WACO (Fox 44) — The 19th annual Lone Star Circle of Life Bike Tour kicked off in Waco Saturday morning.

Throughout the tour, LOSCOL brings awareness to the need for life-saving donations of blood, marrow, organ, and tissue.

The cyclists will ride each day in honor of a Texan who has been a donor or recipient of blood, marrow, stem cells, organs, tissues or for someone searching for a donor.

Donate Life Texas says just one organ donor can save up to eight lives and impact 75 others.

Sarah Pipkin-Love is one of the cyclists for LOSCOL…something she is able to do thanks to her heart transplant from a 14 year-old-boy named Dylan.

“Dillon was able to save five people’s lives from that decision, and I was just one of the fortunate ones that got to receive his heart,” Pipkin-Love said. “And so every day we do things together, I no longer do it myself. We do it together. Dillon and I do this together.”

Dillon talked to his parents about being an organ donor, and ended up saving Pipkin-Love’s life.

“His legacy continues to live on,” Pipkin-Love said.

Pipkin-Love has also received blood and platelets.

“Those are things that you can do as a as a living donor,” Pipkin-Love said. “And so I always advocate for both. You know, talk to your family. But also you can go out there and you can do stuff now because without those, I would not be here today. And so I’m able to continue to live this life and continue to make a difference in this world because of that.”

According to Donate Life Texas, 10,000 people in the Texas are in need of a life-saving organ transplant, and every nine minutes a name is added to the waitlist.

“So many people that can be impacted just by one person’s gift,” Communications Director for Texas Organ Sharing Alliance Clarissa Thompson said.

Thompson says making the decision and taking the steps to become an organ donor lifts that decision off of your family’s shoulders.

“Even though across the state where 66% registered, there are still 44% Texans that haven’t quite made that decision,” Thompson said. “Maybe they want to do it, but they just haven’t taken the steps.”

Joe Canal’s son had a heart transplant, and he emphasized how important it is to have that conversation with loved ones about donating.

“Most people are in favor of organ donation, but a lot of people never have that conversation,” Canal said. “And so if something happens to you and your loved ones are left to make a decision, it’s a difficult decision to know whether to donate. But if you tell them ahead of time, this is what I want. It’s not only a relief, it’s an honor.”

The route for the tour is:
May 7: Kick-off event in Waco, 10:00 am, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Education Room
May 8: Team rides to Jacksonville – no event
May 9: Team rides into Nacogdoches at 3:30 pm, The Blood Center East Texas,
3520 N. University, Nacogdoches, TX
May 10: Team rides into Trinity at 2:00 pm, Trinity High School, 500 Caroline St. Trinity, TX
May 11: Team rides into Brenham at 3:30 pm, Fireman’s Park, 901 N. Park St., Brenham, TX
May 12: Team rides into Austin at 3:30 pm, Texas Dept. of Public Safety, 5805 N. Lamar, Austin
May 13: Team rides into Temple, 1:30 pm, Lake Belton High School, 9809 FM 2483, Temple