The event resumes this year as the transplant program marks its 50th
anniversary. The race was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proceeds benefit Springfield Memorial Foundation’s Transplant Assistance Fund, which provides assistance to organ transplant patients, education for patients and staff and continuing program development.
“Over the past 16 years of hosting the 5K event, we have been overwhelmed by the support of our community to help us raise funds to assist our patients and their families,” said Kim Draper, a member of the transplant program and co-coordinator of this year’s 5K event. “This event is also a wonderful time for our patients and donor families to come together to share their stories.”
Registration is open online at memorial.health/medical-services/transplant-care/alan-birtch-5k through Sept. 21. Participants may also go online to print a registration form and mail it in. Registration will be available on the day of the event starting at 8 a.m.
The registration fee is $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 years old and younger. Registration increases by $5 per person on the day of the event.
Participants can pick up race packets on the day of the event or from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the Springfield Memorial Hospital Garden Lobby circle drive on Rutledge Street.
The transplant team follows and manages the care of approximately 300 post-transplant patients.
"We're proud to carry on this fifty-year legacy of hope and healing for our transplant patients, donors and families," said Ed Curtis, Memorial Health president and CEO. "This program has impacted countless lives during the past five decades, and I know there are many more inspiring stories to come."
The transplant program is a cooperative initiative involving Springfield Memorial Hospital, SIU School of Medicine and Springfield Clinic. Since its first transplant performed by Dr. Alan G. Birtch in 1973, the program has completed 1,081 transplant procedures.
In 2011, the transplant program was renamed The Alan G. Birtch, MD, Center for Transplant Services at Memorial.
Each year, the 5K event attracts about 330 participants, including transplant recipients, living donors and families of deceased donors. Representatives from Life Goes On, an organization under Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office that promotes organ donations, will be on hand to encourage people to sign up as organ donors.
For more information, call 217-588-2417.