-for-Life focuses on reaching out to other donor families and providing a voice to transplant recipients.

The group travels across the country to raise awareness about the important need for organ donation and the benefits to both recipients and donor families. But on Saturday, Tri-for-Life returns to Chase's hometown with several donor recipients from around the country, each with their own powerful stories.

The "Race for Chase" event consists of a 5k walk/run, a 10k and a run for children.

Athletes from across the country have taken part in this annual event, which includes male and female participants in all age divisions. Donor families will also be in attendance running or walking in memory of their loved one and to see firsthand the power of their gift.

"When we hear a story like theirs – when we understand what they're doing to honor their brother and to promote organ donation awareness – it gives us hope and a belief that their message will reach people," said Steve Ferkau, a double lung recipient from Chicago. "Waiting for an organ can be a very difficult road. A story like theirs can lift our spirits enough to keep us going for another day, another week or month. It can keep our eye on the prize."

The event begins at 9 a.m. on Main Street in downtown Millington, with registration starting at 7 a.m.

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