Emily Markert was inspirational in promoting organ donors

Her 5K for the cause is Saturday

The story of the late Emily Markert is both tragic and inspiring. Like those who knew her, we prefer to focus on the inspiring part.

But first, the tragic part. When she was 17, the Manson resident was stricken with a severe lung problem that necessitated a partial lung transplant. Her uncles, Don Fitzgerald and Larry Fitzgerald, donated lobes from their lungs and the operation was completed in October 1999. She was healthy for awhile, but then her body began rejecting the donated lobes. In February 2006, she had a second transplant. Her health failed again however, and she died in 2014 at age 32.

What happened between the surgeries and her death is the insipring part. In that time, she became an advocate of organ donation. In the last months of her life, she came up with the idea of holding a 5K run/walk to benefit the Iowa Donor Network. It is called Emily’s Fight – Donate Life.

The next version of the run/walk will be held Saturday. It will begin at the Manson Northwest Webster football stadium. Registration, which costs $25 and includes a T-shirt, begins at 7 a.m. The running and walking begin at 8 a.m.

This will be the ninth edition of Emily’s Fight – Donate Life. Over the first eight years it generated more than $100,000 for the Iowa Donor Network.

It is inspiring to think that even as she was extremely ill, Emily Markert came up with the idea for this event which has had lasting benefits for hundreds of Iowans.

We encourage anyone who wants to get some exercise this weekend to participate in Emily’s Fight – Donate Life. We also encourage people to consider becoming an organ donor.


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