Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ontario donor father to ride on
Donate Life float in 2007 Rose Parade
Monday, January 1st

Donate Life FloatOn New Year's Day be sure to turn on your TV to watch the Rose Parade and keep an eye out for the Donate Life Float themed "Giving From the Heart". This year a Canadian donor father, Emile Therien, will ride on the float thanks to the sponsorship of Trillium Gift of Life Network

The 118th Rose parade themed Our Good Nature, will take place on Monday, January 1, 2007 at 8:00 a.m. (PST) featuring spirited marching bands from throughout the nation, majestic floral floats, and high-stepping equestrian units. Tournament of Roses Home Page

Every Rose Parade float is assembled by volunteers who enjoy bringing the floats to life, but only one float attracts nearly 1,000 volunteers from across California and the U.S. with its mission to inspire people to donate life through organ, tissue and blood donation: the 2007 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, Giving from the Heart.

Beginning Sun., Dec. 3, volunteers who vied for the opportunity to decorate this unique float came together every weekend and throughout the last week of December to ensure that Giving from the Heart is ready to carry its precious human cargo – 23 riders from 11 states and Canada who are all living donors or donor family members.

LOS ANGELES, CA, October 2, 2006 – They gave the ultimate gift – the gift of life – and now their good nature will encourage millions worldwide to follow their example as they ride the Donate Life float down Colorado Boulevard in this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade®. Twenty-three living donors and donor family members from 11 states and Canada will ride on Donate Life’s float, Giving From The Heart, to inspire people to save lives as organ, tissue, and blood donors.

The 2007 Rose Parade signifies an important first for the Donate Life float as all riders will be living donors or donor family members, with the float’s theme bringing to life the good nature of all organ, tissue and blood donors. read the full press release

Earlier this year, Emile Therien's daughter Sarah Beth ushered a new era of organ donation in Canada when she became the nation's first organ donor after cardiac death. Says Emile, "She was a generous, compassionate, beautiful human being and she’d been very clear that if she were gone, she would want someone else to live."

Emile and Sarah Beth's Story

Emile and Beth Therien wanted to honor their 32-year old daughter’s wishes to become an organ donor after a sudden illness hospitalized her and placed her on life support. It was after the family made the decision to withdraw life support on June 17, 2006, that they approached the healthcare team with Sarah Beth’s wishes to become an organ donor. Sarah Beth Therien ushered in a new era when she became the first organ donor after cardiac death in Canada.

“Sarah Beth wanted to be an organ donor,” says Emile. “We had talked about it only days earlier in a completely unrelated way. She was a generous, compassionate, beautiful human being and she’d been very clear that if she were gone, she would want someone else to live. We had to make this happen.”

Up to that point, individuals who died from cardiac death in Canada were considered potential tissue donors only. Organ donation was possible only if a patient were declared brain dead. Although Sarah Beth did not meet this criterion, her family was determined to fulfill her wishes. The Theriens and their son Christopher inquired about and pushed for other options for organ donation.

Their efforts brought about a conversation with a Trillium Gift of Life Network coordinator at The Ottawa Hospital who had received training on donation after cardiac death (DCD). The coordinator approached the healthcare team and hospital administrators to assist this family in fulfilling their donation wishes. read the full story

Friday, December 29, 2006

World Transplant Games Bangkok 2007 August 25-Sept 3

2007 World Transplant Games Update
Two officials from the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF) have visited Bangkok, Thailand, and the dates for the 2007 Games will remain as August 25th to September 2nd 2007. Opening ceremonies will take place on August 26th and the Gala dinner on September 1st. The cost is 34000 bahts/726 euros (which is approximately 1,062 Canadian dollars). They hope to have the registration documents to the WTGF for approval by the end of this month and the first deposit due by the end of March.
Heather Fisher
World Transplant Games Federation Representative from Canada

For more information please see the CTA web site. To help the CTA plan for organizing the Canadian Team please fill out the survey found on the web site where you will also find links for registration forms, who is going, and flight info. etc.

16th World Transplant Games

The World Transplant Games take place every two years where over 1500 athletes representing some 64 countries compete at an extraordinarily high level demonstrating the physical success of transplant surgery and the need to increase organ donation. Previous Event: Canada 2005 See Photos

The 16th World Transplant Games will be held at Bangkok’s Hua Mark Sports Complex, the top sports venue in Thailand. It is located in the compound of the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) in Bangkapi District of Bangkok.

There will be a Kid's program with the first 100 free. 800 Rooms have been booked for the games, all air conditioned. Four hotels are located in the heart of the city and in the center of the shopping area. The fifth hotel is near the stadium.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas CD helps promote organ donation awareness

"Alex Pangman and her band (The Alleycats) ring in the joy of Christmas loud and clear on this charming new release". George Evans as posted on Alex's website.

"Toronto-based classic jazz singer Alex Pangman releases her fourth album. Christmas Gift, Canada’s “Sweetheart of Swing” presents a joyful and rollicking set of both familiar and lesser-known Christmas tunes from the 1930s and 1940s. Among the tuneful chestnuts such as “Jingle Bells” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” are some charming and obscure 1930s holiday fare.

The instrumental “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” shows off the talents of Pangman’s backing band. Pangman brings her own original song “Truckin’ Around the Christmas Tree” to the holiday songbook.

Also memorable is an updated blues version of “Christmas Spirits,” whose subtle message may be applied to something each one of us should think about—in this season’s spirit of giving, Ms. Pangman, in conjunction with the Trillium Gift for Life Organization, has included with each disc a special message concerning organ and tissue donation, as well as an organ donor card." From the press release by George Evans. Also please go to Alex's website.

Brian Kellow, Community Relations Coordinator for Trillium Gift of Life Network has asked me to advertise the CD which I am very pleased to do. It looks like an excellent chance to pick-up a holiday gift and help advance organ donation at the same time. Merv.

Here's Brian's note to me:
"I am happy to tell you about an album that has been released. The record is composed of Christmas songs performed by a jazz musician who has been lending her voice to our cause.

Trillium Gift of Life Network worked on the packaging with this young Jazz singer who has a personal connection to donation and has used her record to promote donation by including a donor card, information sheet and dedicating the record in part to donors and those who work to promote donation. It's a wonderful record and you can hear samples or order from the website. Brian Kellow."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Annual Lung Transplant Picnic
Sunday June 24, 2007

Mark your calendars. Our annual Lung Transplant picnic and BBQ is Sunday, June 24th, 2007 (the Sunday after Father's Day) at the same location as in the past years, Huron Park, Mississauga, starting at 12 noon. More information to come later. If you have any questions or want more information email me. Thanks, Merv.

Transplant Open Golf June 7 (Thur) 2007

Mark your calendars! The 2007 Transplant Open Golf Tournament fundraiser for lung transplant research will be held at the beautiful Granite Ridge Golf Club, at highway 401 and highway 25 west of Toronto. Full directions at the Granite Ridge Web Site

As in the past, this fundraising event is under the auspices of Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation, to which we are grateful for their help and support.

The 2006 tournment was very successful thanks to our supporters and we hope to be even more successful in 2007 with your continued support. Please make a note: Thursday, June 7, 2007, Transplant Open Golf. More details later.

Know your cholesterol risk - new web site

Everyone should be aware of the risks associated with high cholesterol, but transplant patients must be especially vigilant and I found this press release to be timely and informative.

Helping Canadians Eat, Move and Motivate Towards a Healthier Heart - Know Your Risk, Know Your Ratio Campaign Helps Manage Cholesterol

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 13 /CNW/ - Cholesterol is one of those dirty words muttered at the doctor's office or at the dinner table when passing on the mashed potatoes and gravy. Although most Canadians understand the importance of lowering bad cholesterol levels, many do not understand the relationship between good and bad cholesterol or the role of the Cholesterol Ratio in predicting long-term cardiovascular risk.

A recent Leger Marketing survey of cholesterol patients revealed the vast majority (98 per cent) feel it is important they lower their cholesterol.

The Know Your Risk, Know Your Ratio campaign is the first integrated food and nutrition, exercise and wellness program focusing on the Cholesterol Ratio as a total approach to managing cholesterol. As part of the campaign, Know Your Ratio is an educational and informative website for consumers who suffer from high cholesterol and are looking to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Read the full Press Release.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Record number of donors give blood in honor of Canadian troops

OTTAWA, Dec. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier will be presented tomorrow with cards and wishes from more than 20,000 Canadian blood donors collected between November 1st and 30th to send to our men and women who serve.

From coast to coast, Canadians took the time from their busy schedules to pay tribute to troops and veterans at home and overseas with thousands of heartfelt notes. "This pint of blood is a small appreciation to you," says one donor, "for a brave and dangerous job you are all doing." And another: "I am wearing red every Friday as are my three grandsons. Come home safe."

When OPERATION ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES kicked-off in late October, Canadian Blood Services hoped to exceed last year's "in honour" campaign that gathered over 2,900 signed cards. The year's overwhelming response is a strong message of how proud Canadians are of our Canadian Forces.

  • Dr. Graham Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services

  • General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Defence Staff

  • Gaetan Dallaire, Blood donor and father of fallen soldier

  • WHEN: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006 8:00 a.m.

  • WHERE: Canadian Blood Services Head Office
    1800 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Delta offers free hotel stays for those caring for ailing relatives

Delta Hotels in Canada is offering free accommodation for out of town families caring for hospitalized loved ones, according to the following press release. Delta has always offered reduced room rates for patients and their families but this "holiday special" of free accommodation is a wonderful gesture.

TORONTO, ON, December 1, 2006
– ‘Tis the season to give and that is exactly what Delta Hotels is doing with its annual program, A Home for the Holidays, now in its 17th year. Between mid-December and early January (dates vary according to hotel), complimentary accommodation is offered to out-of-town families caring for hospitalized relatives.

Note: Participating hotels and hospitals are located in Victoria, Vancouver, Whistler, B.C., Kananaskis, Alta., Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London, Ont., Toronto, Muskoka, Ottawa, Sherbrooke, Que., Saint John, N.B., Halifax, Charlotttown and St. john's, N.L.

“Through A Home for the Holidays, Delta Hotels can give families the comfort of a home away from home while they care for a loved one in the hospital,” says company president, Hank Stackhouse.

Those who wish to participate in A Home for the Holidays may apply directly through the hospital. The hospital’s program administrator will make reservations for qualified visitors with the participating hotel or resort.

A Home for the Holidays, which has assisted thousands of families since its launch in 1990, is a core element of Delta Cares, Delta Hotels’ community relations program. Each year, more than 7,000 Delta colleagues participate in a number of charitable activities including those benefiting Delta’s national charity, Special Olympics Canada, and Adopt-a-Shelter, that partners hotel with local women’s shelters.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hospital equipment for sale

Kathleen (Kitty) Sayle, recent lung transplant recipient, has issued the following request and I am pleased to post it here:

"I am contacting you to ask for your help today. I am trying to sell the hospital equipment I required prior to my surgery. I have explored many avenues to sell these items. If any of you can post in your work place or know of an agency that would purchase this equipment I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you, Kitty."

  • #1. One Electrical Hospital Bed in Excellent Working Condition. One owner for 1 year. Price reduced for clearance. It has head, foot and height control with side bars. Cost: $1,800.00 - Must be picked up from Kitty's home address.

  • #2. One deluxe model portable commode chair with collapsible arms/splash guard and bucket. One adjustable bath chair with back included. Both priced at $400.00. Available for delivery in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).

Other offers will be considered.
For immediate sale.

Please contact:

Kitty Sayle
Home Telephone: (416) 364-1594

Monday, December 04, 2006

Another call for help

I received the following plea for help finding inexpensive accommodation in Toronto. If you know of reasonably priced places in Toronto that would suit the following request please let me know ASAP. Like many families facing the prospect of a transplant their budget is tight, and they will appreciate any help they can get in finding an affordable place to stay. If you wish to correspond directly with them E-mail me and I will provide contact info. Thanks, Merv.

“Dear Merv,
My nephew, and his mother, will be traveling to Toronto General Hospital for a double lung transplant assessment on January 2, 2007 from Vancouver. We are hoping to make arrangements as soon as possible for a least the two week assessment period from Jan 2 /07 until about the 15th.

I have been searching for a reasonably priced accommodation for them both while they are there for two weeks for assessment and thereafter for up to 9 months if he is accepted for the transplant. We do not know if he will be accepted for the double lung transplant until after that assessment.

Could you help me in this regard with resources or numbers or websites to contact? We have information on all the UHN hotels etc. but they are far too expensive. I am trying to check out the other resources but my nephew’s and his mother's budget is limited as he does not have health insurance and is on a disability pension. Any help with info for accommodation would be helpful.

Possibly a 1 bedroom furnished condo or room for rent? Thank you.” (Name withheld to protect privacy).