NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Running has been Marisa Davidson's hobby for about a year, and this Northborough woman has been training hard.
"I said I'd never run 2 miles, then I said I'd never run 4 miles," Davidson said. But later this month, she will surpass those expectations and run 7 miles in her first race.
Why? Because it’s for a great cause.
Davidson and 12 other runners will compete as a team in the 40th Annual Falmouth Road Race on Aug. 12 in support of the New England Organ Bank. Wearing running shirts with the logo "Organ Donors Save Lives," the team will raise awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation.
Though no one close to her has ever needed an organ donation, Davidson said it’s something that has always remained in the back her mind.
"I always think, 'What if something ever happened to them?'" she said of her three children. "I'm glad there are people out there who are raising money for this."
According to the New England Organ Bank, more than 114,000 Americans await lifesaving organ transplants and even more are waiting for donated tissue. Of these patients, 4,700 are in New England. Despite the best treatment efforts, 6,600 Americans — an average of 17 per day — die each year waiting for organs that never come.
Each member of Davidson’s team is required to raise at least $1,000. So far, she has hosted a raffle to win a home-cooked meal from her. Many people who had experience with organ donation or knew someone who was awaiting a transplant bought raffle tickets. All told, the fundraiser netted Davidson about $350.
As a whole, her team has pulled in about $12,000.
"This is our first year with a team participating in the race, and we are thrilled to be a part of it," said Laura Dempsey, the team coordinator. "Many of our runners have a personal connection to donation and are very passionate about the cause."
For more information about organ donation, visit Donate Life New England.