Annual Donor Dash Celebrates Life, Ultimate Gift of Second Chance

Tim Jimenez
April 15, 2018 - 10:40 am
Annual Donor Dash

Photo credit: Tim Jimenez

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Thousands of people put their running shoes on Sunday morning to celebrate the "gift of life" of organ or tissue donation. 

It was a cold and rainy morning for the 23rd annual Donor Dash.

The Gift of Life Donor Program says the run and walk helps get the word out that tissue and organ donation saves lives and more people need to step up to save even more.

Leanne Purcell knows this all too well. She received life-altering news two-and-a-half years ago. 

"My liver was four times the size it was supposed to be," Purcell said, "and I was in full liver failure."

And that's where her friend, and brother's girlfriend at the time, Megan Kienzle comes in. 

"None of her family members were a match," Kienzle said, "and I just got tested and I was, so that was that."

Donor Dash
Photo credit: Tim Jimenez

Megan donated 40 percent of her liver to Leanne. Both are forever linked, and Leanne couldn't be more grateful. 

"Not many people, would that thought even cross their mind. It's just special to be here," she said. "We're both doing so well. We both now want to give back and want to be nurses."

Leanne, of Broomall, is a Villanova University nursing student. Megan is part of NYU's accelerated nursing program.