By Johanna Weidner Waterloo Region Record
KITCHENER, Ontario — Heart and lung transplant recipient Dana Trude cheered while crossing the finish line after walking a half marathon.
“Then when I did that, a bunch of people cheered me on,” said the Kitchener woman. “It was really cool.”
Feeling healthy and fit enough to join last weekend’s Toronto marathon is a big accomplishment for Trude. Just over four years ago, she desperately needed a new heart and lungs when her organs failed.
While the transplant gave her a new chance at life, she struggled with complications such as diabetes, chronic rejection and liver and kidney trouble. She may need another lung transplant down the road.
But Trude, who turns 50 in July, keeps going and discovered a love for walking. She did a 10-kilometer fundraising walk for the Canadian Diabetes Association in Hawaii last December — also marking the fourth anniversary of her transplant.
“I feel fabulous. I actually feel fabulous. The walking really helps,” Trude said. “I have to have a goal, though.”
Her next goal is a bit more unusual. Trude will jump out of a plane as part of a fundraiser being organized by Cambridge heart transplant recipient Andrea Clegg and her mother Carol Morningstar.
Carol Morningstar and Andrea Clegg
Thinking about all the life-saving care Clegg got at Toronto General Hospital, they wanted to raise money for its transplant unit. Clegg, who got a new heart late last year, said she and her mother had the same idea: “Let’s do something big.”
People will pay for their jump, which means the hospital will benefit from all donations to the June 18 event at the Dunnville airport. Money raised at the barbecue (at the airport) will go toward Life Donation Awareness Association which Clegg founded.
Raising awareness is important for Clegg and the others joining the event. They are all people who have been touched by a transplant or donated their loved one’s organs and tissues.
Clegg wants people to know what a difference an organ donation can make, as well as showing patients that life carries on after a transplant.
“You can still have a life with organ donation,” said Clegg, 27.
More about the skydiving event
SATURDAY JUNE 18 AT THE NIAGARA SKYDIVE CENTRE
536 Regional Road, DUNNVILLE ONTARIO
The all-day event will include activities for families, a BBQ, entertainment, and of course, information on becoming a registered organ and tissue donor.
Read Andrea Clegg's blog: http://stayingtruetomyheart.blogspot.com/
Life Donation Awareness Association
“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Register to be an organ and tissue donor & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at organdonor.gov (Go to top right to select your state)
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save or enhance the lives of up to fifty people with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants (see allotransplantation). One tissue donor can help by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves
Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant. Organs can save lives, corneas renew vision, and tissue may help to restore someone's ability to walk, run or move freely without pain. Life Begins with You