Lloydminster’s Breanne Lazerte is living proof organ donations and transplants save lives. Lazerte attended the 2016 Transplant Trot with her five-month-old baby daughter two years after donating the majority of her liver to her mom Deb Wunder. Stories like hers will be celebrated at the 2018 trot at the Lloydminster Servus Centre on Jan. 27. FILE PHOTO
Consider this a first call to register for the next Transplant Trot in Lloydminster.
The 5 kilometre run and walk will take place on the running track at the Servus Sports Centre on Jan. 27.
The purpose is to raise awareness about organ donation and transplantation, headed by the Canadian Transplant Association (CTA).
“This is our third one and we will be having a special recognition walk,” said Donna Krilow-Lorenz, CTA regional coordinator in Lloydminster.
“That’s where living organ donors, families of deceased organ donors, and recipients all have that special lap around the track.”
Krilow-Lorenz said the trot is an emotional event because an organ donation is a life-saving process.
“I think for any of us as individuals, our families and friends who have been through it, it’s a day to come and celebrate,” she said.
“Last year, there was a couple of families there for the first time who had lost loved ones who were organ donors and they said to me ‘it was the first time we could go and celebrate that person and what they did.’”
More than 1,600 Canadians are added to organ wait lists yearly, according to statistics from the CTA, with the need for donors ever present in Lloydminster.
“We’ve had two successful transplants this summer from people in our community, so there is definitely a need,” said Krilow-Lorenz.
She said the organizing committee is still working on lining up a host donor family, in keeping with the tradition in the first two trots.
“One of the people that has received a transplant— of course, it’s very new—their health is quite good, but they are still trying to deal with the transplant itself, the hospital stay, so we haven’t named our host family yet,” said Krilow-Lorenz.
She said the event is also an opportunity for the City of Lloydminster to show off the track to residents who have never used it before, and to visitors.
“We’ve had people from Saskatoon and area, Moose Jaw, lots from Calgary and Edmonton and cities in between,” said Krilow-Lorenz.
Registration is $30 per person online at the Alberta events link on the Running Room website.
“Their fees basically cover the cost of the rental of the venue, the T-shirts, our awareness items,” said Krilow-Lorenz, who is initially sharing the role of race director with Faye Irvine.
“If we can cover the cost of the event, we’re happy.”
Krilow-Lorenz notes fundraising is a secondary goal to awareness at the trot, but people can make donations to the CTA.
“We just feel that the community has just been hit from so many charities,” she said.
“Any corporate sponsors from the past that want to join us, that’s wonderful, we would never turn anyone away,” she said.
“The last couple of years were very successful and so even for this year, we’re not going to be campaigning as much for corporate donors.”
The trot is also an opportunity for adults in the Border City to learn how to become an organ or a tissue donor.
Albertans can now sign up to be an organ and/or tissue donor on the MyHealthAlberta.ca website.
In Saskatchewan, adults can indicate their desire to be an organ and tissue donor by placing an orange organ and tissue donor sticker on their health services card.
The CTA says one donor can benefit more than 75 people and save up to eight lives.
That’s what it’s done for Krilow-Lorenz, who is celebrating her 13th anniversary as a kidney transplant recipient.
“It changes your life—I was never able to return to work full time, so that was always a sadness, but I’m still here,” said said.
“My children have gone on through high school and university, weddings, grandchildren.”
She said you just can’t write down how many things you might have missed in the last 13 years.
“It’s just life,” she said.