This weekends Transplant Trot looks to raise awareness and spread the message that signing your provincial organ and tissue donor card can save a life. Double liver transplant recipient Deb Wunder says she and her husband Dave are the host family for the event this year, helping to raise organ donor awareness.
“It”s just a big need in Canada and all over the world. You just can’t imagine what it does to a family to save a life.”
20 years ago Deb was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, which is a chronic or long-term disease that slowly damages the bile ducts. In 2013, she says she joined a transplant list after symptoms due to the disease, which included jaundice. In August 2013, her daughter donated 75 per cent of her live. Due to complications during the first surgery, which harmed the liver, In 2017, Deb had to go through a second transplant from a cadaver donor.
Deb believes the main factor that helped her through the process was the support of family and friends.
“It’s hard. We made many trips back and forth to Edmonton every two weeks. I was mostly in the hospital it seemed. You just go through the motions, you stay strong and hopefully you make it to the end and everything is good.”
Deb says she wants everyone to know that she is doing well.
“Everything’s really good, really fine. I am enjoying everything. Life is good. I don’t have to worry about waking up and dealing with my disease.”
The Canadian Transplant Association and the Running room have partnered up for the fourth annual Transplant Trot, which will take place this Saturday at the Servus Sports Centre. The trot will begin with a honorary lap by transplant recipients,living donors and deceased donor families. Registration can be done once the doors open at 8:30 AM with participants choosing to walk or run 5 km. The cost for Adults is $30 and children 6 to 14 are $15, which includes a t-shirt. All proceeds from the event will go towards the Canadian Transplant Association.