Letter to the Editor

Area 5K changes life of former resident

Monday, October 8, 2012

To the Editor:

When I awoke April 12, 2012, I had no idea how much my life would change.

That was the day I was told a donor had been found and my new heart was on its way.

When my friends first approached me about doing some sort of walk, it was just after I had just been told that a heart transplant was inevitable.

I joked then that I would rather do a sit-in because at that time, I could barely vacuum my living room.

Oh, how things have changed.

I did my first 5K ever right here in Brazil for Lecia Brown just six weeks after my transplant.

Brazil will always be my home, and I'm so very grateful for the family and lifelong friends I have here.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the Brazil Parks Board and Brazil Police Department for allowing us to have the Celebration of Transplantation 5K and for keeping all of our participants safe.

Thank you to Pepsi and Brazil Kroger for providing our participants with much-needed water and bananas at the finish line.

Thank you to everyone who donated items or time to help with the race and especially those who prayed for our success, Those prayers were definitely felt.

A special thank you to the Berea Christian Church for moving their services to the park so their members could participate, and so we could all worship together after the race. It is my faith that has kept me going throughout this whole ordeal.

And a very big thank you goes out to Amber Fox, Sarah Lawrence, Jennifer Vanatti, Breanne Lawson, Missy Ray and Meredith Moon for taking your time and putting all of this together for me. Your hard work and dedication to the cause really showed and I am so very blessed to have such selfless friends. I love all of you and can't wait to do this again.

Most of all, I want to thank the unnamed donor of the heart that now beats inside me and for the lungs that you gave to my dear Glenna. I pray for you and your family daily, and all this was done in honor of you.

Ashley Zavela and Tick,

Mt. Zion, Ill.

Celebration of Transplantation Finishers:

1.Aaron Crawn 21:34
2.Josh Trout 22:04
3.Tyler Fischer 24:17
4.Jake Bennett 25:31
5.Kaden Bell 25:42
6.Bryan Chestnut 26:25
7.Evan Whitman 27:04
8.Chris Steward 27:24
9.Matt Williams 27:28
10.Nicole Bonham 27:31
11.Allen Zavela 27:42
12.Sarah Maesch 27:46
13.Terry McGuffin 28:17
14.Caleb Bell 28:44
15.Eric Bass 28:45
16.Brittany Rissler 29:16
17.Kristin Phillips 29:21
18.Amee Schrader 29:29
19.Benjamin Gushe 29:30
20.Garrett Thatcher 29:37
21.Melissa DeHart 29:59
22.Stacy Loudermilk 30:25
23.Steve House 30:30
24.Kathli Bass 30:47
25.Steve Landes 31:32
26.Robert Shorter 32:03
27.Jessica Jenkins 32:11
28.Whitney Rains 32:12
29.Jared Staley 32:16
30.Cathy Fox 32:23
31.Trisha Stevens 32:27
32.Dylan Sutherland 32:36
33.Chris Moon 33:36
34.Dave Brinson 33:44
35.Meredith Moon 33:58
36.Tyler Hess 34:12
37.Connie Swalls 34:33
38.Kim Hess 34:38
39.Tom Hess 34:38
40.Jill Bennett 33:52
41.Allison Butts 35:56
42.Alyssa Rissler 35:58
43.Lesley Hicks 36:00
44.Steven Burns 36:23
45.Kiley Rollo 36:30
46.Leah Walton 36:58
47.Karigan Krider 37:10
48.Kory Krider 38:28
49.Joshua Betts 38:29