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April 26, 2012
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C.A.R.E. 5K & 10K Run and Walk

By Jared Curtis

Annual event promotes organ donation

Runners during last year’s event. The 2012 C.A.R.E. 5K & 10K Run and Walk will take place on Saturday, May 5 beginning at Centennial Park, 1255 Warrior Lane, Waukee. Registration and packet pick-up begin at 7 a.m., and the events start at 8:30 a.m. For more information, visit

Six years ago, Ted Cochran was just like every other normal American. But all that changed in August 2006 when Cochran needed a life-saving kidney transplant. Cochran’s loving mother donated her kidney to her son, and from that day on, Cochran knew he needed to honor his mother’s gift by helping other transplant patients and their families as well as spread knowledge of organ donation. That lead him to become the founder of My Angel Foundation and eventually organize the Compassion for Awareness, Remembrance and Education (C.A.R.E.) 5K & 10K Run and Walk, which will hold its 5th annual event on Saturday, May 5.

“After getting my kidney transplant, I started My Angel Foundation, which is a non-profit organization,” Cochran said. “I had no experience with non-profits, but through discussions with other organizations, the idea of a run came together.”

The mission of the event is to spread awareness about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation by commemorating the lives of organ, eye and tissue donors; celebrating the lives of organ, eye and tissue recipients; and recognizing the lives of those waiting for a lifesaving transplant.

“The first year we had about 250 people participating,” Cochran said. “Every year the attendance has grown and last year we had more than 750 people and raised more than $30,000 to benefit organ and tissue donation awareness. We’re hoping to reach the 1,000 (participant) mark this year.”

Although Cochran doesn’t call himself a runner, he thought the race and all it entails would be a good fit for the organization.

“It’s a very inspiring event. We have more than 50 teams that participate all wear their own shirts and colors,” he said. “You hear all of these amazing stories about people receiving or donating the gift of life. It’s such a positive day for everyone.”

Participants can register online ( or the day of the event for $25. Everyone who pre-registers is guaranteed a T-shirt. Cochran says runners and walkers of all ages and skill levels are involved. There’s also a free kid’s fun run called the Kiddie K.

“We have lots of casual walkers and runners who participate and we also welcome strollers and wheelchairs. We have a lot of repeat runners, but as word spreads of the event, we have new people participating every year,” he said. “We also have a lot of professional runners because the 5K and 10K run is a great warm-up for the upcoming Dam to Dam event.”

Winners from each group will not only take home the glory of finishing first in the race, they also take home some prizes.

“The top three overall male and female in both the 5K and 10K run will receive trophies. Plus, the top three in each age category will receive medals,” Cochran said.

Cochran says this is the perfect time for the race as the weather warms up and more running/walking events start to emerge. He encourages everyone, no matter if you’ve been affected by organ donation or not, to participate and help spread awareness.

“It’s a great way to get outside and get some exercise while passing through some beautiful Waukee neighborhoods,” he said. “Sure, people enjoy the medals and trophies, but the majority of people are there to have fun and promote awareness.” CV

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