Blood Collection Organizations and Advocacy Groups Partner With America Online Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Web Site Initiative Launches On World Blood Donor Day
Washington, D.C., July 14, 2005 In celebration of World Blood Donor Day,
the nation's leading blood collection organizations and advocacy groups have
joined with America Online ( AOL) to raise awareness about the critical need
for blood donations. AABB, America's Blood Centers, the American Red Cross and
the Give Life Foundation are partnering with AOL to launch an online public
awareness initiative aimed at encouraging young people in America to donate
"Every two seconds someone in America needs blood, and to meet this ongoing
need, it is essential to foster a new generation of lifelong donors," said Karen
Shoos Lipton, AABB's chief executive officer. "The generous, corporate philanthropic
support of AOL will help to raise blood donation awareness, thereby helping
to ensure that our nation has a safe and adequate blood supply for years to
This unique Web-based initiative has the potential to reach millions of online
consumers, providing them with information about blood, donation opportunities
and information on how individuals can help to make a difference in their community.
This information will be promoted for three weeks on AOL CityGuide, the leading
local entertainment guide online, including local sites covering more than 300
"America Online is proud to join with the nation's leading blood collection
organizations and advocacy groups to raise awareness around the need for blood
donors," said Rich D'Amato, America Online's vice president for community investment.
"This is an issue that, at some time or another, touches the life of nearly
every person in America. We hope that by contributing AOL's ability to reach
millions of people especially young people we will help make blood donation
a lifelong part of each American's personal commitment to give back to and serve
This new awareness initiative coincides with the June 14 celebration of World
Blood Donor Day, which recognizes voluntary, unpaid blood donors worldwide for
their lifesaving contributions. The date of June 14 also marks the birthday
of Karl Landsteiner, the Nobel Prize winner who created the ABO blood group
"The Give Life Foundation was proud to play an important role in identifying
the partnership opportunities between AOL and the blood community," said Bart
S. Fisher, Give Life Foundation's chairman. "AOL's extensive Web-based presence
will make it easier for its young demographic following to make a significant
difference in their cities by donating blood."
To learn more about blood donation, visit AOL Keyword: Blood Saves or aolcityguide.com
Team Give Life Featured in RAAM Press Release Thursday, June 09, 2005
OLYMPIAN, DR. ERIC HEIDEN OF `TEAM DONATE LIFE,' AND `TEAM GIVE LIFE' `RACE ACROSS AMERICA' TO RAISE AWARENESS OF NEED FOR ORGAN DONATIONS
88,497 People in US Awaiting Organ Transplant
TEMPE, Arizona-2005 Insight Race Across America (RAAM), the world's longest ultra marathon cycling event, welcomes five-time Olympic gold medalist and pro cyclist Dr. Eric Heiden and his team `Team Donate Life,' and transplant recipient, Lou Lamoureux's and his team `Team Give Life.' Both teams will cycle 3052-miles (4912 km) non-stop through the heartland of America to raise awareness of the need for organ donations in the US. 130 athletes head inland from San Diego, California, in two waves, solo riders depart on June 19th and teams on June 21st in all out race to the finish in Atlantic City, NJ.
Dr. Eric Heiden is no stranger to RAAM, having witnessed his first race in 1983 as a guest commentator for ABC's Wide World of Sports. Heiden will ride in the Corporate Challenge Division, an 8-person team, with Team Donate Life, a group of medical professionals and a living organ donor, from University of California, Davis. "Organ donation saves peoples' lives, and there can be no greater love or joy in the world than to give the gift of life," says Heiden.
Similar to the yellow "LiveStrong" band that Lance Armstrong inspired, Heiden and Team Donate Life teammates sport green bracelets that say `Donate Life' to raise awareness for their cause.
Lou Lamoureux, a gold medallist in '02 World Transplant Games, received a kidney from his mother in 2000. His story is a story of personal triumph. Lamoureux will be riding with `Team Give Life,' in the 4-person Men's Division. Lou and his team seek to raise $100,000 to increase awareness of the chronic shortage of the U.S. blood supply and encourage the donation of blood, blood products, organs and tissues. "Recycle yourself. Sign an organ donor card. Let your family know your wishes," says Lamoureux. "After you pass on, your organs can help improve the lives of up to 50 people! Now that's a great legacy to leave behind."
Some Facts About Organ Transplants
Currently 88,500 people are on the organ transplant list and a name is added every 15 minutes. 1/3 of them will die before a donor can be found. The good news is transplantation is no longer considered experimental. Each year, 25,000 people receive organ transplants with a success rate of 80%.
Jason Weckworth, Team Captain of Team Donate Life, donated a kidney to his father in 2002. "Unfortunately, we see many people lose their battle with life because time ran out. It doesn't have to be this way. Live organ donors, like myself, can still live out a completely healthy and normal lifestyle after donating and even compete in an extreme ultra-endurance event like RAAM." Four month's after Weckworth donated his kidney to his father he competed in the California International Marathon. Last year, approximately 7,000 kidney, partial liver, and partial lung transplants were performed from living donors.
Dr. Eric Heiden and Team Donate Life teammate Dr. Massimo Testa can be heard on the Adventure Sports Radio Show, Sunday night, June 12, 7-8 p.m. on KTKZ (1380 AM) in Sacramento or online at www.ktkz.com.
About Insight Race Across America The Insight Race Across America has run every year since 1982, and since 2003 has followed its current route from San Diego, California to Atlantic City, New Jersey. *Outside Magazine has called it "The World's Toughest Race", and others have described it as "The Tour de France done the American way". Top individual racers pedal roughly 350 miles per day, burning 9,000+ calories and sleeping just 90 minutes. Two-person and four-person relays comprising men and women race non-stop, covering over 500 miles per day. The race's senior management and ownership is in the hands of Race Director Jim Pitre, current co-holder of the 2-person 55+ Team record, and Head Official Lon Haldeman, 2 time solo winner in 1982 and 1983. For further background and race history, please visit www.raceacrossamerica.org.
*In 2003 Outside magazine rated the world's toughest races:
1. Race Across America, bike 3051 miles, 676.2 points
2. Vendee Globe Challenge, sail around the world, 675.0 points
3. Iditarod Sled Dog Race, mush 1,100 miles in Alaska, 417.5 points
8. Hawaii Ironman Triathlon , swim 2.4 miles/ bike 112 / run 26.2, 67.2 points
TGL to Chat with "Elliot in the Morning" Tuesday, May 03, 2005
In the Washington DC metropolitan area you can listen on DC101. You can also register at DC101.com to listen online.
"Latest Word": Martin Philips and TGL featured in Cannondale newsletter Monday, April 18, 2005
Race Across America: The Gift Of Life Through The Love Of Cycling
Martin Phillips, a passionate cyclist for more than 25 years, has developed a new, and perhaps more important passion: he's trying to save lives. As a member of an "elite" race team, Martin will be racing his Cannondale Six13 in this year's Race Across America (RAAM). While this is a race, Martin and his three other teammates in Team Give Life will be also riding for a cause. As they put it, "We're racing across America so blood and organ donor programs don't have to race against time."
On June 21, 2005, Team Give Life (Bruce Deming, Lou Lamoureux and William Vosseller and Martin Phillips) will line up in San Diego, CA with approximately 20 other teams and begin a single-stage, trans-continental race that ends in Atlantic City, NJ. Unlike the Tour-De France, there are no stages or designated rest stops in the RAAM. The race is live from beginning to end, with Martin and his teammates switching off every hour or so as they race 24x7 for some 3,047 miles. Crossing 14 states and three mountain ranges with over 110,000 feet of climbing, the RAAM is considered by many to be the toughest endurance cycling event in the world.
Aside from its competitive goal of finishing the race in 6 days, Team Give Life is dedicated to raising money and awareness for the cause of blood and organ donation. One of Martin's team members, Lou Lamoureux, is himself a kidney transplant survivor, and will be the first organ transplant recipient to compete in the 24-year history of the RAAM. All contributions to the team's campaign will go to benefit The Give Life Foundation, which exists to promote greater participation in blood and organ donor programs throughout the United States. "This is a great cause because we already have the cure, and the cure is awareness," said Phillips. "By encouraging more people to sign up as organ donors, we all benefit."
The team is accepting contributions to the Give Life Foundation at their website, www.teamgivelife.org, and asks that you consider becoming a blood or organ donor. We at Cannondale encourage everyone to learn more about these important issues and to support Martin Phillips and his teammates as they compete in this year's Race Across America. Good luck Team Give Life! We're very proud to sponsor your efforts. View full story at Cannondale.com
"Team Spotlight -- Team Give Life featuring Lou Lamoureux" in Issue 4 of the RAAM Newsletter Wednesday, April 06, 2005
As one of several teams riding for charity in this year's RAAM, four-man team Give Life seeks to raise $100,000 in order to increase awareness of the chronic shortage of the U.S. blood supply and encourage the donation of blood, blood products, organs and tissues. Yet unlike some of the other teams, Give Life is bringing their cause along for the ride...literally.
While still in high school, Lou Lamoureux was diagnosed with glomerulonephritishis, a type of disease resulting in eventual kidney failure. When his kidneys ultimately failed him, Lamoureux spent every other day in a dialysis clinic as his weakened body struggled against the forces of time and nature.
"During the two or three years leading up to my transplant, I was feeling run down all the time and I had no energy," said Lamoureux. "I was only able to get through the day with medication that helped prop my hematocrit up."
But Lamoureux is one of the lucky ones. His mother, Donna, gave her kidney to her son in in September 2000 and his recovery has been a story of personal triumph.
"Once I received my mother's kidney, my hematocrit shot up to a normal range and I felt like SUPERMAN. I could do anything. I had the energy of 10 people. The only problem was I was restricted to my house. I was immunosuppressed and my doctor didn't want me catching anything from the public. That's when I saw RAAM for the first time on OLN. RAAM was freedom, it was distance, it was epic and I swore to myself I would race in it."
Since receiving his transplant, Lamoureux has won gold medals in the 2002 U.S. Transplant Games and earned top-ten finishes in the 2003 World Transplant Games in Nancy, France.
Lamoureux joins Bruce Deming, William Vosseller, and Martin Phillips in this year's RAAM to bring attention to the 87,000 Americans waiting for organ transplants from a meager 11,000 donors (data from the first nine months of 2004). View Full Newsletter
WorldCell To Sponsor "Team Give Life" in 2005 Race Across America Friday, March 18, 2005
What does an international cellular carrier and an ultra-distance cycling team have in common? They both offer 24-hour reliability under the most remote and extreme conditions.
International Mobile Communications, Inc. ("WorldCell") is pleased to announce its sponsorship of "Team Give Life," a four-man, ultra-distance cycling team that will compete in the 2005 Race Across America -- a grueling, non-stop, 3000 mile bike race from San Diego to Atlantic City -- to raise awareness and funds for the cause of blood, organ, and tissue donation.
WorldCell's monetary and in-kind sponsorship kicks-off Team Give Life's goal of raising $100,000 for The Give Life Foundation, an organization established to increase the awareness of the chronic shortage of the U.S. blood supply and encourage the donation of blood, blood products, organs and tissues. Read Full Release
Organic Food Bars to fuel Team Give Life Monday, March 14, 2005
Organic Food Bar, Inc. has joined Team Give Life as the second official corporate sponsor. The company was created to provide the highest quality organic products possible for health and well being. Organic Food Bars are:
The only USDA Certified Organic, non-dairy Certified Kosher, and Certified Vegan bars in the world.
Alkaline-forming, cold-processed, rich in phyto-nutrient dense sprouts and superfoods.
Gluten-free, easy to digest, taste great, no refined sugar, and no trans-fatty acids.
Team Give Life profiled by RAAM Sunday, March 13, 2005
Race Across America recently updated their race roster with profiles of each of TGL's members. Read the full profiles.
Lou Lamoureux and Team Give Life Profiled by United Press International Wednesday, March 09, 2005
U.S. race tests transplant cyclist
By Stokely Baksh
Published 3/7/2005 5:10 PM
WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- Mental fatigue and hallucinations, lack of sleep, weather and terrain changes and "psychological warfare" -- this is what cyclists in this summer's Race Across America are facing.
One expert said, "How much you can hurt yourself, how much pain you can take, how long you can handle the pain ... that all depends on how successful you will be."
Among the hundreds of riders who will be answering these questions is kidney-transplant recipient Lou Lamoureux, 33, the first organ transplant recipient to enter the Race Across America -- a non-stop 3,000-mile ultra-racing marathon from San Diego to Atlantic City, N.J., in seven days.
The Virginian resident, part of the four-man Team Give Life, is cycling on behalf of the Give Life Foundation to raise at least $100,000 and public awareness for blood, tissue and organ donations.
By competing in the RAAM, the team hopes it can race against time for those who run a more profound race -- "the race to find a donor in time for a critical organ transplant or blood transfusion that will save their lives," according to the group's Web site.
"People with two kidneys have trouble riding," said Lamoureux who has to consider the health risks, including kidney failure and dehydration.
An experienced cyclist, Lamoureux became interested in the RAAM as a recovery patient from a 2000 transplant operation when he received a kidney from his mother, Donna, some 14 years after he found out that he had glomerulonephritishis, a type of disease resulting in eventual kidney failure.
"I tell people I traded a kidney for two grandchildren," says his mother who remembers her son walking around and waving to her the first day after his transplant surgery. "Now he's able to function, (and) he functions a lot more than other people."
Lamoureux, who has a wife and two children, explained he felt like Superman after the transplant and was back to cycling before doctors could say otherwise. Nine months later he rode in the PACtour and did hours of collegiate racing.
Now, an advocate for organ donations and transplants, Lamoureux has kept a Web log "Transplant Athlete" on cycling-videos.com since 2004 detailing his cycling routines, various diagnosis and doctor visits, transplant concerns and his fascination with the RAAM.
A member of the National Kidney Foundation's "Transplant Team" and several-time gold medalist recipient in the U.S. Transplant Games among his accomplishments, Lamoureux has come a long way and is the most experienced of his teammates in ultra-racing.
He hopes that this experience will help him as he attempts again to qualify for the RAAM race as a soloist in 2006, in which he must ride 425 miles in 24 hours in order to qualify.
Lamoureux, with fellow cyclists Bruce Deming, 48, and Bill Vosseller, 37, are looking for a fourth rider who will have to withstand one of the toughest ultra-racing competitions in the United States. Armed with three vehicles including an RV and no physician, they will pursue riding in some of the most difficult of U.S. weather and terrains.
It was Deming's idea to put together the team for the Give Life Foundation since he knew founders, Bart S. Fisher and Patrick Hughes, and their cause.
"It's an interesting cause," Deming said. "The problem is awareness and education ... it's about raising national consciousness and registering more people for organ and blood donations."
Deming played around with the idea of entering solo but decided on a four-person team to reduce the stress despite the still tremendous undertaken of riding for seven consecutive days and about six hours of riding for each cyclist.
"We won't be gaining weight that's for sure," joked Deming about the race. Lamoureux says that when the race is over, he thinks he'll have a big cheeseburger and lots of food.
All three have been training rigorous hours to increase their endurance and stamina, and plan to start training together as the race draws near.
"We're hoping to finish the race safely ... just finishing the race alone is an achievement in itself, but it'll be terrific if we finish strong," Deming said.
This year's RAAM kicks off June 9 marking its 24th year of tradition in ultra-racing, likening itself to the Tour de France. Solo racers start on June 19 while two- and four-person teams race three days later. However, unlike the Tour de France that goes on for 21 days, the RAAM is a continuous ride that tests cyclists' mental and physical capacities.
"The RAAM is America's answer to the Tour de France," said Deming. "It's the Super Bowl of cycling."
So far, 120 racers will ride through 14 states climbing mountains while battling tailwinds, heat and frigid weather.
Originally, started by four men who decided to take a trans-continental ride to see who would be the fastest to cross the country, the race has expanded in various categories, routes and procedures to attract potential riders as the race's popularity continues to grow.
"It's one of those races you enter and you want to stop or give up, but when you finish, you have this incredible ... tremendous sense of unity," said RAAM spokesperson and longtime cycle journalist Paul Skilbeck. "It's about a group of powerful human beings seeing what their capabilities are and seeing what they are capable of doing."
He added, "How much you can hurt yourself, how much pain you can take, how long you can handle the pain ... that all depends on how successful you will be."
About 50 percent of solo riders dropout while about 5 percent drop out in team categories, he said.
According to Race Director Jim Pitre, who has been involved with the race for seven years and directed the race for about four years, the RAAM is for experienced riders who have multiple years of serious cycling. Formerly having ridden the race, Pitre has been a key player in the RAAM's increasing popularity since the '80s.
Pitre said cyclists must face the race as a super-ultra-endurance exercise and must have be ready to train for the nutrition issues, varying weather conditions and sleep deprivation that comes along with it. He says that in Lamoureux's situation and the right training, that he could finish the race in a four-person team but the odds are greatest if he were to do it as a solo racer.
Still, Skilbeck points out cases like that of Lamoureux are inspirational and obtainable. He cites the case of another rider who was a Vietnam veteran whom lost his leg and finished the race as a soloist.
But Team Give Life isn't the only team raising awareness on a health issue or organ donations. Within the Corporate Challenge division, Team Donate Life consists of health care providers from the University of California-Davis Medical Center and a kidney donor who are also raising awareness for organ donations.
"The Tour de France had cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, well we have our transplant survivor," said Give Life Foundation's Bart Fisher.
For Fisher, Lamoureux's story is a case study that one can lead a great life after a transplant. But this isn't Give Life Foundation's first attempt to get the word out especially after the fact that no appropriations were made this fiscal year to the federal-based national donor registry organization created by the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act.
For Fisher, it's been a struggle of raising awareness since losing his son, Ivan, in the early 1980s to aplastic anemia, a once-life threatening disease that occurs when bone marrow stops making blood cells resulting in infections, bleeding and anemia. Channeling his grief into action, Fisher played a key role into the passage of the act.
However, Fisher said he believes that many people in the United States are uneducated about organ and marrow transplant and hopes that the team will bring attention to the topic.
"It's not so much a money issue, it's an awareness issue," Fisher said.
In the United States, more than 87,000 names reside on a waiting list for organ transplants.
Each day 70 people will have received an organ transplant but 16 will die waiting for transplant because of the shortage of donated organs, according to The United Network for Organ Sharing.
While approximately 900,000 people in the United States will receive tissue transplants and nearly 25,000 receive organ transplants each year, the waiting list for organ transplants grows at the rate of 1,000 per month while another name is added to the waiting list every 15 minutes. Read story at The Washington Times website.
WorldCell Becomes First Team Give Life Corporate Sponsor Thursday, March 03, 2005
The international telecommunications company, WorldCell, has become Team Give Life's first corporate sponsor. WorldCell offers Cellular service in over 170 countries and territories & Satellite phones for remote areas where cellular coverage is limited. WorldCell supplies the frequent traveler with rental packages as well as purchase options that come fully equipped with all communication necessities.