What happens when you put together a giant inflatable slide, a magician making balloon animals, a face painter, a few crazy cyclists, some bubble wands and a great group of transplant people??! You get an amazing afternoon of fun for young and old alike, and hopefully the start of an annual tradition.
This year’s Transplant Family Picnic at Prospect Point in Stanley Park was a great collaboration between the Children’s Organ Transplant Society (http://www.childrensots.org/) the BC Division of the Canadian Transplant Association (https://www.canadiantransplant.com/en) BC Transplant (http://www.transplant.bc.ca/) and the TRF (https://www.trfbc.org/). We were excited to host more than a hundred people on a beautiful Sunday in July. There was a lot of laughter, some great conversations, and a chance to meet up and socialize outside of the hospital.
For a few hardcore cyclists, the picnic was the finish line for a long day of riding. The Recycle Ride (https://recycleride.com/) was launched four years ago by Aaron McArthur, father of heart transplant recipient Addison, and his riding buddy Adam Lee. It was always supposed to be a crazy hard ride, with a bit of fundraising for pediatric transplant research on the side. This year’s route was a little less intense than previous years but still totaled more than 100km in the saddle with 3000 metres of climbing!! With a pub night fundraiser earlier in the week, and incredible partnerships with lots of generous donors, local businesses and supporters, the Recycle Ride generated more than $5000 in donations!!
We know there is great strength in working together as a team – you only have to look at the organ donation and transplant process to see the perfect example – and we are working hard to foster new relationships, as well as build on our current partnerships. Already, we are planning ahead for next year, bigger and better!