LIMA — There is a college student somewhere in Ohio with Christopher Blosser’s Kidney. Knowing this brings a little peace to Jackie Blosser, who lost her son in a car accident five years ago.
“Knowing that someone else is walking around out there with a piece of him surviving, it just helps with peace of mind to know that something good came out of that tragic accident. That it wasn’t all bad,” she said.
Blosser and her family have become ambassadors for organ donation. Blosser is an “ambassador” in the literal sense; she has received training and volunteers for Lifeline of Ohio.
On July 15, a team of 13 family and friends, “Christopher’s Crew,” will run Lifeline’s 5K Dash for Donation in Columbus. The youngest members of the family will do a Kids Dash. It’s the families fifth year at the event, which promotes organ and tissue donation and often brings together both donors and recipients.
“It is just so inspiring to see people who were donor recipients out there running with people who are their donors,” Blosser said.
Christopher, 15, was one of two Shawnee High School students who died from injuries sustained in a one-car accident July 15, 2007, on South Wapak Road. The driver of the car, Cody Dick, also died in the crash. Another passenger, 15-year-old Isaiah Irons, survived.
Once learning Christopher would not survive, Blosser and husband, Mike, made the decision to donate his organs. They spent a long day at the hospital waiting with Christopher for the transplant team to arrive.
“When I was sitting in that room in ICU and they had told me how grave he was, that he wasn’t going to survive, my first thought was well then he needs to survive through someone else,” Blosser said.
Doctors were only able to take Christopher’s kidneys and liver. While disappointed, the family was told that his body had suffered too much trauma for anything else.
Following Christopher’s death, Blosser began getting literature from Lifeline. That led to the first Dash for Donation. The family walked a 1K the first year, but was inspired by the people there to run from then on out.
“I decided that day that I would run next year for Christopher,” aunt Michelle Helmig said. “I lost 45 pounds and ran. I wanted to make him proud of me.”
Helmig’s husband, Brian, began working right after the accident on a campaign to teach teenagers about making good decisions and the dangers of drinking and driving. Dick had been drinking before the crash. Brian Helmig, Blosser’s brother, developed a video to take to area schools. “The Christopher Blosser Story” can be found on Youtube.
Two of Helmig’s four children never knew Christopher, but they have heard stories after stories about their cousin. They release balloons on his birthday, including once with a small skateboard tied on, and sometimes leave cookies and pumpkins at his grave site.
“They know who Christoper is,” said Michelle Helmig, who is also a Lifeline ambassador. “They know that his organs are different places, that he helped save people.”
Blosser and Helmig have learned much about organ donation since becoming involved in Lifeline. Blosser never thought about tissue donation, until realizing a a few years ago that daughter Erika’s ACL repair was possible because of it.
The Dash for Donation has become a summer family tradition. Blosser, who drives with a “Donate Life” license plate, often wonders if Christopher’s donor recipients are there.
“I think for me it is a way to honor his life,” she said.”There had to be a reason for why this happened. The reason must have been that someone needed those organs and that I needed to do something to makes sense of it or make a bigger thing of it. Being an ambassador and getting involved was my way of keeping his memory alive.”
People can register to participate in the Dash for Donation up until the day of the event. Races start at 8 a.m. at Nationwide Arena. Race day registration starts at 6:30 a.m. For information, go to www.dashfordonation.org.
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