Run, Walk or Pledge Your Support for Transplant Patients at the 17th Annual Rochester River Run

Apr. 10, 2018
Nearly 1,000 participants from throughout Western New York and Central Pennsylvania are pictured beg
Nearly 1,000 participants from throughout Western New York and Central Pennsylvania are pictured beginning the 2017 Rochester River Run.

The Rochester River Run/Walk 5K—set for Sunday, April 15 at Genesee Valley Park—is raising funds in support of patients who are awaiting or recovering from organ transplant surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Following a 9 a.m. ceremony commemorating past donors and transplant recipients, race participants will depart for a scenic USA Track & Field-certified run or walk along the river through Genesee Valley Park and the University of Rochester campus at 10 a.m. Individuals and teams are invited to run, walk or pledge their support at

All proceeds from the River Run go directly to benefit transplant patients, as they’re often in need of emergency financial assistance while awaiting or recovering from surgery. More than $200,000 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.

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, while honoring organ transplant recipients, living donors and members of donor families.

UR Medicine’s Organ Transplant programs each year serve 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.

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

With nearly 500 neighbors throughout our region 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. Pledge your support for a team or an individual—or register to participate—at Children 10 and under may participate for free.

Chip-timed racing results will be available, and the top male and female runners in each of six age groups, in addition to the top overall runners, will be recognized with awards. Plus, the top pledge collector will also receive a prize.

Attendees can also enter to win from more than 20 deluxe gift baskets to help raise additional funds in support of transplant patients.

The Rochester River Run is organized by UR Medicine’s Solid Organ and Heart transplant teams; together with Friends of Strong, a fundraising and volunteer organization serving patients, families and guests at Strong Memorial Hospital, and Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. Call Friends of Strong at (585) 275-2420 for more information about the race. Visit to learn more about the powerful, life-saving impact of organ donation.