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

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

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

Just Posted

Local marimba player Nicole Arendt will be prominently featured in the Vancouver Island Symphony’s upcoming ‘Debussy and Duets’ concert. (Chris Helman photo)
Nanaimo marimba player in the spotlight in Vancouver Island Symphony concert

Longtime VIS timpanist Nicole Arendt to play three pieces in ‘Debussy and Duets’ live stream

The site of the former Arrowview Hotel, on Second Avenue and Athol Street, as of Jan. 14, 2020. (Elena Rardon/Black Press)
Port Alberni pressures owner of demolished hotel, Lantzville’s Pottie, for final cleanup

Demolition finished in June 2020 but site still full of construction material

Letter writers weigh in on the City of Nanaimo adopting ‘doughnut’ economics as a guiding principle for decision-making.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: City of Nanaimo’s ‘doughnut’ has to be more than empty calories

Letter writers react to city council’s recent decision to adopt ‘doughnut’ economic model

Emergency crews were called to a crash involving a car and a minivan Saturday afternoon at the old Island Highway and Mary Ellen Drive. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
One person taken to hospital after crash in north Nanaimo

Car and minivan collided Saturday at the intersection of the old Island Highway and Mary Ellen Drive

Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization, a non-profit, seeks to raise $8,000 for a play structure to help children remain active during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization asking for help fundraising for play structure

Physical activities have been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, says non-profit

Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization, a non-profit, seeks to raise $8,000 for a play structure to help children remain active during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization asking for help fundraising for play structure

Physical activities have been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, says non-profit

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage addresses the attendees while Tom Olsen, Managing Director of the Canadian Energy Centre, looks on at a press conference at SAIT in Calgary on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Fulmes
‘Morally and ethically wrong:’ Court to hear challenge to Alberta coal policy removal

At least 9 interveners will seek to join a rancher’s request for a judicial review of Alberta’s decision

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

Cyclists pick up swag and cycling trail maps at city Bike to Work Week ‘celebration station’ a few years ago. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo’s active transportation plan will be about more than infrastructure

City working on goals to double walking trips and quintuple cycling and busing trips

Jackie Hildering, whale researcher with the Marine Education and Research Society, and Nanaimo Area Land Trust will present the Return of Giants, a webinar about the humpback whales’ return from the brink of extinction and how boaters can help protect them. (Jackie Hildering/MERS photo taken under Marine Mammal License MML-42)
‘Return of the Giants:’ B.C. getting a second chance to coexist with humpback whales

‘Marine Detective’ partners with Nanaimo stewardship group on webinar

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam at a press conference last year. (Canadian Press photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Better federal vaccine planning badly needed

Why hasn’t Parliament done more to protect seniors and care homes, asks letter writer

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Kinsmen Participark in Beban Park will be closed next week so city workers can remove dangerous trees and invasive plant species. The work is the start of an improvement project that includes replacing signs and fitness stations in the spring. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo fitness park to close for removal of hazard trees and invasive plants

Tree cutting to start in Beban Park’s Kinsmen Participark as part of improvement project

Most Read