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Alysun Deckert knows what it means to run fast. She always has, dating back to high school in Salinas, Kansas, where she won nine state championships running cross-country and as a track athlete in the 1600m and 3200m.

Turned marathoner after college, she also knows what it means to sustain performance at the highest levels—not just over the course of a grueling 26.2-mile marathon, but over long periods of time as well: having competed in Olympic Trials for the marathon in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008.

As clinical nutrition manager at UW Medical Center, she also understands what it means to start over again. Deckert coaches kidney, liver and pancreas transplant patients back to strength and life as part of Team Transplant, a comprehensive training and exercise program she helped found in 2001.

“It’s about getting people out and saying, yes, you can exercise, you can go a little farther, you can push yourself a little harder,” Deckert says of Team Transplant, whose goal is to promote fitness as well as organ donation awareness by training for and completing a half marathon in the Greater Seattle area. “I thought, instead of doing something in honor of them, let’s get them to be the participants.”

On Sunday, Nov. 26, UWMC staff joined 15 transplant recipients and living donors from Team Transplant at the 2017 Seattle Marathon. Visit the team’s Facebook page for photos from the event.

Read more about Alysun Deckert over at the Whole U.

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