|Almenas exits Hudson River during 2012 NYC Ironman|
When 3,000 athletes take the plunge into the Hudson River along Manhattan’s West Side at 5:50 a.m. on July 14th, Fort Lee’s Max Almenas will be among them supporting his cause of Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA).
A community volunteer for www.COTAforJohnnyD.com, Almenas will be raising awareness and encouraging donations by corporations and individuals to COTA in honor of 17-year-old heart transplant recipient, Johnny Damato of Fort Lee.
The Aquaphor New York City Triathlon, the only Olympic-distance Triathlon in New York City, includes Pros, ParaTriathletes (physically challenged) and Age Group athletes, ranging in age from 18 to 78.
Participants will swim 1.5 kilometers (.9321 miles) in the Hudson, bike 40 kilometers (24.85 miles) on the Henry Hudson Parkway, and run 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) in Central Park. Athletes are represented from 48 states and 30 countries, including Argentina, Israel, Vietnam and New Zealand.
The Triathlon will also host the Animal Medical Center 5-Mile Doggy Dash with dogs and their humans vying to be the first to cross the finish line in Central Park to win the coveted Red Fire Hydrant.
With the cost of a transplant often exceeding $500,000, sparking ongoing transplant-related expenses, many transplant families are unable to shoulder the financial burden of such a procedure. The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses. In Fort Lee, volunteers are raising funds for COTA in honor of transplant patients like local teen, John Damato.
Johnny is the son of John and Rita Damato. Born on June 21, 1996, John was diagnosed with rare heart defect that suddenly and dramatically manifest itself when Johnny was 14, causing a two-year downward spiral in his health. On June 13, 2012, the doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, performed a life-saving heart transplant. An estimated $100,000 is being raised by Fort Lee volunteers led by friends and family of Johnny. Almenas is encouraging corporations and foundations to donate at the time of the Triathlon at www.COTAforJohnnyD.com.
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Media representatives may contact the campaign Public Relations Coordinator Mary Gendron of Middleton & Gendron Brand Communications at 212-980-9065 or at 917-340-1006 or email@example.com for more information about the family or the COTA community fundraising campaign.
If preferred, donations may be mailed to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, Indiana, 47403. Checks or money orders should be made payable to COTA, with “In Honor of Johnny D” written on the memo line of the check. Secure credit card donations are also accepted online at www.COTAforJohnnyD.com.
Johnny’s family has asked for assistance from the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. The organization’s priority is to assure that no child or young adult is denied a transplant or excluded from a transplant waiting list due to lack of funds. One hundred percent of all funds raised are used for patients’ transplant-related expenses.