DENVER (KDVR) — Runners are gearing up to make their mark in the 2023 Denver Colfax Marathon runs.
One group is running for a special cause and they all have one thing in common — they’re all kidney donors.
Chris Sullivan, Andrea Coleman, Chelsea Barker and Hilary Baude are part of the 10 kidney donors running to show what can be achieved after you donate a kidney and bring awareness to living organ donation.
“In 2020, I donated my left kidney to a stranger,” Sullivan said. “I feel no different. I do everything I did before I donated. It’s actually inspired me to do more.”
According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 100,000 people are awaiting kidney transplants.
Sullivan, along with Coleman, is part of the team running the marathon relay.
“If one person can see us with our bibs and our shirts and hear our story and consider donating it’ll all be worth it,” Coleman said. “There’s all kinds of ways to make a difference and this is one so hopefully other people find out this is something they might want to think about doing as well.”
Barker said she is running the half marathon.
“I think it’s surprising to a lot of people how simple it really is on the human body because you really just need one kidney,” Barker said. “I can still work out. I can still do all the things I normally do.”
Baude is running the marathon. She’s part of “One Kidney 12 Marathons” (1K12M) running 12 marathons in 2023 to bring awareness.
“Kidney donation is not debilitating and you can go on to live an active lifestyle and do normal activities following donation,” Baude said.
Patty Graham started the first club in Colorado about five years ago after donating one of her kidneys. She said there are now more than 30 One Kidney Clubs around the world.
“The friends I made through this process were the best friends I’ve made in my life and I just wanted to keep meeting more kidney donors,” Graham said. “We find ways to connect. We find ways to spread the message about donation and get the word out about one kidney. You can share your spare.”
It’s a message she said they’ll be sharing as they race in the Denver Colfax Marathon runs.