The gifts of life and love united teams at 24th annual Donor Dash in Philadelphia

Pat Toddy
April 14, 2019 - 4:26 pm

Pat Toddy/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- In a push for organ donations, thousands attended the 24th annual Donor Dash on Sunday at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

About 12,000 people either ran or walked in the Gift of Lift Donor Program's Donor Dash, all while celebrating those who have either given and gotten a second chance.

Andrea Itnyre of Ephrata, Pennsylvania says she considers herself a "medical unicorn." The mythical creature is what inspired her team's name and their neon unicorn costumes.

"They gave me two weeks," she said.

Itnyre says she was in need of a new liver, and thankfully a week later she got just that.

She says after the receiving the new organ her surgical team delivered her some magical news.

"They said my liver started functioning within 30 seconds so it was a perfect match," she explained.

Itnyre says her donor was a woman in her 20s who had suddenly died. However, she says she longs to meet her donor's family to express her gratitude.

A Gilbertsville mother, Brittney Pinson, feels the same way, but for a different reason. After a brief illness, her baby girl died when she was just five-months-old, but baby Addison saved three lives when her parents donated her liver, kidneys and heart.

"My number on goal is to listen to her heart," she said. "For me and her daddy to hear her heartbeat again."

As she paid tribute to the baby she lost, Pinson was excited about having a new baby on the way.

New mom Kate McKee was wrapping up the 5K and celebrating three years with her new kidney.

"My brother not only saved my life, but gave me another life," she said.