On March 24, we had the honour of attending the third annual Marit Cup hosted by Calgary Christian School at Markin MacPhail Arena in Calgary, AB. There were over 600 students attending and many supporters. The arena transformed from a quiet and lifeless hockey rink into an animated area as everyone filed in.
Marit Cup is a students vs. teachers hockey game that is held in honor of Marit Mackenzie, a Calgary Christian School student who graduated in 2012 – and who, sadly, in January of 2013 passed away from a pulmonary embolism. The game also assists in raising awareness for organ donation. Each year, Marit McKenzie’s legacy lives on. To read Marit’s incredible story, please visit: http://bit.ly/MaritMcKenzie.
David Foster’s daughter and our board member, Allison Jones, joined us to introduce our very special guest, five-year-old heart transplant recipient, Curtis Kellar. Curtis waited for his life-saving heart transplant for over two years and last September his family finally received the call that changed their lives. For those of you who do not know Curtis, I encourage you to read his inspiring story, please visit: http://bit.ly/CurtisKellar. Curtis is the most fun loving, spontaneous, and energetic little boy we have ever met! Not only did he drop the puck to start the game off, he helped hand out organ donation forms, and high fived every mascot that walked by!
Scott Ouelette, heart transplant recipient, and his wife Amy, were a part of this special day as he put his hockey skills to test playing against the Calgary Christian School students. Jamie received his gift of life in 2008 after he suffered a life-threatening heart attack at a young age. Read his story HERE. Success transplant stories like Curtis’ and Jamie’s are the reason why we are so passionate about our cause: organ donation. We were also fortunate to have a long time supporter of the foundation and Canadian Transplant Association Provincial Director of Alberta, Shauna Rivait join us.
The game remained a close and grueling tie as teachers and students battled it out. In the end, the teachers stole the lead in the last four minutes of the game and took home the cup with a 3-2 win!
Finally, we would like to recognize the McKenzie family; Bruce, Susan, James, and Britta who attended the event this year. Your strength and dedication leaves us in awe. We cannot express our appreciation and gratitude for everything that you have done for the foundation and what you continue to do for increasing awareness around organ donation. Marit left an incredible legacy and you have done an absolutely amazing job to support that.
We’d like to thank Calgary Christian School and all of their students for hosting such a wonderful event, Curtis Kellar and his family for joining us, the Canadian Transplant Association for their continued support, and the McKenzie family for their strength.
Take a look at the pictures from the 2015 Marit Cup HERE.
I cannot learn to simply,
do something easy with my life,
I must make it known
that I am not only willing
but glad to feel and work
and fight until I die.
I know it’s not dismal,
I know it will be wonderful.
It is wonderful.
I will fight the hardest battle there is to fight,
to be nobody-but-myself in life.