Media Advisory
April 12, 2017

David Foster Foundation families speak out in support of National Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness Week
Sunday, April 16 to Saturday, April 22, 2017

What: Families of successful pediatric organ transplants are available for interviews to share the story of their journeys and the support from the David Foster Foundation, and raise awareness of the importance of organ donor registration in Canada.

Why: With eight pediatric transplant hospitals across the country, families are often required to temporarily live in larger centres while they wait for a successful match and transplant surgery. This means two sets of bills to pay, often with at least one parent taking leave from their job to move with their child. While the David Foster Foundation fills the financial gap by supporting the non-medical essential expenses of families with children waiting for, and recovering from, pediatric organ transplants, the real gift of life comes from the donors.

There is a shortage of donors, with more than 1,600 Canadians added to organ wait lists each year. Although 90 per cent of Canadians support organ and tissue donation, less than 25 per cent have registered. One donor can make all the difference, benefiting more than 75 people and saving up to eight lives.

Families from across the country are speaking out to raise awareness about the need for both living and deceased organ donors to save the lives of countless children like theirs who were granted a second chance by the kindness of others.

Interview opportunities:

Canada-wide:

  • Michael Ravenhill, CEO, David Foster Foundation

British Columbia:

  • Southern Vancouver Island: Naomi Carlow, 2.5 years old, living donor liver transplant recipient
  • Victoria: Evanne Fisher, 12 years old, two-time heart transplant recipient
  • Abbotsford: Cody Halfpenny, 17 years old, received heart transplant after 995 days on the wait list
  • Langley: Aidyn Delorme, 8 years old, kidney transplant recipient from living donor
  • Prince George: Logan Vandermeulen, 2 years old, heart transplant recipient
  • Surrey: Ryker Slaney, 2 years, 9 months, living donor kidney transplant

Alberta:

  • Edmonton: Lily Hague-Wautier, 4 years old, liver transplant recipient from living donor
  • Edmonton: Cali Phillips, 7 years old, liver transplant recipient from living donor and Kaitlyn Phillips, 19 months old, liver transplant from living donor
  • Lethbridge: Curtis Kellar, 5 years old, heart transplant recipient
  • Strathmore:  Jazmin Burgos-Velasquez, 6 years old, liver transplant recipient

Saskatchewan:

  • Odessa: Zoey Haas, 4 years old, liver transplant recipient from living donor
  • Regina: Isabelle Campbell, 4 years old, living donor liver transplant recipient 

Manitoba:

  • Winnipeg: Jayden Strattner-Brown, 8 years old, heart transplant recipient
  • Winnipeg: Piper Coffin, liver transplant recipient
  • Winnipeg: Nazdana Jan, 4 years old, liver transplant recipient

Ontario: 

  • Hamilton: Erin Deleon, 14 years old, liver transplant recipient   
  • Kingston: Ella-Marie Moores, liver transplant recipient
  • London: Owen Buskard, 2 years old, living donor kidney transplant recipient
  • London: Emily Courtis, 2.5 years old, living donor liver transplant recipient 
  • Puslinch: Felix Dickson, 10 years old, liver transplant recipient from living donor and Cora Dickson, 3 years old, kidney transplant recipient from living donor
  • Toronto:  Giovanni Atherton, 22 months old, liver transplant recipient 
  • Woodstock: Jack Lalonde, 12 years old, liver transplant recipient

Quebec:

  • Alma: Charlie Gendron, 4 years old, liver transplant recipient  
  • St-Denis de Brompton: Élissa Grondin, 5 years old, heart transplant recipient

Newfoundland & Labrador:

  • Gander: Shelby Dalley, 3 years old, liver transplant recipient from living donor 

New Brunswick:

  • Penniac: Macy Clark, 6 years old, liver transplant recipient from living donor
  • Williamsburg: Alyssa Clarke, 14 years old, heart transplant recipient

Nova Scotia

  • Kentville: Isla Marshall, 17 months old, living donor liver transplant recipient 

About the David Foster Foundation

David Foster is a proud Canadian, Recipient of the Order of Canada, Officer of the Order of Canada, 50-time nominee and 16-time Grammy Award winner (including three for Producer of the Year), three-time Oscar nominee, Golden Globe winner, seven-time Juno Award winner, Emmy award winner and has the distinguished honour to have his star on both the Canadian and Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is the man behind the biggest hits, with more than half a billion records sold. In 2015, the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria recognized Foster as their Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year.

Foster launched the David Foster Foundation in his hometown of Victoria in 1986. Across Canada, the David Foster Foundation financially supports families for all non-medical expenses while their children are undergoing life-saving organ transplants. Thanks to its annual fundraising efforts and the generous support of national partners like TELUS, WestJet, AMJ Campbell, Aird &; Berlis LLP, Schnitzer, and Hope Air families receive support for expenses incurred when travelling away from their homes to be with their child during transplant.

In 2014, the Slaight Family Foundation, Newton Glassman Foundation in partnership with Catalyst Capital Group Inc., Jim & Sandi Treliving, and Tan Sri Dr. Francis Yeoh joined TELUS as the Foundation’s $1 million Life Legacy members.

The Foundation also promotes organ donor awareness and registration in both Canada and the United States. For more information, visit www.davidfosterfoundation.com.