Organ transplant recipients Cindy Bachman, left, and Deborah Graves thank a registered nurse in the emergency room of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital on Monday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Organ transplant recipients Cindy Bachman, left, and Deborah Graves thank a registered nurse in the emergency room of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital on Monday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Organ transplant recipients express thanks and also thank new donors in advance

B.C. Transplant’s Operation Popcorn event being held this week on Vancouver Island

A lot of people have wish lists at this time of year, but when it comes to organ donation, too many continue to wait.

B.C. Transplant’s annual Operation Popcorn is taking place on Vancouver Island this week, with organ recipients visiting hospitals including Nanaimo Regional General Hospital to deliver caramel corn to health care staff in operating rooms, intensive care units and emergency rooms.

The initiative is meant to thank hospital staff for their work supporting organ donation, and bring awareness to B.C. Transplant’s efforts.

Delivering popcorn at NRGH on Monday were transplant recipients Cindy Bachman, of Nanoose Bay, and Deborah Graves, of Nanaimo. Bachman received a kidney transplant, while Graves received two liver transplants.

Bachman, a masters soccer player who has played in international events, told health care workers about her sporting pursuits, which she said would never have been possible without the donated organ she received.

“You’re just slowly deteriorating on dialysis and you’re not able to live your life because you’re tied to a machine,” she told the News Bulletin. “The transplant just makes such a difference to people’s lives. Not only does it improve your health, it just allows you to live your life.”

Bachman received her kidney from a live donor, her sister-in-law, but before that, she had a potential organ donation fall through five days before a scheduled operation.

“So as devastating as that was, what it shows people is they will not proceed if there’s any danger to the donor. So I think that’s a really important part,” she said.

Graves’s liver disease, due to a parasite she encountered while she was travelling abroad, caused her to be sick for more than a decade and she had to wait for six years before receiving a liver. Her body rejected the transplanted organ and her liver started shutting down before she received a second liver that would save her life.

“It’s an amazing gift,” Graves said. “You don’t know just how valuable life is until you are in jeopardy.”

She said while some people might find it a gruesome idea to part with their organs after they die, she hopes more people won’t hesitate to donate.

“You’re not going to use them,” she said. “And there’s more chance, statistically, that you will be a donor recipient than them actually harvesting from you. Think about how many people have transplants.”

While Operation Popcorn was about thanking hospital workers, there are a lot of thank yous still to be expressed, because there are a lot of transplants that still need to be made.

“If I can help out in any way, just to [bring] awareness or just to give thanks, I want to be able to do that. That is such a little thing to be able to do,” Graves said.

For more information, visit http://www.transplant.bc.ca/.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wayne Allen's graduation photo from Chemainus Secondary School. (Photo submitted)
Brother charged with murder in Chemainus teenager’s Ontario death

Jesse James Allen stands accused in the death of Wayne Allen, a 2020 Chemainus Secondary grad

Pamela Anderson was given a Ladysmith Heritage Award for the restoration work on the Arcady Auto Court property that she purchased from her grandparents. (Pamela Anderson photo)
PHOTOS: Star-studded Ladysmith Heritage Awards honour local commitments to heritage

Barrie McDonald, Pamela Anderson, John & Luke Marston, and the Ladysmith Maritime Society recognized

Kim McGregor died in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run accident in Chemainus. (Photo submitted)
Victim identified in Valentine’s Day Chemainus hit-and-run

Kim McGregor grew up in Chemainus and had recently returned to be close to his parents

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

The Ladysmith Museum has two new exhibits open to the public. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith museum opens up with two new exhibits

The museum is featuring Prime Predators of Vancouver Island and ‘Red Flag, Red Flag’

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read