August 1, 2006 – Toronto, ON – Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) salutes the over 80 transplant athletes, volunteers and their families headed to Edmonton for the Canadian Transplant Games which begin next Tuesday and run until Sunday.
“The Canadian Transplant Games are an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation in this country,” said Frank Markel, President and CEO of TGLN. “Every one of these competitors have come so far since their transplants, it is incredible. And that they are able to compete at such phenomenal athletic levels really illustrates the success of transplantation in Canada. We are very proud of all of them and wish them the very best of luck.”
Over 300 transplant recipients from across the country, ranging in age from 7 to 76 will gather in Edmonton to compete, volunteer and support one another this summer.
“I was born with a congenital heart condition that limited my activities all my life,” said heart and double lung recipient, Carla Borton from Thunder Bay. “And now look at me. Here I am just 1 year post transplant, headed to the Canada Transplant Games as an athlete! To honour my donor and donor family I am dedicated to being as active as I can be, but most of all, I want to increase public awareness of the need for organ and tissue donation. Winning a medal in one of my events would be great but a ‘participation ribbon’ will be my true prize.”
Sports included in the Canada Transplant Games are: track and field, swimming, tennis, table tennis, badminton, golf, dragon boat, volleyball, lawn bowling and bowling. Children are able to compete in specially arranged track and field and swimming events.
“I am really looking forward to competing next week in Edmonton,” said Aubrey Goldstein, a liver recipient from Ottawa. “I enjoy the camaraderie and sense of joy that I feel from my fellow transplant recipients. The games are not just an opportunity to get together with old friends and make new ones, but they are a great chance to show those who can’t see us during our daily productive lives doing our jobs that we are as healthy and active as those who have never been sick. I’ve come a long way since my transplant and I want people to see how important donation is, not only to me, but to all of us.”
The Games run from August 8-13, 2006.
“The Canadian Transplant Games are a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the success of organ donation in this country,” said Janet Brady a liver transplant recipient from London, Ontario. “The Games offer hope to the over 4000 Canadians on transplant wait lists, while honouring donors, and donor families for their gift of life. I am always excited to see old friends, meet new ones, and to encourage Canadians to talk to their families about their wishes to donate and save lives. After all, we are the living proof that organ donation works,” she said.
Trillium Gift of Life Network is responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating and supporting organ and tissue donation across Ontario and improving the system so that more lives can be saved. Sign your donor card. Talk to your family about your wishes.
To speak to an athlete from your area, please call 416.619.2300.
For more details on Trillium Gift of Life Network please visit our website at www.giftoflife.on.ca or call 416.363.4001 or toll free 1-800-263-2833.