Rhys Meirion to pull on his trainers for Cronfa Elen at the 2019 Snowdonia Marathon Eryri

This year’s iconic Snowdonia Marathon Eryri will be started by Welsh Tenor Rhys Meirion who will also be running  as part of a relay team. The team will be representing the organ donation charity Cronfa Elen and will comprise staff from the organ donation team here in North Wales as well as recipients and their families.

Making the announcement, Rhys said “I’m honoured to be starting the Snowdonia Marathon this year, and am looking forward to running the race alongside others affected by and working with Organ Donation. Since my late sister, Elen, gave her organs to others, organ donation has become a subject that’s very close to mine and my family’s hearts.

“We launched Elen’s Fund to help raise awareness of the need to talk to your loved ones about organ donation before it’s too late, and to raise money to help support new equipment, facilities and special projects to help families affected by organ donation and people in need of an organ donation.

“My family and I have been incredibly impressed to see the dedication and passion of the Organ Donation Nursing and Medical team here in North Wales. We’ve also been touched by the people we’ve met in recent years who have been given the gift of life, and are determined to keep supporting them and those who are searching for that gift of life. Thanks to the support from the Snowdonia Marathon and other generous local supporters, we’re able to do just that.”

Marathon Coordinator Jayne Lloyd said “We are so pleased to have Rhys and the team along this year. We have worked with numerous charities supported by Awyr Las and are proud to be able to promote the important message behind Cronfa Elen.”

Three people die every day in the UK because they have not received the transplant they need to stay alive. One donor can save or transform up to 9 lives.  According to NHS Blood and Transplant, 45% of families agree to organ donation going ahead if they are unaware of their loved one’s decision to be a donor, but this figure rises to 95% when they are aware of the decision. Even with legislation changes in Wales, it’s still so important to talk about organ donation. Through Elen’s Fund, Elen’s family and friends also hope to encourage people to talk about organ donation.

Jayne continued ‘Organ Donation Week seemed the perfect time to announce this. We really hope that our runners and their families will be inspired by Elen’s stay and talk to each other about organ donation if they haven’t already. Your life can save other people’s lives and provide a legacy for a new generation’

This year’s race will take place on October 26th in Llanberis starting at 10:30 am with nearly 3,000 runners will be taking on the challenging route.