What is your role at BC Children's Hospital?
"I'm the social worker for the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at BC Children's Hospital."
Can you explain what a day in the life of your job looks like?
"My day has a lot of variety. You'll find me either on the phone following up on referrals, advocating for supports (housing, financial, educational, emotional, practical, etc.) for families, providing counselling to families in need, or seeing patients and their caregivers in clinic and when they're admitted to hospital. You might also see me responding to an urgent crisis, facilitating family meetings or being part of a working group as we try and improve the work we do through quality assurance activities, research and team discussion. Finally, after doing this a while, you'll often find I'll have a student in tow, so I'll be supervising and supporting the learning and growth of the next generation of social workers interested in transplantation too!"
What is the most rewarding part of being on this team?
"Transplant, particularly paediatric transplant is relatively unique and small which makes for a really nice team filled with interested and motivated individuals. Given that the field is ever evolving, the best part of this team is the chance to be part of some really dynamic opportunities for learning and innovation."
What are some common myths and misconceptions you've come across about organ donation?
"I don't think people realize how much it can take sometimes to find a match for patients, between the antibodies and blood matching alone - it can mean a lot of waiting! This means that so many kids, particularly those onto their second transplant can have a harder time finding the best organ for their body. With more donors, there's a greater pool of possibilities for patients and families."
How important is organ donation and discussing one's decisions with family and friends?
"So important! In my work, donors make it possible to reduce the burden of chronic illness on children with organ failure dramatically! As hard as it is, as a parent, it is important to bring children into the discussion around organ donation too as they develop their voice in matters about their health and others."
What is your perspective on BC's milestone of 50 years of donation and transplant?
"It's huge!!! I'm so excited to be working in a field that is constantly growing and with a team that makes the often impossible, possible!"