Patient Care

15th Annual Rochester River Run/Walk 5K set for Sunday, April 17

Apr. 7, 2016
Donors, transplant recipients, families to salute Donate Life Month and support organ transplant patients.
Hundreds of participants turn out to run, walk, and pledge their support for organ transplant patients and families at the 2015 Rochester River Run/Walk 5K.

The Rochester River Run/Walk 5K—scheduled for Sunday, April 17 at Genesee Valley Park—is raising funds in support of patients who are awaiting or recovering from organ transplant surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital. Individuals and teams are invited to run, walk or pledge their support at

At 10 a.m. runners will depart on the 3.1-mile scenic route along the Genesee River, which crosses Genesee Valley Park and the University of Rochester campus. The track is certified by USA Track & Field #NY15140KL and chip-timed racing results will be available. Walkers will follow at 10:05 a.m.

Each year UR Medicine’s Solid Organ Transplant program serves hundreds of heart, liver, pancreas and kidney patients from across Western New York, the Southern Tier, and beyond. In addition to current transplant recipients, Strong provides ongoing care for patients who continue coming to Rochester for medical care related to their transplant.

All proceeds from the River Run go directly to benefit these transplant patients, as they’re often in need of emergency financial assistance while they await and recover from surgery. Approximately $130,000 has been raised since the event’s inception, and more than 100 patients have received assistance over the past three years alone—many at multiple times.

“Donor families and recipients brave challenges long after transplant and it’s important to help them as much as possible,” emphasizes Nancy Metzler, transplant program administrator and an organizer of Rochester River Run. “The proceeds from the River Run allow us to provide a little extra assistance, which can make a big difference.”

With many more patients currently on the transplant waiting list, there remains a significant need for financial assistance to help them maintain the costly medical treatments required as they await a donor. The River Run, in acknowledgement of National Donate Life Month, also strives to bring greater awareness to the ongoing need and importance of signing up for the New York State Organ Donor Registry. Prior to the race, at 9 a.m., a brief ceremony will honor organ transplant recipients, living donors, and members of donor families.

Top male and female runners in each of six age groups, in addition to the top overall runners, will be recognized with award prizes, and the top pledge collector will receive a pair of round trip tickets valid within the continental U.S. Registration is $30 until noon Friday, April 15 at, or $35 at the event. Children 10 and under are free to run or walk.

Attendees can also enter for a chance to win from more than 30 deluxe, themed gift baskets or a hand-knit Donate Life afghan to raise additional funds for transplant patients.

For more information or to register, call Friends of Strong at (585) 275-2420. Registration forms are available online at

The Rochester River Run is organized by UR Medicine’s transplant team; together with Friends of Strong, a fundraising and volunteer organization serving patients, families and guests at Strong Memorial Hospital.