Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Life a Year - Be a Live Donor

A Life a Year™ is a charitable non-profit foundation presently being formed to help living liver donors with the financial burden that comes with being a living donor. Founder Pat Murray of Toronto started A Life A Year™ after she donated her liver to save another's life at great personal expense through the loss of a minimum of three months salary while recovering from the operation.

Pat hopes that knowing financial help is available will encourage more people to consider live liver donation. There is an urgent need for liver donors with almost 430 people on the waiting list for a liver transplant in Ontario alone.

Here's a bit of information about Pat: She is a mother, a drama teacher and a songstress (jazz vocalist). She heard about another mother, Ally Cassidy, who needed a liver in order to survive. Pat did not even know what a "live donor" was when she met the recipient's husband at a social event. Pat was so taken by Ally's story that she made a decision to donate her liver to Ally, a complete stranger, if she was compatibile. The transplant took place in September, 2006 and five months later both Pat's and Ally's lives have changed forever.

And that's when I came into the picture. Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation was approached by Pat for help and guidance in setting up her foundation and they recommended she talk to me. Now, after meeting both Pat and Ally, my life has been transformed once again. Being with people who are blessed with the spirit of giving to help fellow human beings is an uplifting experience and this is a picture of my first meeting with Pat and Ally. We met over coffee at Starbuck's in Toronto General Hospital last week.

Merv Sheppard, Pat Murray, Ally Cassidy (click for larger picture)
A Life a Year™ is presently applying for a charitable number to issue tax receipts, designing a web site and recording a CD with all proceeds going to the fund. Please watch for further announcements.

For more information e-mail Pat Murray.

You can read Pat's bio at her professional web site. Note: Pat will be the featured vocalist Saturday, February 3rd, 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm at The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar, 194 Queen St. W., Toronto. She will be performing with her recipient Ally's husband, Bruce Cassidy and his 9-piece band, the Hotfoot Orchestra.

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”

Click Here to Obtain a Donor Card

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