MARITIME RUNNER
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Transplant Trots returning to New Brunswick

Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John hosting runs April 28-30

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
April 20, 2017

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Kristen Wheaton is not only the coordinator of the upcoming Transplant Trot run series in New Brunswick. She’s living proof of the value of organ donation.
Wheaton received a liver transplant six years ago, and has not only been living a healthy life ever since, but she’s also taken up running.
“I actually never ran a day in my life before that, and never thought I would, but I’ve been running for the last 3-4 years,” said Wheaton, who volunteers with the Canadian Transplant Association (CTA).

Participants head out for last year’s Transplant Trot in Fredericton.

Photo courtesy of the Canadian Transplant Association

“It’s one of those things where it’s kind of a second chance at life again,” she continued. “It’s really important, for those people who don’t have a connection to it, just to understand how important it is talking to loved ones about being an organ or tissue donor and the impact it can have on somebody else’s life.”
The Transplant Trots are part of several events being planned by the CTA in recognition of National Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness Week on April 23-29. The 5K/10K events will take place in Saint John on the evening of Friday, April 28, followed by morning runs in Moncton on Saturday, April 29 and Fredericton on Sunday, April 30.
Participants are also welcome to run all three races as part of a special Tri City Challenge for the weekend.
While funds raised will support education initiatives for the CTA, the major goal for this and other activities during the week is to raise awareness about the need for organ and tissue donation. While polling has shown Canadians to be overwhelmingly supportive of the idea of organ donation, only 65 per cent of Canadians end up discussing it with their family members, leaving not enough organs to meet current needs.
“People need to let their families know they would like to donate their organs and tissue,” said Wheaton. “Sharing your wishes with your loved ones in advance can make it easier for your family to decide about organ and tissue donation at the appropriate time.”
The first Transplant Trot was held in Moncton 13 years ago, and the event has since grown across the country, now being held in about 30 different communities. Last year marked the first one in Saint John, and this year will see the first one held in St. John’s.
“This fall we will have the first one in Nova Scotia, and we’re hoping to get P.E.I. on board next year,” said Wheaton.
All three New Brunswick runs this year will be held on trails along the waterfront areas of the cities.
Wheaton is hopeful to once again see strong participation in all three locations.
“Last year we had record numbers participate in all three trots, despite the cold weather,” she said. “We’re hoping we can maintain or increase those numbers again.”
For more information about the Transplant Trots and how to register, visit here for Saint John, here for Moncton, and here for Fredericton.