Along with preparing for the event’s challenges, the participants currently are collecting funds for Cowart’s future medical expenses, not covered by insurance. Diagnosed with kidney failure, the Cartersville resident needs a life-saving kidney and pancreas transplant.
“It’s really been overwhelming,” Cowart said about the public’s support. “It really makes you think how our community comes together when people need them. ... We are truly humbled by the outpouring of love and support. It’s just been amazing.
“Patrick Nelson is one of [my husband] Brad’s best friends and it was his idea to do this. We are so appreciative to him. Him and his family are really special to us anyway, but it just means a lot. And then, the people that are on the [Bartow’s Amazin’ Race] committee, a lot of them I don’t even know but Brad knows them. [They are] taking time out of their busy schedule to [help us].”
With possible matching funds within the Cowarts’ reach, the Bartow’s Amazin’ Race committee is hoping to generate $100,000 through the two-day event.
“Transplant surgery and post-surgery costs are extremely high,” stated Nelson, event creator and owner of Georgia Fitness Academy in Cartersville, in a news release. “While insurance will cover some costs — out-of-pocket expenses after surgery and for anti-rejection drugs are very high as well. Thus our ambitious $100,000 fundraising goal to help Kim and her family and to raise organ transplant awareness for others in need.”
After completing two days of challenges, the participating two-member teams will cross the finish line at Pettit Creek Farms — 337 Cassville Road in Cartersville — around 4 p.m. Aug. 24. Open to the public, some of the Finish Line Finale festivities will include pony rides, a petting zoo, food, live entertainment and representatives from Blood Assurance and Be the Match.
“Our goal through this whole process is to take some of the focus off of us and not be selfish with it,” said Kim Cowart’s husband, Brad. “We feel like the Lord’s laid something in our lap that we need to champion the cause, and our cause and our focus is to educate the public on what it means to be a donor and why you need to be a donor, whether it be for hair for Locks of Love, whether it just be a simple blood donation. ... Seventy-seven organ transplants occur every day in the United States. Last year, 28,000 patients began a new life because of some kind of donation. One single donor can save or enhance the lives of up to 50 people.
“... Living donors account for approximately 6,000 transplants per year and then this is the sad part — an average of 18 patients die every day while waiting on their organ to become available and it does not come in time. So that’s our focus and our goal is to educate the public. Yes, we could be selfish and yes, this is a fundraiser for Kim. But we also want to champion the cause and if we can help save one life down the road, then that’s what we want to do.”
For more information about Bartow’s Amazin’ Race or to place a donation, visit www.bartowsamazinrace.org/.