Reno Family in Honor of the Legacy of Balloon Racing Weekend


Friday September 10th would have been Alex Anderson’s 40th birthday. Anderson died in May 2020 and is survived by an expanded network of family and friends, many of whom live in the Reno, Nevada area. An athlete and avid skier, Anderson was a registered organ donor and saved the lives of four people through organ donation.

Alex Anderson, a self-chosen organ donor, saved four lives after he died suddenly in May 2020. Anderson’s family will celebrate his life this weekend.

“Alex gave our family and the people to whom he donated four of his vital organs – his heart, his liver and his kidneys – as a gift that he made this decision himself and selected himself as an organ donor when he registered with the DMV”, said Dawn Tindal, Anderson’s mother. “Through his own compassion and thoughtfulness, he gave four people a second chance.”

This weekend, as more than 100 hot air balloons float through Truckee Meadows for the 40th Anniversary of the Great Reno Balloon Race, Anderson’s family will come together to celebrate his 40th birthday. While hoping to celebrate Anderson’s life with the Great Reno Balloon Race on Friday, they decided instead to have a private, smaller celebration of life with friends and family, and watch the Balloon Race from afar.

“Because Alex died early in the pandemic, our family hasn’t gotten together to celebrate Alex’s life. I hope this weekend brings us all some of the closure that has been missing since his death, ”said Tindal.

Tindal has been Ambassador for Donor Network West since January 2021, working to expand her son’s legacy by sharing the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation with others. She says what started out as a way for her to come to terms with the loss of her son helped her own recovery from grief by working to educate others about the second chances that organ donation can offer.

There are currently more than 600 Nevada residents on the organ transplant waiting list. Nationwide, the number is even higher. More than 100,000 people across the country are waiting for an organ transplant.

Donor Network West, sponsoring the Great Reno Balloon Race Dawn Patrol on Sunday, has helped facilitate the recovery of every life-saving organ in northern Nevada for the past 30 years. The non-profit organ procurement organization named by the federal government has set itself the goal of giving people a second chance at a life through organ and tissue donations for transplants and research.

“We are honored to be part of the Great Reno Balloon Race, a landmark in northern Nevada,” said Janice Whaley, President and CEO of Donor Network West. “Our support for this event is an extension of our efforts in the community to raise awareness of the vital importance of organ, eye and tissue donation and the many Nevada residents waiting to be given a second chance at their lives. We encourage everyone to register as organ donors so that together we can help save and heal more lives. “

As part of its sponsorship, Donor Network West will have a booth at the event on all three days and educate attendees about organ, eye and tissue donation. On Sunday, Donor Network West is sponsoring Donor Awareness Day at the Great Balloon Race, which will feature a special Donor Awareness Walk, Wall of Hope exhibit, and anyone who shows the organ donor heart on their driver’s license or is considering registering as an organ donor can get a free green glow bracelet at the Donor Network West booth. Donor Network West will also be handing out customized trading cards from their sponsored Firenze balloon, which is controlled by Koh Murai, a kidney transplant recipient.

Anyone can register as an organ donor. To learn more and to register as an organ donor, visit

– @MyDNWest –

Via the donor network West
Donor Network West saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue restoration for transplants and research. Founded in 1987, the organization is an official Donate Life organization accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Donor Network West serves 45 counties in Northern Nevada and Northern California and is headquartered in Northern Nevada and California and works with the Department of Motor Vehicles and state-authorized donor registries. For information, visit and follow us on social media: @mydnwest.


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