Hundreds of runners will step out in memory of Kayla Urrey May 25 in Middleburgh.
Sponsored by the Middleburgh Rotary Club, the Sloughter 5K this year benefits the Center for Donation and Transplant, a special facility for the Urrey family.
“We always try to help a worthy cause, and this is a great one,” said 5K organizer Steve Hoerz.
“Kayla was such a wonderful young person in Middleburgh.”
Ms. Urrey was a 2011 Middleburgh grad and was seeking her nursing degree when she suffered a pulmonary embolism and died suddenly in March 2016.
Earlier, the 22-year-old had attended a health fair and learned about organ and tissue donation. Ms. Urrey decided that’s what she’d do when the moment came.
She was 19 or 20 when she signed up for organ donations and told her mom, Jen, about it.
“Kayla was a nurse and a young mother,” Jen Urrey said. “She had heard stories about children needing donations.”
And while Jen Urrey appreciated her daughter’s pledge to donate organs, she thought that day was far in the future.
“I had forgotten about it,” she said. “That’s something that happens to your parents.”
But Kayla’s moment came much earlier than expected, and when she died, the family had to agree to her request.
“It was hard,” said Jen Urrey, “But Kayla wanted to donate to help and support families any way she could.”
And that’s happened. Ms. Urrey’s eyes, kidneys, liver and pancreas all went to help others.
“She wanted to donate everything to science. Anything she could,” Jen Urrey said.
Jen Urrey has had contact with three of the recipients, and those times brought mixed emotions––sadness but also pride that her daughter helped others.
That’s what the Sloughter 5K is all about this year. The run in the past has had 350 runners “or something like that,” Mr. Hoerz said.
He’s aiming higher this year.
“We’d like to get 500,” Mr. Hoerz said. “It’s such a good cause.”
The Sloughter 5K comes on one of Middleburgh’s Fourth Fridays, the 25th, and starts at 7pm. The run begins and ends in the Middleburgh High School driveway. In between, the course follows streets in the village.
Runners can register up to the day of the race but receive a discount if they sign up before May 18.
A registration form is on the Middleburgh Rotary Club website.
Those who can’t participate but wish to donate can write a check to the Middleburgh Rotary Club and send it to Sloughter 5K, c/o Stephen Hoerz, 132 Clover Lane, Schoharie.
For more information, contact Mr. Hoerz at 518-827-5802.