A powerful journey from living with an artificial heart to a heart transplant....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What have I been up to lately?

Since I haven't posted anything in a while, I thought I would share what I have been up to lately.

I've been very busy getting the volunteer group going. The Life Donation Awareness Association is up to about 40 volunteers! The response and support has been amazing. I'm so lucky to meet all of these wonderful and encouraging people. Here's our logo!We have established a website. Thanks so much to Kelly Baker from Oak Tree Media.

We also have many events planned for NOTDAW, National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (April 17-24, 2011) including information booths at our local malls (Cambridge Centre, Fairview Mall and Stone Road in Guelph) as well as the local hospitals (St. Mary's, Grand River and Guelph General). We will be giving away Lifesavers to encourage people to our booths. The hospitals will have a challenge between them to see which one can register the most people. A little competition can go a long way.

I also have several speaking engagements coming up. I will be speaking at the Federation of Women's Institute of Ontario event this Saturday March 26th. I am honoured and excited to be a part of this event. Another event coming up is at St. Michael's Parish Centre in Waterloo. This event is open to the public and I will be speaking along with a wonderful donor Mom, another grateful recipient and the Vice President of Operations from Trillium Gift of Life Network. Please see Life Donation Awareness for more details. If you are in the area, this is a great event to learn more about organ and tissue donation as well as to get an insight into real lives touch by transplants.

The group has initiated many other awareness events, including corporation presentations, community service group presentations, parade involvement, support groups, training and involvement for local schools, and many other directions. Wow! We are doing quite a lot!

On another topic, I've been feeling great lately! My body is adjusting to the medications and I've been exercising. Cardiac rehab has been very useful. I go twice a week and have integrated weights into my routine. I have also registered for a weekly yoga class and a weekly zumba class! I'm so excited! It feels so good to get moving again. I can't wait to get on my bike!!

Shaun and I have been making plans for summer vacations. He's getting his boat all fixed up to visit our cottages. My niece and nephew are very excited to throw me in the water now that I can swim again. Uh oh.... what have I got myself into...

The ability to plan ahead is fully accredited to my donor and donor family. Without them, I would not be able to plan or have hope for the future. Without them, I wouldn't be here.


  1. Andrea heard your amazing story yesterday at FWIO in New Dundee , I posted it on FaceBook to share with my friends.I have also been reading your blog since I got home last night.Hopefully this will be a start in making people more awear of organ donation.

  2. Andrea, just a suggestion, but perhaps you want to start a facebook page for life donation awareness? That way you could provide quick updates of events etc.