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Emily’s Fight continues virtually

-Submitted photo A new bench in honor of Emily Markert and organ donors sits along the bike trail at 7382 Twin Lakes Rd. This year, Emily’s Fight will be held virtually.

Not even a pandemic can stop Emily Markert’s legacy from living on in 2020. This year, Emily’s Fight will be held virtually to continue to raise awareness for life-saving organ donation.

“The need is still there (for organ donors),” said Liz Markert, Emily Markert’s mother and organizer of the event in its sixth year. “There’s still a demand.”

There are 117,000 people waiting for a life-saving transpant in the United States, including 715 in Iowa, according to the Iowa Donor Network. The growing list sees 20 people die each day while waiting for a transplant, with another name added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.

The event, usually held as a 5K run, this year asks participants to run or stay active in their own way and send a photo of it to the Emily’s Fight Donate Life page on Facebook.

This August marks the sixth anniversary of Emily Markert’s passing, and the seventh year since she dedicated the remainder of her life to planning an annual event for organ donation awareness. The recipient of a successful double lung transplant died just days before the first event was scheduled in 2014.

“Emily touched lives from around the entire nation and world, so it’s only fitting that in 2020, anyone from around the world can join us,” Markert said.

This year, in honor of her passing, her family will display banners and balloons with water and cupcakes along the bike trail on Aug. 15 at 7382 Twin Lakes Road, for those who can participate that day in Fort Dodge.

New along the trail this year is a bench in memory of Emily Markert, who enjoyed running. Though this year’s display won’t gather any specific stories of organ donors, as were shared in years past of the event, it will honor the selfless sacrifice of organ, eye and tissue donors who have touched countless lives.

If you participate:

For everyone’s health and safety amid the coronavirus pandemic, Emily’s Fight invites the public to participate virtually.

Though there won’t be a formal run this year, a table along the bike trail at 7382 Twin Lakes Road will offer water and cupcakes alongside banners and balloons to those who can run on Aug. 15.

If you can’t participate on August 15, Liz Markert encourages participants to participate any day in August with a physical fitness or wellness activity of their choosing like walking, kayaking, biking or yoga.

Simply take a picture while doing it and share it to the Emily’s Fight: Donate Life Facebook page. Donations can be made through the Facebook page or directly to the Iowa Donor Network at 320 Adventureland Drive, Altoona, IA 50009.

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