By Keri Kao
With organ donation such a vital part of our health care system, the annual Transplant Trot raises funds and awareness for such a worthy and life changing cause
Several years ago, Pam Pardy-Ghent wrote an article about my father Rene Molloy of CBS. At that time, he was waiting in Toronto with my mother Phyllis for a double-lung transplant. After two years waiting in Toronto for “the call”, dad finally received those long-awaited lungs.
A Second Chance
He needed those lungs in order to save his life, and he received those lungs because someone in a time of grief chose to donate the organs of their loved one.
Sadly, my father passed away suddenly in July. He survived five and a half years with his transplant, and was given those extra years with his family and with his grandchildren that he would not otherwise have had.
He was forever grateful for his second chance, and was forever grateful for the gift of life he received. Although his loss is still very painful, organ donation was a cause he cared very deeply about and was a strong advocate for, so I intend to carry on his cause and spread his message.
Organ donation is a very important cause here in Canada, and one that many people may not think too much about unless it directly affects yourself, a family member or a friend. Every year thousands of Canadians are added to organ wait lists including heart, kidney, liver or lungs. One organ donor can save up to eight lives, yet hundreds of Canadians die each year waiting for a transplant or waiting for “the call.”
You can register to be an organ donor, but the most important thing you can do is to make your wishes known to your family, as it is the next of kin who has the final say. Even if you are a registered organ donor, or even if you have it specified in a will or other legal document, your family will have the final say. Shockingly, there are over 20 per cent of families who refuse to donate a loved one’s organs.
There are some online registries in various provinces, but in Newfoundland, your wish to be an organ donor can be provided on your MCP not on your driver’s license as was previously the case.
Walking in Memory
According to the Service NL website: “The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador encourages all citizens to consider becoming an organ donor. The final decision to donate a deceased person’s organs rests with their next of kin and it is important to have a conversation with your family members, to ensure they are aware of your final wishes. Motor Registration Division no longer records a driver’s intent to be an organ donor as part of a driver’s licence application or renewal.”
This information is tracked by the health care system and residents can provide it when they renew their MCP card, or at any time by contacting MCP. All residents are strongly encouraged to contact MCP to indicate their intent to be an organ donor, so that the appropriate health care professionals have access to the information when it is needed.
My father did the one k walk last year, and was registered to walk the race again this year. That one k walk was the equivalent for him of running a marathon and was something very special to witness. Myself and many of my family members will be waking or running this race this year in his memory. Without the organ donor, there is no story, no hope, no transplant. But when there is an organ donor, life springs from death, sorrow turns to hope, and a terrible loss becomes a gift.
I am the race director this year for the second annual “Transplant Trot”. It will be held on Saturday, September 22nd in Bowring Park. This run/walk is put off through The Running Room and is meant to raise both funds and awareness towards organ donation.
There is a one k race for children up to the age of 12, and there are five k or 10k walk or run options for those 13 and older.
All participants receive a t-shirt and a medal. You can register online by visiting the website runningroom.com and selecting the “races” tab. If you have any questions or concerns about the race or how to register, please email me at