Thursday, August 31, 2006

Wendy Olson's Passing


Please join me in expressing our condolences and deepest sympathy to Wendy's husband Robert and family. I took the above photo of Wendy shortly before her transplant and and she was a joy to talk to and so grateful for the opportunity to receive a "second chance" at life. She will be missed dearly.

I'm forwarding the following as received.

August 30, 2006
"Merv...It is with great sadness that I send this notice of Wendy Olson, my wife and best friends passing today at 5:40PM in the Renfrew Victoria Hospital.

Wendy had a double lung transplant June 4, 2004. Wendy's health was in decline since the beginning of this new year due to complications that could not be overcome. The doctors tried very hard to help her but it just was not to be. I will miss her so much as we have been together since we were childhood sweethearts 33 years ago. Many thanks for your support over the last few years.


Robert L. Olson"

Messages may be sent via e-mail to: Robert Olson

Note re visitation and funeral arrangements:

Wendy Olson will be at the Funeral Home of McPhail and Perkins at 85 Munroe Street East, in Renfrew Ontario (613) 432-2866. Visitations on Sunday Sept 3, 2006, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm.

Funeral Services on Monday, September 4, 2006 to be held at St Paul's Anglican Church on Argyle St in Renfrew at 1 pm.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Trillium Gift of Life Network launches Celebrity Awareness Campaign with Opera Star, Measha Brueggergosman and the support of Ontario doctors, nurses and hospitals.

August 29, 2006 – Toronto, ON – Opera Star, Measha Brueggergosman and celebrities with ties to Ontario are showing their support for organ donation by lending their names and faces to the Celebrity Awareness Campaign launched today by Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) with the assistance of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO).

“According to a recent Ipsos-Reid survey, 93 percent of Ontarians support organ donation. But we also know that the consent rate in this province is only 48 percent,” said Frank Markel, President and CEO of TGLN.

“The reason we hear time and again that eligible families don’t consent to donation is because they don’t know what their loved one would have wanted. This campaign is designed to change that. We want to get people talking about their organ donation wishes today. And we want to thank all of the celebrities who have joined us to make this such a great success, we are truly honoured to have them with us on this important mission.”

The Celebrity Awareness Campaign posters will appear in doctor’s offices, hospitals, in driver’s licence renewal envelopes, newspaper supplements, calendars, and will be available for downloading on the TGLN website.

Also added to the website today is a “Tell Your Story” section designed as a forum for the public to tell their story of why they spoke to their families about organ donation. “If you had the power in your hands to allow a blind man to see, to allow a dying child to live, to allow a person to never have to endure dialysis or insulin needles again - if you could improve the quality of life for others or even save a life, how could you possibly say no?” asked Sue Patterson, a donor mother from Barrie. “You need to talk to your family about your wishes today.”

Today in Ontario 1750 patients are on the transplant waiting list. Of those 1092 are men, 658 are women and 27 are children.

“I have been on the waiting list for lungs for over 13 months,” said Kitty Sayle, a nurse from Toronto. “A campaign to get people talking is important. Every person in this province needs to know there are so many people like me, waiting for a gift that will save our lives. I'm asking you. Right now. Go home. Talk to your family. Talk to your friends. Tell them your organ donation wishes. You need to know that a conversation could save a life. It could save a life like mine.”

Measha Brueggergosman, an Opera Star represented over 30 VIPs at the campaign launch in Toronto. “I wanted to be a part of this campaign because people are dying. There's no reason for it. Not when you can have a conversation and save someone's life. Talk to your family about your organ donation wishes. There's no reason not to. I did. Now it's your turn,” Brueggergosman said.

The Celebrity Awareness Campaign focuses on the conversation between loved ones about organ donation and includes great people like:

  • Andy Barrie

  • Roberta Bondar

  • Measha Brueggergosman

  • Tom Cavanagh

  • Don Cherry

  • Tom Cochrane

  • Carla Collins

  • Jim Connelly

  • Peter De Sousa

  • Sheila & Dr. Brenda Copps

  • David Cronenberg

  • Marilyn Denis

  • Dwight Drummond

  • Dave Foley

  • Kevin Frankish

  • Jian Ghomeshi

  • Dale Goldhawk

  • Ben Heppner

  • Norman Jewison

  • Reed Johnson

  • Lisa LaFlamme

  • Anne-Marie Mediwake

  • Colin Mochrie

  • Senator Vivienne Poy

  • Paul Shaffer

  • Kiefer Sutherland

  • Ted Woloshyn

  • Women of CTV - Ottawa

“I'm thrilled to participate in this campaign to raise awareness on talking to your family about organ donation,” said Dave Foley, an actor from Toronto. “If adding my face and name gets more people talking about this important topic then it’s a success.”

Celebrity Awareness Campaign launches are planned across the province throughout the fall, and the doctors, nurses and hospitals in Ontario have been key players supporting the initiative.

“As doctors we see first hand the life-saving impact organ donation can have on patients and the lifechanging impact it has on their families,” said Dr. David Bach, President of the OMA. “This campaign serves as an important catalyst to initiate awareness and discussion of organ donation for families in Ontario.”

“Increasing the rate of organ donation is one of the most important health issues in this province,” said Hilary Short, President and CEO of the OHA. “The OHA is committed to helping facilitate vital discussions about organ donations between loved ones by distributing Trillium Gift of Life Network posters to all of Ontario’s hospitals.”

“Nurses support families throughout the organ donation process,” said Mary Ferguson-Paré, President of the RNAO. “They see first-hand how lives are saved when families know their loved ones’ wishes. Talking about organ donation is a conversation everyone should have.”

If you are interested in receiving posters for your company/school/facility please contact us at 1.800.263.2833 or 416.619.2306.

“We have high hopes for this campaign,” said Markel. “We want people to talk to their families about organ donation and then we want them to come to our website and tell us why they thought it was important. It’s all about the conversation because it’s the conversation that can save a life.”

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.

For more details on Trillium Gift of Life Network please visit their website at Gift of Life.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mark your calendars - June 24, 2007

Mark your calendars for the 2007 annual lung transplant picnic. We are happy to announce that by booking 10 months in advance we were able to secure our preferred date of the Sunday after Father's Day, June 24, 2007.

Date: Sunday, June 24, 2007 at the same location as in the past years, Huron Park, Mississauga, Ontario, starting at 12 noon.

Location: 830 Paisley Blvd. W (between Queensway and Dundas St. W. west of Mavis.)

Browse photos from recent picnics: 2004 Photos, 2005 Photos and 2006 Photos

A big thanks to Peter Laurence for making the booking arrangements.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sara Murray Takes Gold at Transplant Games

Sara Murray, 29, won the gold for race walking, ball throw and shot put, and a bronze in volleyball at the Canadian Transplant Games this month in Edmonton, Alberta.

"Three years ago Sara Murray's lungs were so badly damaged from cystic fibrosis they were only functioning at 10 per cent capacity and she was told she had less than a year to live."

That's how a story by Lisa Tallyn grabs your attention in the August 25th issue of Georgetown, Ontario's The Independent & Free Press.

I am proud to say that I have met Sara many times during our recovery from lung transplants at Toronto General Hospital. Her accomplishments since receiving the "Gift of Life" adds to the growing list of people whose lives have been transformed by an organ transplant. You will enjoy reading her story.

Thanks to Diane Murray-Charrett (Karen Murray's sister) for alerting me to this article.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Overview of Lung Transplantation

Medscape Transplantation has published this excellent overview of lung transplantation. Go the the web site for the full article with references.

Overview of Lung Transplantation
For many patients with end-stage lung disease, lung transplant is the only option available, and it offers the chance for their quality of life to be significantly improved. In the adult, the vast majority of lung transplants are performed for 4 conditions: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (39%), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (17%), cystic fibrosis (16%), and alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (9%). Whenever possible, bilateral lung transplants are preferred; however, in cases of pulmonary fibrosis and selected cases of emphysema, single-lung transplants are acceptable and help to distribute needed organs to a larger population of critically ill patients. Because of the risk of infection and cross-contamination, unilateral lung transplants are contraindicated in patients with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis. Overall, an equal number of single- and double-lung transplants have been performed annually since 1995.

The benefit of lung transplantation comes in the form of both survival and quality of life. However, the benefit is not realized until 3 to 6 months following transplant and comes with up-front risk. Even in experienced transplant programs, operative mortality rates may be as high as 8% and 3month survival is approximately 84%. From 1992 to 2003, overall survival at 1, 3, 5, and 10 years was 74%, 58%, 47%, and 24%, respectively, with the average life expectancy following transplant just more than 3 years. In general, patients with COPD, emphysema, and cystic fibrosis fare better than those who received transplants for other conditions.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

More stories and photos from the Canadian Transplant Games

The Canadian Transplant Association has posted reports and results from the Transplant Games in Edmonton this past August. Check out this site. You will recognize many of the competitor's names and I'm sure you will be as impressed as I was with the excellent performances. There's also a downloadable games Poster available.

An athlete so far known only as "John" has posted 288 excellent photos to his Games Photo Gallery

Media Coverage
Coverage was excellent as shown by these stories.

Edmonton Journal article on nine year old Jason Goutbeck one of the first Canadians to receive a living donor liver transplant (from his father).

Carla Borton tells her games story to the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal. Carla received a heart & double-lung transplant just 15 months prior to competing in the games.

The Whitehorse Daily Star published a story about Farley Hayes, a liver transplant recipient, who was the first Yukon'er to attend the National Transplant Games.

CBC News Aug. 8th, interview with Kathy Tachynsky a kidney recipient.

The Edmonton Journal in it's August 8th edition featured an article about Mark Black, a heart & double-lung transplant recipient who four years post transplant has already run in several marathon races.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Golf for Cystic Fibrosis Sept. 6th

J. M. Kropf Fall Classic for Cystic Fibrosis research
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Guelph Lakes Golf & Country Club
7879 Highway 124, Guelph, Ontario
For information: 519-843-4852

  • Cost: $150 per person

  • 18 holes of golf

  • Golf cart

  • Steak Dinner

  • Commemorative gift

  • Registration: 11:00 A.M.

  • Shotgun start: noon

  • Non golfers may support as sponsors or prize donors

Friday, August 18, 2006

Toronto General Hospital performs four-organ transplant

Gairett MacIver, 18, is recovering after a high-risk, four-organ transplant operation on Aug. 1 at Toronto General Hospital. Gairett now has a new bowel, liver, pancreas and stomach, all from the same donor. His parents and doctors say his success is nothing short of a miracle.

Bowel transplants are extremely uncommon. Though the first successful one was performed in 1988, they were virtually unheard of until about five or six years ago. Multiple organ transplants have a longer history, but procedures involving four organs are extremely rare and always dangerous.

A team of more than 20 doctors, critical-care workers and nurses are dedicated to Gairett's recovery.

Read the article by Toronto Star staff reporter Christopher Maughan in today's paper.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Karen Murray's Memorial Service

click for larger picture
I attended the memorial service for Karen Murray yesterday in Toronto and the church was almost packed to capacity. Karen obviously was very popular and had many friends. There was a good representation from the lung transplant community and I was able to get this picture of many of them. Unfortunately some had left before we did the photo shoot but here's a list of everyone that I recognized: Gerald Sutton and his wife Kathy Marceline, Jeannie Haines, Vickie Morley, Monica Henry's mother, Judy Postma, Mary Kanters and her husband Aldus Celmins, Peter Laurence, Gary Clodge, and Joette Kruger.

The speeches were very moving.

Judy Postma, a good friend of Karen's and herself a heart and double-lung transplant recipient, gave a wonderful speech about Karen and their friendship as they took their journies through the transplant process.

Karen's parents, Marilyn and Thom Murray expressed their thanks and gratitude to the Toronto General Hospital's lung transplant team for everything they did for Karen. Karen's and her family's feelings about the transplant program were reflected by having brochures and gift cards from the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation placed at the tables of condolences noting that as an expression of sympathy donations will be gratefully accepted to the Toronto General Hospital Foundation's Lung Transplant Program, 585 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2N2.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Karen Murray Memorial Service
Wednesday, August 16, 2006, 2:00 P.M.

The following obituary notice appears in Monday's Toronto Star. There is also an article and photo of Karen in the August 15, 2006 issue of The Toronto Star. The memorial service for Karen will be held at Immanuel Baptist Church (1100 Finch Avenue East, Toronto) (Finch & Don Mills).

KAREN MURRAY Peacefully, surrounded by her family, and after a life long battle with chronic lung disease, Karen Murray, born December 7, 1962, was called home on August 10, 2006. Karen is survived by her sons Brent Halayko, Justin Halayko, and Matthew Richardson, loving husband, Victor Chadi, her parents Marilyn and Thom Murray of Winnipeg, brother Rod Murray of Winnipeg, sister Alana Murray of Vancouver, sister Diane Murray-Charrett, brother-in-law Craig and nephews Thomas, Cameron, and Patrick of Georgetown. Also left to mourn Karen are her stepdaughter Victoria Chadi, brother-in-law Danny Chadi (Oriana, Cindia, and Nicolas), mother-in-law Argentina Chadi, very dear family friend Flor Villalobos, uncles and aunts: Don and Myra Johnson, John Wright, Dorothy Johnson, Hugh Murray, Angus and Norma Murray, Malcolm and Doreen Murray, and numerous cousins. Karen was predeceased by her grandparents, Paul and Murdina Johnson, aunt Deanna Wright, and uncle Rod Johnson.

Karen was born in Winnipeg on December 7, 1962. She graduated from Churchill High School in 1980. After a few years in the work force she decided to pursue a career in the media and began studies in the Creative Communications Program at Red River Community College. Her studies there included various internships at local newspapers and radio stations. In 1987 she made the jump to television where she was a news reporter for CKY-TV in Winnipeg. Two years later she decided to relocate to Toronto where she returned to writing for the Canadian TV trade journal Playback and particularly enjoyed being the Toronto correspondent for the Variety , the main trade journal of the American entertainment industry. She returned to the medium of television when she was hired by Citytv as a producer for the show Media Television and then SexTV a few years later. Whether in radio, newspaper, or television, Karen always had a passion for telling stories, which led her to begin creating documentary films. In 1997 she completed her first documentary film, Windows on the Asia Pacific; the Medium is the Masses. While working on a segment during her time with Citytv, Karen met and was inspired in many ways by John Dugdale, a blind photographer whose story Karen felt compelled to tell. Life's Evening Hour, Karen's second documentary, tells the story of John's struggle with HIV/Aids and blindness. In her third documentary film, Adventures in Breathing , Karen told the most personal story of all, that of her struggle with a chronic lung disease and life saving double lung transplant. This was followed with two educational films for others facing a transplant: A Patient's Perspective: Preparing for Transplant, and A Patient's Perspective: Recovering from Transplant. Not only were Karen's films an outlet for her very creative mind, but she was the recipient of numerous awards including recognition from the McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology, a Certificate of Merit from Intercom, a video compettion associated with the Chicago Film Festival, and a nomination for Best Educational Program at the Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival. Her films have appeared at numerous film festivals in North America as well as on Bravo, and Discovery Health Canada.

Karen's love for life was as much a part of her as her beautiful smile. She lived life with great joy and determination. She was a warm and caring person who spread love and kindness to all around her. Her gratitude for being alive, and the desire to live just one more day stayed with her until the very end. The last 12 years of Karen's life were made so happy when she found her sweet Victor. The two shared a loving bond that will last an eternity. Those wishing to honour Karen's memory are encouraged to remember that you have the power to save lives. Sign your donor card today and tell your loved ones of your decision. A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 at 2 p.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church (1100 Finch Avenue East at Finch and Don Mills - phone 416-494-3155).
Condolences: R. S. Kane Funeral Home

Donations gratefully accepted to the Toronto General Hospital Foundation's Lung Transplant Program, 585 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2N2.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Grant Hagerty 4 days post-transplant

I visited Grant last Thursday and was absolutely amazed at his recovery from a double-lung transplant. This photo was taken with his wife Lori shortly before being transferred from the ICU step-down to the 7th floor transplant patient unit.

Grant was in excellent physicial condition prior to his transplant, and had been exercising every day. I'm sure his speedy recovery was a result of this, along with his very positive attitude, of course.

He is an inspiration to us all.

Report from the transplant games
By Amy Holdorf

Ed. note - Amy is a kidney transplant recipient who received a kidney from her mother in 1994. Since then she has developed into quite an athlete and her flair for writing shows in this report on her experience at the games.

Thursday, August 10, 2006
I’ve been meaning to send out a daily update of my experiences at this year’s Canadian Transplant Games here in Edmonton, Alberta, but a variety of things have thwarted me. Such as gastroenteritis. Within 16 hours of my arrival in Edmonton, I was in the University of Alberta Hospital ER.

We are staying in the dorms on campus. At 5:00 a.m. on Monday I woke up with massive stomach pain, and after three hours of intestinal unpleasantness I called the front desk to see if someone could take me to the ER. The nice undergrad working the front desk called the campus police who subsequently gave me an escort to the hospital. Fortunately, the U of A Hospital is only two blocks away. The triage nurse got me in right away and 26 hours, a little morphine, a lot of Gravol, two X-rays, and 6 liters of IV fluids, I was back at the dorms more or less in one piece (kidney is fine, guts are queasy).

The staff at the U of A Hospital was fantastic, not to mention good looking! I felt like I was on the set of the TV show ER with all of the young, attractive doctors and nurses (male and female). Although, it is difficult to try to flirt when you are puking and bleeding on them. My buddies Dave and Lauren came by to visit me on a number of occasions, once at 1:30 a.m. as they finished their last airport run of the night. While they were there a doctor came to check on me, only he had just come in from an off-site emergency and was dressed in jeans, flip-flops, and a Dave Mathews Band T-shirt. Dave and Lauren thought he was a friend of mine! I was released on Tuesday morning after I kept my Cheerios down, and my buddy Alistair Stark (liver from his son Stuart) took me back to the dorms.

The good part of my sickness is that I got out of my CTA executive committee meetings! In fact, I was jokingly accused of “faking” my illness to get out of a day of boring meetings.

The opening ceremonies commenced Wed. morning at the Edmonton City Hall foyer. The building is a gorgeous modern facility. All of the athletes and donors (180 or so) sat on the main level while the spectators stood above on the walkway looking down. The ceremony was short and sweet with brief welcomes by the Mayor and others, and a reading of the athlete’s oath by 7 year old Jack from British Columbia, who had a heart transplant at age 7 weeks, and the “most experienced” athlete, Jennifer, 73, from Edmonton. Jack’s mom was more nervous than he was! The event was covered by four different TV stations, including both French and English CBC.

After the ceremony buses took the athletes to their various events. I went to the 3K run not sure if I was going to drop out or just walk the course. I was feeling really good – about 80%. The road race was in lovely Rundle Park – reminded me a bit of Forrest Park in St. Louis. The weather was perfect – 60 degrees (15C) with a few clouds. The men started with the 5K run, and the women started the 3K shortly afterwards. I decided to walk to course – what the heck, it’s a nice day and I feel good. At the line up of the race all of the women formed a big line and had a giant hug and all thought of our donors – it was my favorite moment of the day (see photo,). I'm number 3148. I ran at the beginning and the end just to look good. I came in fourth out of five in my age group. I guess I walk fast!

My buddy Mark Black, a double lung/heart recipient from Moncton, New Brunswick, discovered by his wrist odometer that the men’s 5K course was actually 5.96K (Mark is very precise). The men who had trained for a 5K were suffering. Suckers! Mark is a marathon runner and came in 3rd overall and 1st in his age group. And, due to congenital problems which lead to his transplant, he is only about 4’8” tall. Yet, he is still beating the pants off of men who are 6 feet tall! He regularly teaches running classes at the Running Room.

The Canadian Games differ from the US games in a lot of ways, but one of the big ones is that it is very small, intimate, and social. Given that Canada has 10% of the population of the US, you can understand why. There are about 160 athletes in attendance and maybe 300 people total. The evenings are reserved for social events. Wed. evening was the opening party at Fort Edmonton Park, an attraction celebrating the development of northern Canada from 1885-1920. We got a ride on steam train and walked around the grounds until it started to rain. We had dinner in the 1920s airplane hangar (see photo), followed by dancing with a live band. I was still pooped from my ER shenanigans, so I called it an early night.

The Volleyball tournament took place on Thursday morning at the Commonwealth Fitness Centre attached to Commonwealth Stadium where the Edmonton Eskimos CFL team plays. We made up teams on the fly and didn’t quite have enough athletes to fill out four teams, so random spectators and accompanying people joined the fun. I was on a team of jokers from all over Canada – Scott and Audrey from British Columbia, Ted a big goof ball from Saskatchewan, Matt one of the four other Americans at the games, and Marise Black (new bride of Mark Black the runner from above). We called ourselves “The Blisters.” We were terrible, but had a ton of fun (see photo). We played round robin with the rest of the teams and lost all of our sets. No one on any of the teams was taking it very seriously and it was tons of fun. And the Tim Horton’s lady showed up with coffee and donuts! We had some time to kill at the end, so we played kidney recipients vs. the volunteers – great fun.

The golf tournament took place today as well. Brent Dueck from Winnipeg, who received a kidney from his father, shot a 79 (he has an 8 handicap). And he got to golf with his dad! Also, many of you know Lance Tyszka a kidney recipient from Ontario. Lance was on his best behavior today since he was paired up with three nurses in his foursome and he didn’t want to make an ass out of himself in front of the ladies. He didn’t curse or throw his clubs or anything! A miracle for Lance! He shot a 95, his best of the year.

After volleyball I was wiped out and I took a BIG nap. As part of the Canadian Transplant Association executive committee I had to attend a reception to honor the monetary sponsors – mainly the drug company reps. It was great to meet everyone and schmooze with the drug company people.

Tonight the social event was a trip to the West Edmonton Mall – the largest mall in North America. My friend Christine Allard, a heart recipient from Quebec, said she is going to get the gold medal in shopping! I didn’t attend this social outing as I have to be up bright and early tomorrow. The swim meet starts at 8:00!

Its getting close to 11 pm so I better get to bed. Tomorrow is swimming and Dragon Boat racing! However, it’s going to be rainy and cold tomorrow (high of 54F, 12C). Also, tomorrow the Edmonton Eskimos have a game against the Saskatchewan Rough Riders, and the Eskimos team has generously donated 100 FREE tickets to the CTA! How cool is that?
Good night!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Karen Murray 1962 - 2006

Karen Murray's family has asked me to announce that Karen Passed away Thursday, August 10, 2006 at Toronto General Hospital. Funeral arrangements are being finalized and will be announced shortly.

This photo of Karen with her husband Victor Chadi was taken at West Park Hospital during a course of rehabilitation.
Karen Murray & husband Victor Chadi
She received a double-lung transplant November 24, 2001 and a recent setback necessitated Karen being admitted to hospital.

Karen will be sadly missed by all who knew her. A filmmaker by profession, Karen left a legacy of films about her transplant experience and we will have that to remember her by.

Please join me in expressing our sincere condolences and sympathy to Karen's family.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Support group meeting for August 9th cancelled

Maureen O'Dell, Social Worker at Toronto General Hospital has announced that the Lung Transplant Support Group meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 9th, has been cancelled. The program on aspects of care in the ICU originally scheduled for August 9th has been moved to September 13th. See the Schedule for full details.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Leonard Corn Roast - Saturday, August 26th, 2006

Vern and Audrey Leonard wish to invite everyone to their annual CORN ROAST on Saturday, August 26th starting anytime after lunch. Please give Vern or Audrey a call to confirm that you are coming. Please bring your own lawn chair and either a salad or dessert. Vern received a double-lung transplant in April, 1998 and more than 8 years later Audrey says he is doing very well. They recently returned from a cruise to Alaska and look forward to seeing old and new friends from the transplant community.

Address & Directions:
Verne & Audrey Leonard
RR 1
Oro Station, ON
(705) 487-7260

Going NORTH on Highway 11 – go to 7th line Oro-Medonte, turn right off Hwy. 11, turn left over overpass, back south on Hwy. 11 to 6th line Oro-Medonte, turn right, last house on right hand side.

Going SOUTH on Highway 11 - go to 6th line Oro-Medonte, turn right, last house on right hand side.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Halton and Hamilton Joint Forces Marine Unit teams up with Trillium Gift of Life Network to save lives

July 27, 2006, Hamilton, ON – The Halton and Hamilton Joint Forces Marine Unit (JFMU) celebrated the 2 month anniversary of an innovative new relationship with Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) yesterday by demonstrating how they help health care recovery teams transport organs, tissue and specimens across Lake Ontario in an effort to expedite lifesaving transplants in the province.

“All of us at JFMU know how important transplantation is,” said Constable Andy Olesen. “And we also know that time is definitely a factor in the retrieval and delivery of organs and tissue that save lives. As a result about 2 months ago we started helping TGLN with a water highway delivery of these lifesaving organs and tissue to the people who need them. And we are proud to be part of it.”

The JFMU has 4 boats in its fleet allowing resources for this kind of partnership. When they are not being utilized for other police activities and when weather is permitting they are available for the safe transport of health care recovery teams, organs, tissues and specimens across the waterways.

“We are very proud to be working with the JFMU on this innovative transportation collaboration,” said Mark Vimr, Vice President, Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer. “And we want to thank JFMU and all of those involved for their ingenuity and their generosity. I have heard very positive feedback from health care professionals who have been involved in this program, one very recently who, with the help of this timely delivery was able to recover several organs and ensure they reached the recipients safely and quickly. JFMU is helping us give the gift of life.”

TGLN and JFMU thank all of those involved in the collaboration to save more lives including the Peel and Toronto Marine Units, Toronto Emergency Medical Services, Yamaha Canada, Blue Max Lighting and Zodiac Canada. This new relationship has made organ and tissue donation more expedient in this area.

Right now in Ontario, 1768 patients are on the transplant waiting list. Of those, 1093 are men, 675 are women and 33 of those patients are children.

“JFMU looks forward to continuing this project,” said Constable Olesen. “We wanted to do something that would help make a difference. We are pleased to be of help.”

Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario and 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.

For more details on Trillium Gift of Life Network please visit our website at or call 416.363.4001 or toll free 1-800-263-2833.

Over 40 Ontario Transplant Athletes Head To Games In Edmonton

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 or call 416.363.4001 or toll free 1-800-263-2833.