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Paddlers promote organ donation with kayak trip

By Melanie Falcon, Anchor / Reporter, @Melanie_Falcon, MFalcon@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 17 2012 08:19:22 AM CDT

Paddlers raise organ donation awareness

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

One Lehigh Valley man is paddling to promote organ donation awareness.

Larry Rafes, 60, of Laurys Station, received a kidney in December of 2010 and since then he's been on a mission to spread the message of giving the gift of life.

Rafes is going on a 10-day, 200-mile kayaking tripe down the Lehigh and Delaware rivers starting Friday. It's called the "Make-A-Splash" trip to raise money and awareness for organ donation.

To kick off the trip, he's kayaking and canoeing a stretch of the Lehigh between Allentown and Bethlehem with a group of people who have been touched by organ transplants.

Many have received kidneys, corneas, or other organs. Many have been donors, or had loved ones who passed away and were donors.

After the group trip, Rafes will set off on his longer journey to Cape May, NJ.

He'll be met along the way by others who have been touched by the gift of life and he'll be stopping to continue spreading the word.

Click to learn more about the Make-A-Splash trip and Rafes' story.