Superior Health Foundation & U.P. Run For Life start organ donation fund

It’s now a little easier for Upper Peninsula residents to either receive an organ transplant or serve as an organ donor.

The Superior Health Foundation and U.P. Run For Life have set up an organ donation fund. Organ transplant patients and potential donors can rack up unexpected expenses. They, or their insurance providers, may not be able to cover the costs.

That’s where the fund steps in “to help them with those costs, those out-of-pocket expenses, the travel expenses, the meals, the lodging,” Superior Health Foundation executive director Jim LaJoie said. “We don’t want that to be a prohibitive factor for people to take part in organ donation.”

Transplant patients can receive up to $1,000 per year. Potential donors can receive up to $500. Applications and more information are available online at

“It’s a great feeling, just knowing that we’re able to promote organ donation, spread the word of the importance of it, along with being able to assist transplant patients,” U.P. Run For Life run organizer Amy Harju said. “It’s a great feeling.”

The fund has already received some financial support. The Marquette Royales hockey team raised money in December through what they called Skate For Life by auctioning off special jerseys that they wore in a pair of games.