Team BC poses for a group photo at the 2014 Canadian Transplant Games in Moncton

Team BC poses for a group photo at the 2014 Canadian Transplant Games in Moncton

Cranbrook represented at Transplant Games

Team BC travels to Moncton, New Brunswick for weeklong event

For some, 13 may be considered an unlucky number but this past July,  13 athletes of Team BC hit the road and headed to the 2014 Canadian Transplant Games in Moncton, NB.

The fact that Hurricane Arthur was making shore on the very weekend that athletes from all over Canada were scheduled to land in Moncton did not deter any ones plans.

In fact the excitement just grew as athletes stranded at various airports in Quebec and Ontario connected on social media to catch up with the changes and keep everyone informed of their progress in getting to Moncton.

For local resident Heather Hockley this was her second time attending the national transplant games.

Born and raised in Fernie, Heather later moved to Cranbrook and in May of 2011, received her gift of life when she got the telephone call to go to Vancouver for her kidney transplant.

This year, Heather was among over 300 athletes and their supporters who converged on Moncton making the University their home for the weeklong event which covers all types of sports.

Some of the sports are very competitive with people training in advance to compete for gold in their sport of choice.

While other events are not so competitive, according to Heather this is what makes the games so unique and can cater to a large range of athletes of all ages and abilities.

“The fact that we can participate in the games is simply amazing, everyone has a story to share and it really is like one big family reunion that keeps growing, it just wouldn’t happen without organ donation,” said Heather.

The only qualification needed to be an athlete in the games is that one must have an organ transplant.

“It really is about celebrating our new life,” Heather said. “Without organ donation it’s hard to say where any of us would be one thing is for certain we would not have been healthy enough to participate in an event of this magnitude”.

The event showcases to all of Canada the importance of Organ Donation and this year was no exception.  The next National Transplant games will be held in Toronto in 2016. Team BC is always looking for new athletes to join and experience the excitement.

Heather’s goal is to attend a World Transplant game in the near future with the 2015 World Games in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

You too can make a difference in someone’s life just by signing up to be an organ donor.  It takes only minutes and will make a difference in someone’s quality of life. If you would like to hear more information about organ donation and the Transplant games please feel free to contact heather at hehockley@gmail.com.  If you haven’t already please take a minute and visit www.transplant.bc.ca  to register and please discuss your wishes with your family. It really does make a difference!