UMC Transplant Recipient Prepares for Ride of His Life

Pila Martinez
Aug. 25, 2000




Three years after receiving a new heart at University Medical Center, a Flagstaff man will show his gratitude for the second chance by taking part in a seven-week bike ride from Maine to Florida.

Frank Loskota was picked from among 500 organ and tissue recipients who applied to take part in the third annual "Five Points of Life Ride," the creation of LifeSouth Community Blood Centers of Gainesville, Fla. The ride, which begins in Bar Harbor, Maine, on Aug. 26, will include rallies and other events along the way to raise awareness about the importance of blood, tissue and organ donation.

Loskota, 42, heard about the ride two years ago through a Flagstaff support group. After getting clearance from his doctor, Dr. Jack G. Copeland, head of cardiothoracic surgery at UMC and co-director of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, Loskota began training.

"It's my one thing to try and give something back," Loskota said.

Although he never has met the Phoenix family of the donor whose heart he received, he's participating in the ride in part to show his appreciation to them. He also hopes to show off UMC's good work. "I think this says a lot for the program we have at UMC," Loskota said. "It's a tribute to them, too."

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