Community Partner Spotlight: Calgary Transplant Trot

A Personal Mission

Think about something you do at least 19,000 times a day but rarely think about. Give up? Would it help if I told you you’ve probably already done it three or four times since you started reading this? It’s breathing, and while for most it’s an automatic response, there are many waiting on transplant lists for lungs, just like Shauna Rivait’s father and sister were.

While he exhibited no major symptoms of any health issues until the age of 39, Shauna’s father was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and after a few months on the waiting list, he received a new pair of lungs in Edmonton that helped him live another 10 years. Before passing away in 2010, he decided to start a new chapter of the Canadian Transplant Association in Southern Alberta to help increase the number of donor registrations in an area where they have historically been low.

By this time, Shauna’s sister had also developed a chronic lung illness and after a longer wait on the transplant list, received a double lung transplant in 2012. Unfortunately, the lungs weren’t a good fit for her small frame and insurmountable complications arose.

Very aware of the fact that not all transplants happen in time and that real people and families are affected, Shauna has taken on the taxing role of directing the Canadian Transplant Association’s Alberta chapter to help raise awareness of a largely silent issue with the memory of both her father and sister close by her side.

The Need

Many do not understand that donors must be registered and assume that systems are in place to take care of the need automatically. The reality of the situation is that many are facing life-threatening illnesses that require organ or tissue transplants, but public awareness of the issue and registration is startlingly low to meet the demand. According to numbers from just a few years ago:

  • More than 1,600 Canadians are added to organ wait lists every year.
  • There are over 750 people on the waitlist in Alberta alone.
  • Four Canadians die every week waiting for a life-saving transplant.

The need for awareness and participation is clear – yet with 90% saying they support organ and tissue donation, only 25% are actually registered.

2017 Calgary Transplant Trot

The goal of the Canadian Transplant Association is to increase awareness of the need for donation and to increase donor registration to help meet the need – this culminates each year with local walk/run draws hundreds and raises thousands to generate awareness and donor registrations. The Association and Trot is organized by an all-volunteer staff comprised mostly of transplant recipients, living donors, donor family members and those that love them.

This year the trot is on Saturday, May 27th with a kick off around 12:15 pm at Confederation Park Activity Center in Calgary! Learn more and register on their website.

Selfless Donations are Making a Difference

We’re proud to offer the Transplant Trot free storage space in Calgary to help store all of their event materials and look forward to many more years of partnering up for such a great cause that literally changes and saves lives.

About Store it Forward

StorageMart has been dedicated to giving back to the communities we serve since our inception in 1999. Beyond providing great customer service, we give back through donations generated by customer feedback, donated storage space for local organizations making a difference, as well as sponsorships and service. We brought these initiatives under one umbrella and called it Store it Forward – learn more by visiting our charitable giving page.   

Edit: This post was updated on 4/25/2017 to correct errors.