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Paces for Payton run gives to families in need

The Idaho Falls community came together this morning to support families with children who have had organ transplants.

Participants took to the trail this morning for the 5th annual “Paces for Payton” walk and run. It benefits the Paces for Payton organization which helps families of children who have had an organ transplant. It all began after a little girl named Payton went into heart failure at just 7-months old. She had a heart transplant, but then had a stroke that left one side of her body paralyzed. Sadly, Payton died in August 2015. Her family now hopes that they can help others who go through what they did.

“There are kids in our community that are going through this,” said Kim Hawkes, Payton’s aunt and race director. “And you might not see them, they might kind of hideaway in their home or be down at Primary Children’s a lot, but they are here and they are in need.”

One of those families is the Hansen family. Doctors discovered their son Rayce had blockage in his urethra while he was still in the womb. After he was born, they found out he was in stage five kidney failure. Doctor’s thought he would need a transplant at the age of two; however, he didn’t need his transplant until this past February. He turns six in just a couple of weeks. His donor? His aunt.

“It means everything to us that he is where he is and to know that really he is going to be getting better,” said Misty Hansen, Rayce’s mom and Paces for Payton donation recipient.

The race featured fun activities for families like a helicopter landing, games and even Disney princesses. Paces for Payton encourages others to register to be an organ donor. Their goal is to also help those families who need it most.

“It just means so much that we can help these families with expenses that their insurance doesn’t cover,” Hawkes said. “A lot of times moms and dads are having to split schedules and take turns down at Primary Children’s and they’re traveling a lot and so it is just so wonderful and it warms our heart that we’re able to help them with these expenses and ease the burden on their pocket books so that they can focus on other things.”

The Hansen family is thankful to be a part of a community that comes together to help one another.

“Just how truly blessed we are to live in this community,” Hansen said. “I don’t know how it would be to be somewhere else and not have the love and support. And to thank Paces for Payton and Stephanie and all the people that come together.”

The Paces for Payton team said they weren’t quite sure how much they raised yet, but estimate it to be around $20,000.

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