|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - October 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
Circle of Life Bike Tour stops for lunch
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – Spreading the word on the importance of organ and tissue donations, the 12 riders on the Circle of Life Bike Tour stopped in Trinity for lunch Monday during day three of their eight-day ride through Texas. “We are riding each day in honor of local people – people who have been affected by organ and tissue donation in the towns we are traveling through,” said local rider Timothy Dixon. “Its kind of exciting. We get to see a little bit of Texas while raising awareness for our cause,” he said. Dixon, a co-owner of Brooks Funeral Home in Huntsville, also is a former music minister at the Burning Hope Baptist Church in Trinity. On Monday, he was riding in honor of Tom Brooks of Trinity, an organ donor who died in August 2009. Another rider was riding Monday in honor of Donald Kendrick of Trinity, who received a heart transplant in February 2008. The 660-mile event got underway Saturday in Mansfield and will end Saturday, Oct. 30, in Waco. Each night when the riders stop, they host an event to help spread the word about organ and tissue donations. Monday, the ride began in Palestine and ended on the campus of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. “We have been getting some fairly big crowds at each of our events and this year we’ve been hitting a lot more college campuses than we have in the past. “At our events, the families of those we are honoring are their holding up signs and encouraging us on our way,” he said. Dixon noted that all of the 12 members of the riding team have some association with organ and tissue donation, most through direct family connections. He said he is unusual because his connection is as a funeral director. “In many cases, funeral directors have resisted organ and tissue donation, often because they believe it might cause them more work, or because they don’t feel the families of the deceased would be willing. I have not found that to be the case,” he said. Dixon said in his experience, most families are willing to consider donations if asked. “In my 25 years as a funeral director, I’ve never seen any negative effects on a family. The only negative would be if something was done without their permission,” he added. Sponsored by Scott and White Healthcare in conjunction with a number of Texas organ and tissue donor programs, the annual ride is designed to raise the awareness of the need for life-saving donations of blood, marrow, organs and tissues. Each of the 12 riders has a personal reason for wanting to participate in this unique event. Most have had their lives touched by blood, marrow, organ or tissue transplantation either as a donor, a recipient or a family member of a donor, or patient in need. Each day of the tour, the participants will ride in honor of a Texan in need of a transplant. Local areas have chosen the honorees. The tour will begin Saturday, Oct. 23, in Mansfield and will end eight days later in Waco. Local events in each town or city are planned to give the community a chance to participate in blood donation, register for the Be The Match Registry and sign an organ and tissue donation card. Recipients, donors and donor families will also be on hand to share their experiences and answer questions. Many organizations, companies and businesses are helping, offering sponsorships to underwrite the cost of the tour and donating much-needed funds to help with tissue typing expenses. Communities throughout the route are encouraged to take this opportunity to learn more about life-saving donations and support their neighbors searching for a life-saving gift. Those interested in signing for organ or tissue donation are asked to logon to the Be The Match Registry website at http://marrow.org or the Glenda Dawson Organ Registry at www. DonateLifeTexas.org.