Monday, July 28, 2008

Golf event to raise funds for transplant recipients

Organizer knows from own experience how important some extra help can be

From The Chronical-Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia:

When Trevor Umlah had to move to Toronto last year to await a double lung transplant, his hockey buddies raised money to help manage the unplanned expense. This year he’s trying to repay that generosity by raising money for others who face big travel and accommodation bills for an operation they can’t get in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Umlah, of Dartmouth, is organizing the first annual Nova Scotia Lung Transplant Classic golf tournament, to be held at Northumberland Links near Pugwash on Aug. 3.

The 39-year-old, who has cystic fibrosis, said Wednesday he was warned he might be in Toronto for months waiting for donated organs, but a match came up in just three weeks.

Even so, he estimated it cost $20,000 to $25,000 to travel to Toronto and stay there before the operation and for three months of rehab afterward.

Nova Scotia pays the cost of the operation but not the travel and accommodation expenses.

"It’s a big worry for a lot of people," said Mr. Umlah.

Last month the provincial Liberal party called on the government to cover those extra costs for lung transplant patients, citing the case of Marilyn MacKay of Louisdale, who has been waiting near Toronto for the procedure since August 2007.
Members of the public who wish to participate, sponsor, donate or volunteer can visit NS Lung Transplant for more information.

For more information about the event please contact Trevor Umlah at (902)981-8130.

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