UPMC Transplant Surgeon Trades in His Scrubs for Race Car Duds to Raise Money for Transplant Recipients
Geoffrey Bond, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and transplant surgeon at the UPMC Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute will participate in the 2007 Tire Rack Cannonball One Lap of America, May 5 through 12 at the Tire Rack in South Bend, Ind. Dr. Bond will race his Lotus Exige S with co-driver Scott Schober not only for the thrill of the competition, but also to promote organ donor awareness and to raise funds for transplant recipients. The Odenbach Fund of the Starzl Transplantation Institute was created to provide life-saving medications for transplant recipients whose health plans do not cover all the costs for these life-sustaining medications.
“I enjoy racing because it allows me the opportunity to meet plenty of new and exciting people outside the hospital and provides me with the ability to drive really fast in a legal, safe and controlled environment,” said Dr. Bond.
Dr. Bond, originally from Sydney, Australia and now living in Shadyside, practices at many local race tracks, including the BeaveRun Motorsports Complex, located in Beaver Falls, Pa. “As a transplant surgeon, I also am acutely aware of the severe shortage of donated organs and my hope is that, through this event, I can raise awareness about the benefits of organ donation.”
Currently, more than 98,000 people in the United States are waiting for some type of solid organ transplant. To help ‘drive home’ the importance of organ donation, Dr. Bond will travel with a display of recent transplant recipients and promote organ donation at every stop along the course.
“This is a fun and unique way of helping to raise America’s collective consciousness on the benefits of organ donation,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE). “By giving the gift of life, you are giving sight back to a blind person, a new liver to a grandfather who can now play with his grandchildren, and a new kidney to a diabetic mother of three.”
Both Dr. Bond and Mr. Schober are being supported by the following sponsors: UPMC and the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, Lotus Car USA, the Pittsburgh-based Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE), Allegheny Petroleum Products, The Discovery Channel, BeaveRun Motorsports Complex, and APEC Performance.
One Lap of America is a legalized Cannonball-style race where participants drive 5,600 miles across the country from one race track to the next within seven days. No support crews are permitted during the race, and the same tires that are used on the street are also used on the race tracks. Scoring is based only on performance at the race tracks, and there are various levels of competition depending on skill level and class of cars. Racers must abide by governing speed limits when driving on the open highway. Race enthusiasts can follow all of the events online at www.onelapofamerica.com .
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