Marcia’s shirt reads “You were born to do more than just pay bills and die.” Courtesy Jordan D. Marcia

B.C. heart transplant recipient is travelling to every country because ‘life is short’

Jordan D. Marcia wants to be the first heart transplant recipient to travel to every country.

Travelling to every country in the world sounds like a tough goal to achieve.

But Langley’s Jordan D. Marcia is taking on the challenge–and plans to be the first heart transplant recipient to do so.

For now, Marcia is spending the holidays at home before he takes off to the Philippines and Indonesia in the new year and ticks the 15th and 16th countries off his bucket list.

“If you want to do something, you have to go out and do it,” said Marcia, who hopes to accomplish his goal of hitting all 195 countries in the world within 5 or 6 years.

Marcia was born with a rare congenital heart disease, and when he was 3-years-old, received a heart transplant at Toronto’s Sick Kids hospital from a family who had lost their son to a car accident.

Now 27, Marcia has made it his goal to travel to every country, simply because “life is short.”

“Life is short and I’m going to die. I’m going to die before everyone else and I want to achieve the goal,” said Marcia.

According to Marcia, a heart transplant usually lasts the recipient about 10 years, but his has been beating for 22 years.

His expected lifespan is 40.

Marcia started travelling in 2014, and said he’s been interested in travelling ever since he was a kid and went on his first family vacation to Mexico.

“It sparked this wanderlust of wanting to see different countries and their cultures,” explained Marcia.

As a transplant recipient, Marcia hopes his journey will inspire others with medical conditions or transplants to “live their life to the fullest.”

I figure this is the biggest thing I could do and if i succeed, then no one can say ‘I can’t do something.’ It makes them [transplant recipients] feel like they can go out and live their life to the fullest, because we’re all going to die.”

While he’s travelling, Marcia works on his online marketing company, does contract work, and creates travel videos.

Since all his trips are done alone, Marcia said he’s learned a lot about himself.

“You learn what you can take and what your breaking points are. Breaking points don’t mean anything because there’s always new breaking point after those breaking points.”

Marcia has never met his transplant family, but hopes he will someday, or that they will see his travel videos and “put the pieces together themselves.”

“That’d be amazing for them to know their son’s sacrifice led to me being able to achieve all my goals and help people. I’d love to meet them if I could.”

Marcia’s motto of “life is short,” is something that also runs in his immediate family.

“My dad said, ‘go for it, whatever makes you happy.’ We all have the same concept that life is short and you should do what you want to do,” said Jordan of his family.

And Marcia has a deep appreciation for organ donors, and is signed up to be one himself. Since he takes anti-rejection medicine for his heart, Marcia will only be able to donate his eyes once he passes, but said the rest of his body is signed up for science research.

“My entire family is organ donors. I think everybody should be an organ donor. It helps people live life, and get a second chance. It’s hard to put into words,” said Marcia.

When Marcia is not travelling, he receives care at St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver from Dr. Andy Ignaszewski.

Marcia said his doctor was also supportive of his travel goals.

“When I told Dr. Andy my plan, he said ‘go for it.’ So that’s what I’m doing.”

During the holiday season, St. Paul’s lights up the building for their annual Lights of Hope giving campaign which is a fundraiser for medical equipment and patient programs at their facilities.

The hospital is lit up nightly until Jan. 7 at St. Paul’s hospital at 1081 Burrard St. in Vancouver.

To follow Marcia’s travel adventures, visit the Facebook page @jordandmarcia

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Marcia has been to 14 countries out of 195 in the world. Courtesy Jordan D. Marcia

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP looking for man suspected of $25,000 credit fraud

Police allege suspect racked up debt under another person’s name

Man charged in Nanaimo mall crash-up fit for trial, says lawyer

Defence counsel for Joshua Tyler Schaeffer anticipates bail hearing Jan. 28

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP visits Wet’suwet’en camps, calls for Coastal GasLink pipeline to be ‘revisited’

Paul Manly met with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and the RCMP to talk about the ongoing situation

Lantzville taps into new water connection policy

Newly adopted policy gives staff increased authority over issuing new water connections

City of Nanaimo announces 10 new pieces of temporary outdoor public art

Sculptures will be installed at Maffeo Sutton Park and McGregor Park in May

Victoria police arrest 12 anti-pipeline protesters supporting Wet’suwet’en

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Island river

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

Vancouver Island man arrested after police seize suspected illicit drugs in Nanoose Bay

Car impounded after Port Alberni driver clocked travelling at more than twice the posted speed limit

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Advocates call hospital parking fees a ‘shakedown’ after learning most Island tickets are waived

Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals among the most ticketed on the Island

Most Read