Annual Trail Ride on Horses:
This event is held to promote organ and tissue donation. The event occurs annually on the second weekend of May. It welcomes horse and riders and wagon drivers and takes place on the Iron Horse Trail from Lindbergh to Elk Point (14km). Participants ride in memory of or for a loved one on the organ and tissue transplant list. The ride consists of up to 350 participants annually and is for all ages. Wagons are provided for delegates that want to participate but do not have their own horse. These delegates have been ambassadors of organ and tissue donation and often follow up with a presentation at the gala.
The gala includes dinner, speakers, live and silent auction, and dance to follow. Participants for the gala is at capacity every year; sold out. Speakers who have been part of the gala in past include, doctors of the University of Alberta Transplant Teams, members of the Human Organ Procurement and Exchange Program, GoodHearts Foundation, Canadian Transplant Association, family members of love ones lost and have donated their organs and tissue; including Bernadine and Toby Boulet.
Annual Golf Tournament:
This event is held to promote living proof that organ and tissue donation works. This event is held annually on the 2nd week of August. Up to 100 participants including golfers and volunteers. This tournament is in recognition to those who have gone through the transplant process and are living proof that organ and tissue donation works.
Public Educational Engagements:
This program consists of members of the society presenting their experiences before, during, and post transplant surgery. Members of the society have brought awareness to organ and tissue donation at the following public events:
a. Alberta Registry’s offices throughout Alberta during National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW)
b. The Association of Alberta Registry Agents annual conference
c. Elementary Public Schools
d. Rural Women’s Conference
e. Edmonton General Hospital
f. Global Edmonton News, Newscap TV, Lakeland Connect and many other media outlets
g. Lung Association – Stair Climb for Clean Air
Affordable Housing Program:
There were 353 transplants done at the University of Alberta hospital in 2018, the last year for which figures are available.
The medical centre serves the western provinces and territories. The islet program handles patients from all 10 provinces.
For a patient to be considered for a transplant he/she must be accompanied by a caregiver, usually a family member. On average, a transplant patient and caregiver spend 3 months at the hospital. Most of that time is post transplant as the patient undergoes physical therapy and medical checkups.
The transplant housing program, in collaboration with the GoodHearts Foundation, provides 6 furnished suites near the U of A Hospital. The suites are available for nominal rent to transplant patients being treated at the University of Alberta Hospital. These apartments provide housing for a minimum of 24 couples per year.
Thus far, 2nd Chance Trail Ride Society has supported over 50 families since with a safe, secure, and comfortable home to stay in while a family member is undergoing a life saving transplant procedure. The 2nd CTR has donated $215,000 to GoodHearts to operate these apartments. See the letter from GoodHearts Foundation.
Supporters of this society make and donate handmade quilts to transplant recipients staying in these apartments.
Financial Assistance Program:
This Program is dollars given to recipients to offset their living costs. Out of town transplant recipients who must stay in Edmonton before, during and after surgery acquire extra essential costs. 2nd Chance Trail Ride Society works directly with social workers within the University of Alberta Hospital Transplant Teams to ensure financial assistance is provided when required. More than 30 transplant recipients per year have received financial assistance of $1000 each since 2012.
Other organ and tissue transplant recipients have received financial assistance through pre-paid gift cards to assist with parking, food and gas while going through their 2nd chance in life. Approximately, $3000 per year is given out.
A donation to the University Hospital Foundation provided 2 new treadmills to the transplant services in the Central Rehabilitation Unit. The rehabilitation plays a major role in the success of organ transplantation recovery.
Spreading the word Signage Program:
This program was initially aimed at reaching rural Albertans through highway billboard signs to educate the necessity to speak to one’s family and register one’s intent to become an organ and/or tissue donor through the Alberta Organ and Tissue Donation Registry. It has been broadened to include signs placed in hockey arenas, curling rinks, rodeo arenas and most recently in the equestrian arenas. Over 100 signs have been placed throughout Rural Alberta.
A few years ago 2nd Chance Trail Ride Society teamed up with the Canadian Transplant Association and signs were placed in hockey arenas throughout Edmonton and region.
The word (register your intent to donate) has also been spread by transport trucks commuting across Western Canada. B&R Eckles Transport placed decals on semi-trucks in support of organ and tissue donation.
World Professional Chuckwagon Driver, Doug Irvine, hands out t-shirts and brochures promoting awareness at major provincial rodeos such at the Calgary Stampede throughout the summer months.
Educational and awareness messaging has been heavily targeted through social media; Facebook and Twitter.
This program consists of living proof that organ and tissue donation works. The founding members and some of the general membership are made up of organ and/or tissue transplant recipients. From finding out a transplant is required, to being on a waiting list, to preparing for the transplant, to getting the call, to receiving the transplant, to transplant rejection, to maintaining the transplant, our members share their experiences. The University of Alberta’s Transplant Teams and the HOPE Program work closely with our mentors to find the best fit of patient with mentor.
This program also includes family members who provided support for the patient while going though a 2nd Chance at life journey.
Members of the Society available for mentorship include:
a. 5 Lung recipients
b. 1 Heart recipient
c. 1 Kidney recipient from cadaver
d. 1 Kidney recipient from living donor
e. 1 Liver recipient
f. 2 Tissue recipient
g. 2 Stem cell recipient
h. 1 Cornea recipient