Runners, Walkers Raise $9,000 for Annual 5K to Benefit Transplant Services

"Team Greg Oest" Team Captain is Joleen Oest (wife of Greg), sitting on rock with kids on lap. They raised over $600!

Bolstered by a record-setting 501 people registered, the annual 5K run/walk to benefit the Alan G. Birtch, MD, Center for Transplant Services at Memorial raised nearly $9,000 last Saturday.

The eighth annual event was held in Springfield’s Washington Park on Sept. 8. Bill Coon, a double heart transplant and kidney transplant recipient, shared his inspiring story before the event began. A local band, The Fireside Relics, kept the mood festive.

“Once again, the community has so generously shown their support for our transplant program,” said Sara Danner, Memorial’s transplant financial coordinator and chair of this year’s 5K. “This year was another successful event with beautiful weather and a very large crowd.”

Ali Traina was the top female runner, and Adrian Lee was the top male runner. Family and Friends of Greg Oest was recognized as the team winner and had raised more than $600.

Proceeds benefit the hospital’s transplant fund, which provides assistance to transplant patients in financial need with medication and other medical needs, education for patients and staff, and continuing program development.

The seven previous runs raised a combined total of nearly $100,000.

The transplant team follows and manages the care of approximately 260 post-transplant patients. The transplant program is a cooperative initiative involvingMemorial Medical Center, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and Springfield Clinic. Since its founding in 1972, the program has completed more than 815 kidney and pancreas transplants.