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Wendy Bumgardner

Donald Arthur - Marathoning for Two

By May 9, 2008

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Donald ArthurDonald Arthur takes his marathon walking seriously. He has a cause -- organ donation. Inside his chest beats the heart of another person. Together they plan to complete a marathon in each state of the USA. I met him at the Discovery Walk Festival marathon finish as he checked off the state of Washington. Full disclosure: I am the president of the non-profit organization that hosts this event. His story had me in tears, as he asked for additional marathon patches to give to his donor family and his physician team. I have rarely met anyone as full of life and radiating peace and gratitude as Donald Arthur.

Donald Arthur's story begins with a diagnosis cardiomyopathy in 1989. He became so debilitated he says he could hardly walk two blocks. He received his heart transplant in 1996. Only 15 months later, he finished his first New York City Marathon. While many recipient and donor families remain anonymous, Donald Arthur met and formed a close attachment with his donor family. His donor's brother later completed a marathon with him.

As a man in his 60's who came to marathoning later in life, Donald Arthur would be an inspiration even without the heart transplant angle. As part of Transplant Speakers International he spreads the word on how people can enlist as organ donors and share the gift of life. Donald has completed 27 marathons in 16 states. His plans are very ambitious, to complete one a month. I wouldn't recommend that schedule for anybody, but he is going strong.
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Photo © Wendy Bumgardner 2008

Comments
May 23, 2008 at 12:57 pm
(1) Kathy Dwyer says:

This man is my hero! He is an inspiration to everyone I know!

May 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm
(2) Martin Woolf says:

Donald is a role model for organ transplantation. He is one of the most active people I know, always trying to conquer another marathon. He is a staunch advocate for organ donation. Donald has met his donor family, and he continues to honor his donor by the active and positive life he’s living.

September 28, 2008 at 2:30 pm
(3) Jane Levine says:

This man is an inspiration! Stay strong! I know you will succeed Donald!

November 13, 2008 at 4:04 pm
(4) Greg Dixon says:

I grew up playing handball with Donald (Mr.) Arthur and his story is very inspiring. I’m definitely honored to know him!

April 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm
(5) Sharon Adderly says:

Having donated a kidney to my sister in 1988, I know full well the benefits and rewards for doing so. What a wonderful story to read of someone doing so well after so long. My sister lived 10 yrs on our kidney, having lost her battle with diabetes. She was an inspiration to me long before we shared that gift. I hope to meet Donald this year on the Discovery walk.

June 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm
(6) Grinnter says:

I can only hope I make it. If I don’t, well,
I’ve already made a difference in the world.

June 11, 2010 at 11:13 pm
(7) Rosanne says:

Donald,
What you are doing will further the cause of more African-Americans signing donor cards – I applaud you. I gifted my husband’s organs, and I encourage everyone to have a conversation with their next of kin about their wishes. This subject is very hard to broach with your family, but if people hear about your marathon running, it is bound to raise the subject in a positive way. Bravo!!

June 20, 2010 at 12:12 am
(8) Maribel says:

Donald Arthur reminds me, it is never too late to show appreciation for life and contribute to the world for the better. Thank you Donald.

June 28, 2010 at 2:38 am
(9) MOseeU says:

Mr Donald, I saw and read your story and was very inspired by your courage, attitude and success. I pray for your “50 States” achievement and I know there will be more goals and successes to come. I hope your deeds will inspire more to do what is good and right.

July 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm
(10) Brenda says:

You inspire me to keep telling as many people as possible that I share the healthiest water on earth with people. On a pH scale of 1 to 14 most people do not realize their blood pH should be 7.365 to be healthy. All disease lives below that and can not thrive above it. Our water is micro clustered (hydrating), high –ORP (antioxidant) and alkalizing to raise your pH. It is produced from a medical devise that hooks up to our kitchen tap. There is none other like it. More info at Kangen4u.h2Origin.com Everyone drinks water! Change your water, change your life!

April 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm
(11) Rob Madiyan says:

This man is areal Hero. I wish more people hear about him and his cause.

August 1, 2011 at 8:24 pm
(12) Dave says:

Im gald that Mr. Author got a second chance to run and he inspired alot of people. Everyone always see the good part of the story but not the bad part. A young teenager suffered for two years in rikers island because of the donors death. The teenager was released at the age of 18 because he told the TRUTH to the police officer that arrested him that night “I did not do it” and the witnesses that said he did it lied. That teenager was me. I still remember everthing step by step from that night til 1998. It was a nightmare but I was strong enough to survive.
God Bless Mr. Author and the donor’s family.

April 28, 2012 at 3:39 am
(13) Eric says:

He came to my school to talk to us, it really touched me.

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