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Jesse Pagels

Jesse Pagels | Cream City 5K

An avid runner and trumpet player, Jesse was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2003. After undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant, he was cured. Unfortunately, the treatment damaged his lungs. Not only could he not run or play trumpet, he needed new lungs to survive. In 2013, a match was found and Jesse underwent a life-saving double lung transplant. 

Looking for a way to give back – and reconnect with his passion for running – Jesse founded the non-profit Cream City 5K. Each year, the event not only donates its proceeds to Versiti, but is also brings awareness to the gifts of life that organ donors and families provide to Jesse and other patients in need. 

“Our partnership with Versiti is important, because they are on the frontlines of organ, tissue and eye donation,” says Jesse. “I received this incredible gift, and through this event, I’d like to help other people.”  

Become an Organ and Tissue Donor
Learn more about how to sign up as an organ, tissue and eye donor and how organ donation saves and enhances lives in our communities.
Share Your Story
Versiti invites you to share your story and photo to help encourage more people to give back. You may even be featured throughout the year on our social media.
Ways to Give
You can support Versiti’s mission in several ways, including donating blood, hosting a blood drive, joining the organ and tissue donor registry, and more.