Kelowna – This week, two-time liver transplant recipient Matt Scaife is giving thanks during BC Transplant's Operation Popcorn campaign. The annual event is his chance to personally show gratitude to some of the health-care workers who made it possible for him to walk his daughter down the aisle and attend the births of his two grandchildren.
"I've been so well cared for in my lifetime and I wouldn't be here, living life to the fullest if it weren't for all the amazing health professionals who are involved with donors and their families. They give life back to so many fortunate transplant recipients," says Scaife. "Operation Popcorn is one way I can show my appreciation to the people who saved my life, twice."
Matt has been saying thanks since 2001 during Operation Popcorn which, for 30 years, marks the kick-off to the holiday season in hospitals across BC. Volunteer transplant recipients, living donors and deceased donor families will safely deliver festive packages of popcorn in-person once again at many locations all week.
Popcorn is delivered to staff in hospital intensive care units, emergency departments and operating rooms across the province. Health professionals in these units often only get to see the tragic side of organ donation. Operation Popcorn is a reminder of the people whose lives have been saved through their work supporting organ donors.
"Operation Popcorn is a longstanding and heartfelt tradition shared by transplant recipients, and it serves as an excellent reminder of the need for organ donations," said Health Minister Adrian Dix. "This year, please consider joining the heroes who have given selflessly of the greatest gift of all—the gift of life, and sign up to be an organ donor."
Starting as a small campaign to a few hospitals, Operation Popcorn now annually involves 85 volunteers and popcorn deliveries to 26 hospitals across the province.
"There are more than 5,600 transplant recipients alive and thriving due to the dedicated efforts of all the caring health professionals across the province who support organ donation," says Eric Lun, BC Transplant's executive director. "Thank you for supporting organ donors to make these incredible gifts of life."
In this season of giving, British Columbians are encouraged to take two minutes to register as an organ donor at www.taketwominutes.ca. As a province, we can give hope to more than 620 people and their families waiting for the call that will change their lives.
For more information on becoming a donor and helping save lives, visit:
Irene Phan, Communications
Provincial Health Services Authority
Media Line: 778.867.7472