Can you tell us what your connection is to transplant, and how this has affected you?
"It may seem like an odd concept, but I lived vicariously through the transplantation process. My husband Mat was the actual recipient of a double-lung transplant in August 2015, but as a result of our deep connection and friendship, I feel as though I felt the entire process. My husband eventually experienced rejection that took his life in one respect, and as a result my outlook on life has monumentally shifted and deepened in value.
I have also had the incredible privilege to become soul-sisters with one of Mat's dearest friends Erica, another stem cell and double-lung transplant recipient. Now today I get the opportunity to live through her and watch how her life has blossomed since her transplant (also August 2015). This connection to transplantation continues to impact my life on such meaningful levels."
Why did you decide to volunteer for BC Transplant?
"It has taken some time to reclaim my capacity, however today now being a practicing professional community planner, I am committed to collaboration and bringing communities together to support one another, and this feels like a necessary community for me to connect to. The BC Transplant community is such a unique one that I know Mat and I are both thankful for, and through this volunteer endeavour of mine I believe a part of Mat's voice lives on."
What are some of the common myths and misconceptions you hear about organ donation? How would you like to educate people on this?
"Organ transplantation is extraordinary complex and also a very personal journey, therefore no experience is identical to another.
My hope is that through greater community collaboration that the families, friends, and potential recipients get as educated as possible, and also become connected in a way that they can be supported in all ways they need through the transplantation process."
What would you like to say to the medical teams that are so vital to the success of transplant in our province?
"I know there is great responsibility and expectations that are upon the medical team, and I'm extremely grateful that these individuals have made this commitment to health care. I learnt a lot over the years about the human body and of medicine, and I have utter respect. Thank you."
What's your perspective on the milestone of 50 years of donation and transplant in BC?
"It's unbelievable how much continues to improve over the years. I am continually in awe of each new advancement, the growing awareness and prioritization that people make to BC Transplant, the increasing successes, and this caring community that continues to grow. I'm fortunate to feel connected and I'm honoured to give back and witness how these continue to progress."