Sunday, April 14, 2024

Cycling across Canada for organ donation

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."

Two cyclists from the area, Rachel Mallinfant of Saint-Eloy and Daniel Souci of Lille Vert, today completed their 5,700-kilometre long bike ride from Vancouver to Rivière-du-Loup. During this two-month trip, the dream came true, as they raised more than $8,800 for the Louperivois Chaîne de vie organization.

“We’ve been thinking about doing this trip for four or five years and wanted to finish it off in the area here,” comments Rachel Malenfant, a 55-year-old nurse. On the Facebook page of their project, “We’re Rolling for a Chain of Life,” she shared the testimonies of six people who underwent organ transplants. “I wanted to show people with these stories that organ donation works, and that it saves lives and families,” adds Ms. Malenfant.

The mission of Chaîne de vie, an initiative born at Rivière-du-Loup High School in 2007, is to educate young people aged 15-17 about organ and tissue donation through the curriculum and make them ambassadors for the family debate. Donations received gave cyclists energy throughout the ride. Lucy Dumont, Founder of Life Chain, welcomes this initiative and hopes it inspires others to take on challenges to support the organization.

“I worked for 21 years in the intensive care unit at Gatineau Hospital. Working with my colleagues, I had to keep someone alive who signed their card and their family accepted the organ donation. […] Every time I left, I told myself we had helped more than one person. Transplant Québec tells us how many patients this gesture has saved their lives. You’ve Always Touched Me Rachel Mallinfant explains why has been close to my heart for so long.

She and her husband took two months off to fulfill this dream as a married couple. Both are very active and athletic. “It’s time to go for a project like this before it’s too late and sores start showing. […] You rejuvenate every day, you wake up every morning and you’re ready to go. He’s getting better all the time, physical condition. I am 59 years old, and it is unbelievable how the physical body has so much more potential than we think,” adds Daniel Susi. The latter also emphasizes the importance of being physically and mentally prepared before taking on this challenge.

The fundraising campaign led by Daniel Susi and Rachel Malenfant will end at the end of next September. Their goal is to raise $10,000. The donations raised will allow free training and educational kits to be provided to educators and the development of new tools for organ and tissue donation.

It is possible to get more information and consult their adventure on the Facebook page “We are scrambling for the chain of life!”.

Read also: Pedal over 5,000 km for the Life Series

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