Torch of Life raises awareness of organ and tissue donation
Kyle Frederickson and Julianne Tersigni carry the Torch of Life down Colborne Street in Orillia, Canada yesterday. Photo by Courtney Whalen.
George Marcello knows how important organ donation is — and yesterday two Orillia students helped him spread the word.
Orillia District Collegiate and Vocational Institute students Julianne Tersigni and Kyle Frederickson visited city hall to light the Torch of Life before carrying it through Orillia and ending at ODCVI. The torch will pass through 100 communities across Canada to promote organ and tissue donation.
“People are dying because there’s not enough people who donate,” Kyle said after lighting the torch.
It was while in a Toronto hospital waiting for a liver transplant that Marcello became aware of the need for more donors.
“There were two halls — one that led to the morgue and one that led to the operating room — and the one that led to the morgue was getting more action,” recalled Marcello. “I thought, ‘How can this be?’”
Since receiving his transplant, he’s made it his mission to raise the number of donors in Canada. He founded the Step By Step foundation and, since 1997, has spearheaded campaigns to raise awareness.
The current campaign, the foundation’s sixth, is titled SOS4000 in reference to the more than 4,000 Canadians waiting for organ donations.
Yesterday, the two Orillia 11th-graders ended their run in the gym at ODCVI to a standing ovation from fellow students.
For more about Step by Step, go to click here.
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