US Mayor Article

Millennium Mayorthon Continues Across Country

By Crystal Swann
May 29, 2000


The First Family Pledge Millennium Mayorthon, the first coast-to-coast mayoral relay in support of organ and tissue donation, is now in Oklahoma and heading to the Midwest. It has already crossed hundreds of cities and gone several thousand miles. The event is sponsored by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and The American Red Cross Tissue Services.

The initiative was launched in San Francisco in April and continues to make its way across the country to culminate in September with a gala celebration at Centennial Hall in Washington, D.C. The Mayorthon has traveled through hundreds of cities in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma and will eventually cross 21 states and cover nearly 6,000 miles.

As the Mayorthon crosses the United States, present and past mayors from towns and cities across America have shown their support by joining the event while walking, riding a bike, rollerblading, riding a horse, and parading through their towns in antique sports cars. The participating mayors are joined by transplant recipients, transplant families, doctors, celebrities and many others.

The campaign is designed to address raise awareness of organ and tissue donation and to encourage families to discuss donation and to be organ and tissue donors. The campaignís message has been that every person should understand that the final decision on whether or not to donate organs is always made by surviving family members and checking the organ donation box on a driverís license does not guarantee organ donation.

The First Family Pledge Campaign, which is the origin of the Mayorthon, was first started in 1998 when members of the U.S. Congress signed pledges to encourage families to discuss and become organ and tissue donors. According to the experts, more than 68,000 people are on waiting lists for organ transplantation. The estimates are that by the summer that number could be as high as 70,000.

For more Mayorthon information and schedule tour dates go to www.mayorthon.com.   

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