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Tracy Minnear

Life is a Highway – Kidney Recipient Runs to Save Lives

When Tracy Minnear toes the starting line at the UPMC Health Plan/UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run during Pittsburgh Marathon weekend, her thoughts, understandably, will be elsewhere. She’ll be thinking of her kidney donor who nearly two decades ago gave her the gift of life.   

“I run to honor my living kidney donor,” Minnear said.

Diagnosed in 1989 with an autoimmune disease called IgA nephropathy, her kidneys failed in 1999. After undergoing kidney dialysis for more than two years, Minnear received a kidney, generously donated by her husband’s aunt, Nancy Brown, in 2001.
After her transplant, she committed to being more active. Since then, Minnear has represented Team Alleghenies Transplant at eight consecutive Transplant Games of America, beginning in 2002, winning medals in the 5K and multiple other track and field events.

Running alongside her will be Georgene Thomas, a triple organ recipient (heart, double lung and kidney), and Kelly Noyes, a living liver donor. With each step, the three runners will be raising awareness about organ, tissue and cornea donation, and demonstrating the life-saving power organ donors hold.  

Individuals interested in becoming a living kidney or liver donor can find more information on CORE’s website, or they may call 412-963-3550 and ask to speak with a living donor coordinator.

With headquarters in Pittsburgh and an office in Charleston, West Virginia, CORE oversees a region that encompasses 150 hospitals and more than five million people throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, New York. For more information, visit www.core.org, or call 1-800-DONORS-7 or 1-800-366-6777.

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