Organ transplant recipients Cindy Bachman, left, and Deborah Graves thank a registered nurse in the emergency room of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital on Monday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Organ transplant recipients express thanks and also thank new donors in advance

B.C. Transplant’s Operation Popcorn event being held this week on Vancouver Island

A lot of people have wish lists at this time of year, but when it comes to organ donation, too many continue to wait.

B.C. Transplant’s annual Operation Popcorn is taking place on Vancouver Island this week, with organ recipients visiting hospitals including Nanaimo Regional General Hospital to deliver caramel corn to health care staff in operating rooms, intensive care units and emergency rooms.

The initiative is meant to thank hospital staff for their work supporting organ donation, and bring awareness to B.C. Transplant’s efforts.

Delivering popcorn at NRGH on Monday were transplant recipients Cindy Bachman, of Nanoose Bay, and Deborah Graves, of Nanaimo. Bachman received a kidney transplant, while Graves received two liver transplants.

Bachman, a masters soccer player who has played in international events, told health care workers about her sporting pursuits, which she said would never have been possible without the donated organ she received.

“You’re just slowly deteriorating on dialysis and you’re not able to live your life because you’re tied to a machine,” she told the News Bulletin. “The transplant just makes such a difference to people’s lives. Not only does it improve your health, it just allows you to live your life.”

Bachman received her kidney from a live donor, her sister-in-law, but before that, she had a potential organ donation fall through five days before a scheduled operation.

“So as devastating as that was, what it shows people is they will not proceed if there’s any danger to the donor. So I think that’s a really important part,” she said.

Graves’s liver disease, due to a parasite she encountered while she was travelling abroad, caused her to be sick for more than a decade and she had to wait for six years before receiving a liver. Her body rejected the transplanted organ and her liver started shutting down before she received a second liver that would save her life.

“It’s an amazing gift,” Graves said. “You don’t know just how valuable life is until you are in jeopardy.”

She said while some people might find it a gruesome idea to part with their organs after they die, she hopes more people won’t hesitate to donate.

“You’re not going to use them,” she said. “And there’s more chance, statistically, that you will be a donor recipient than them actually harvesting from you. Think about how many people have transplants.”

While Operation Popcorn was about thanking hospital workers, there are a lot of thank yous still to be expressed, because there are a lot of transplants that still need to be made.

“If I can help out in any way, just to [bring] awareness or just to give thanks, I want to be able to do that. That is such a little thing to be able to do,” Graves said.

For more information, visit http://www.transplant.bc.ca/.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Blockades violating people’s rights to move freely

Too many protesters clearly believe their rights supersede other citizens’ rights, says letter writer

Quarterway, Cilaire have the right touch in football playoffs

Nanaimo Elementary Teachers’ Physical Education Association organized leagues this past fall

Students projected to be in new wing of École Hammond Bay in two years

Project to expand north-end French immersion school to add 13 classrooms

Crimson Coast Dance Society salutes African dance during Black History Month

Dancers from Mozambique, Rwanda and Cameroon to give demonstrations and lessons

Nanaimo Clippers, clad in Snuneymuxw jerseys, win in OT

BCHL team wins both its weekend games to stay in contention for first place on the Island

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

Nanaimo a capital city in the beard business – Wildman Beard Co.

Wildman Beard Co. gained early success with Nanaimo mill workers

Nanaimo a capital city in the beard business – Big City Beards

Big City Beards inspired by an itch that had to be scratched

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Captain says nothing beats VIU volleyball program

Graduating player Andrea Cankovic has three national titles and isn’t quite done yet

Most Read