Golden Gate Relay Aids Organ Donations

Every year since she was born, sophomore in high school named Kamrin has attended the Golden Gate Relay. The race, held annually in Northern California, benefits an organ donation charity called Organs R Us.Golden Gate Relay map

Kamrin has been so involved because her uncle, Dr. Jeff Shapiro, is the Golden Gate Relay's director and creator.

The relay race involves teams of 12, and the relay stretches a total of 191 miles from Napa to Santa Cruz. It helps to raise money and awareness about organ donation.

The run lasts through the night and stretches into the next day. Regardless, Kamrin said the runners, "are just as enthusiastic at the finish as when they started." The last stretched through the weekend of May 2 and 3.

"It's a really fun event and all the runners are extremely dedicated to the cause," Kamrin said. With so many miles to run, dedication is a must!

Karmrin said that while she always had fun at the event when she was little, in the last few years she's really come to understand why it is such an important cause to back.

"Meeting those waiting for an organ and organ recipients is an eye-opening experience that makes you value your life and good health," she said.

Early on Saturday morning on the first day of the event, Kamrin helps the relay crew and lots and lots of volunteers set up racing booths at the starting line. She explained that it's not a race as much as it's about completion.

"The race has a staggered start because the many teams racing all have varied speeds and need to arrive at the finish within the next day," she said.

The slower the time, the earlier they need to start. If the teams are super fast, they won't need to start until later in the afternoon.

Once everything is set up, Kamrin works at the Golden Gate Relay store where she sells Golden Gate Relay merchandise and makes sure that every team has their shirts for the race.

"All proceeds from the Relay store benefit Organs R Us," she said. "My favorite part about the event is meeting the variety of passionate runners who are so excited to be a part of this event…. there are also teams of families and friends running for someone waiting to receive an organ."

Teams from Facebook, Google, Twitter and Yahoo also show up to show their support.

Raising awareness is a huge part of what the relay does.

"At the last Golden Gate Relay event, I had the chance to meet many organ recipients who were volunteering as well as young kids waiting for an organ," she said. "It's a frightening things to think about a vital part of your body suddenly stopping working and it's even more frightening to think that there may be nothing to replace it with. The families and recipients I met had been through or were going through that very scenario, and yet they remained extremely upbeat and hopeful."

Through her time volunteering at the event, Kamrin has become very educated about the organ transplant process. She wants to become a registered organ donor. She's also learned that organizing an event like a massive relay requires a lot of work.

"The persistence and perseverance that makes this event possible is something I can carry over with me into any of my own future projects."

She urges girls to be like her and find a cause that they are excited about and can really get behind.

"Find a way to utilize a personal skill to help that cause or charity," she said. "If you can find a way to take something you really love to do and use it to help a charity or cause that you support, you can make a huge difference."

But there's a lot more to Kamrin than her work once a year at the Golden Gate Relay. She loves filmmaking, and even shot footage of runners this year that she hopes will soon become part of a promotional video for the relay.

"My absolute favorite thing to do is watch and analyze a well-crafted movie," she said. "I think film is the most powerful art medium because it encompasses all the other arts (music, photography, design, fashion, writing, etc.) and it can be used to send a message to a large audience. "

She wants to keep learning more about film by helping on real film sets, and by writing and directing short films of her very own.

"I want to write and direct honest movies that communicate enlightening and uplifting messages to society," she said.