Twice on the Brink of Death, Social Distancing Won’t Stop Former Baltimore Police Officer’s Mission to Help Others in Need of Transplant

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Cassidy family gathers 100-member team for free virtual 5K to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation

Gene Cassidy, 60, of Bel Air, a former Baltimore City police officer, was shot over 25 years ago while attempting to serve an arrest warrant. He thankfully survived after being shot in the head twice, though he lost his sight and required several blood transfusions. In 2011, Cassidy was faced with another health crisis: end-stage cirrhosis of the liver caused by hepatitis C, which he contracted from blood transfusions since the disease was not tested for at that time.

In June 2012, Cassidy’s life was saved once again after receiving a full liver transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Since then, he and his family have become passionate supporters of The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland (The LLF), the state’s organ procurement organization in charge of coordination, advocacy, family support and public and professional education for organ, eye and tissue donation, and its mission to help save as many lives as possible throughout Maryland. Each year, Cassidy and his wife are joined by family and friends at the annual Donate Life Family Fun Run where they participate as team The F.O.G. (Friends of Gene). This year, despite social distancing restrictions, they have remained steadfast in their commitment, maintaining over 100 team members to participate virtually from all across the state.

While many lives are saved every day, there are about 3,000 Marylanders waiting for a life-saving transplant. By registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor, one person has the potential to save eight lives through organ donation and enhance over 75 lives through tissue donation.

Hosted by The LLF and now in its 12th year, the 2020 Donate Life Family Fun Run (1K or 5K walk/run) celebrates donation and transplantation and honors the many donors and families who make it all possible. This year’s free virtual program kicks off online via Facebook and YouTube Live Saturday, September 26 at 9:00 a.m. and will continue with live updates, shout outs and giveaways through Monday, September 28.

For more information, to view the full weekend schedule or to register for free, please visit donatelifefunrun.org. For questions, please contact The LLF at familyfunrun@thellf.org or 410-242-7000.

ABOUT THE LIVING LEGACY FOUNDATION OF MARYLAND

The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland is a non-profit organization who saves and enhances lives through organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation. We are federally designated to serve the state of Maryland with the exception of Charles, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties. The LLF offer family support, provide education to the public, and are passionate about our mission of saving and enhancing lives.

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