The sixth annual Moose Jaw Transplant Trot is happening this month.
The event is a chance to spread awareness of the importance of organ donation and the benefits it has for people around the world. The Transplant Trot is a chance for people to learn others' stories and how to become organ donors themselves.
The idea for the Transplant Trot stemmed from the Gadd family, who wanted to raise awareness about organ donation after Kevyn Gadd received a double-lung transplant in February of 2014.
"We had seen an advertisement in Edmonton about a Transplant Trot," Gadd recalled. "So my mum, who was my support person up there, we went, checked it out, and talked to some members of the Canadian Transplant Association. We thought, 'Oh this is an event where we could get some good support in Moose Jaw!'"
Gadd has dealt with lung and heart problems his whole life. He was born with pulmonary hypertension and had to receive open heart surgery at the age of two. The issues slowed for a few years until he started struggling again in 2010. He saw a specialist in Edmonton, who told him that having a lung transplant would ease the strain on his heart.
"In 2013, we started a six-week program, which is a physio and educational time where you learn all about transplants, what to do after, exercises, nutrition, and you work out in the gym so when surgery time comes, you are strong enough to recover easier," Gadd remarked.
Gadd finished the program in early February 2014. 14 days later, he received a call from his doctors about a double-lung match.
"My story is a little bit different than a lot of people. Some people wait up to years and years before getting a call," Gadd commented. "I was very fortunate and lucky to get the call after 14 days."
Gadd says people should visit the online organ donor registry and talk to their family members if they are interested in becoming an organ donor.
"The worst day in your or your family's life could also be the greatest day in another family's life just by being able to be a hero," Gadd mentioned. "[You can] save up to several people just by being an organ donor."
The Transplant Trot takes place May 28th at 10:00 am at Sunningdale School.
Tickets are $20 for kids ages 6-12 and $45 for people ages 13 and up. People can register at the door or online at mjtransplanttrot.ca.