Submitted by Gerry Clare
The weather was dismal, but the participants in today’s Katie Ride for Life in Fernandina Beach were enthusiastic, although wet and cold. Presented by Mayo Clinic and started by David and Susan Caples in honor of their daughter, Katie, who died at 17 and whose organs were donated to five recipient — the gift of life. The Ride was started in 2005 to raise awareness about organ donation and support the Katie Caples Foundation’s education program.
The ride includes cyclists and walks for different abilities and today was a real challenge in the rainy conditions.
Shannon Wahl and Tiffany Coco estimated about 100 people participated from the Mayo team. They completed 5 miles in the off road course and were pretty wet and muddy when they finished, but happy to be inside the Rec Center to warm up afterwards.
Our own John Drew looks pretty fit as he finished and noted that Nassau County is leading the state competition to register organ donors this month with a 64% participation of new driver’s license issues.
Nancy Deehan, a board member and volunteer organizer for the event, estimated that there were about 1,000 participants today, even with the bad weather. After participation, everyone crowded in to the Atlantic Recreation Center for food, celebration and warmth, of which there was plenty.
David Caples is with Patti McHale from Mayo, who has become a friend since their original meeting when Katie was injured. Patti coordinated every aspect of Katie’s care and now works with organ transplant procedures at Mayo.
The results of today’s event will be coordinated and reported after the event is over, but it looks like this was another successful event for Katie Ride for Life and the organ transplant program and education.
April 20, 2013 1:55 p.m.