Fewer people, more money

By Geoff Lee

February 2, 2017 12:00 AM

TRANSPLANT TROTTERS Charlotte Winterhalt had only weeks to live before she received a partial liver from donor—and brother— Vern Tomkins. DON WHITING LLS PHOTO

The second annual Transplant Trot has come and gone with fewer people taking part, but more people that ever aware of the need for organ and tissue donations.
“It’s not a numbers’ game for us,” said race director, Greg Hnatuk and a recipient of a living saving kidney a few years ago.
The fundraiser is organized by the Lloydminster chapter of the Canadian Transplant Association.
“It’s giving chance for people to celebrate something magnificent that’s happened in the family,” said Hnatuk.
That’s in reference to the pack of 60 who took part in a one lap recognition walk for transplant recipients, living donors and deceased donor families.
“We had families that I walked with on Saturday that had a (organ) donation made by a member of a non-living relative a long time ago and they never really had a chance to walk together and celebrate that,” he said.
In total 170 people registered for the 5 km walk/run at the Servus Sports Centre on Jan. 28 with the walking track capacity at 250.
“We are very pleased with the numbers when we look at the number of people that were in the recognition walk,” said Hnatuk.
“Because it’s a recognition walk, the numbers represent the depth of the family impacted by the transplant.”
Hnatuk said for some people who come out, it’s a support system for them with some folks having a larger network of family and friends than others.
As an example, he said, last year’s host family was the Harris’ who have been here forever and have a lot of their family living in this area.
On the plus side he said, the value of corporate sponsorship was higher this year.
He said they also did better with donations and fundraising this year than they did last year with more than $12,000 raised and counting.
Hnatuk said the organizing committee will now sit down and evaluate the success of this year’s trot.
“We’ll be meeting again in March/April, but it’s become an extremely important part, we believe, of our community to actually take time to consider and celebrate the impact of organ and tissue donation,” said Hnatuk.

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