Despite the current pandemic, the Chain of Life Challenge was presented in the Mauricie region in a very special version on October 17. It took place at Mont SM, located at the entrance to Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc, as part of World Organ Donation and Transplant Day.
In order to limit gatherings, Chain of Life entrusted the task of standard bearers from the 16 regions where the challenge was to carry the Chain of Life flag to the top of their respective mountain, at the same time. Although they were alone at the top, they were supported in each of the regions by the key links in the chain of life such as teachers, students, doctors, nurses, patients awaiting a transplant, donor families, police officers, transplant recipients. , climbers and citizens, as well as by the general public.
“We are very happy with our 2020 edition and we had exceptional media coverage across Quebec,” says Lucie Dumont, president and founder of Chaîne de vie. “It’s more than perfect for us since it has enabled us to raise $ 33,000 in donations already and our campaign runs until the end of October.”
“You know, one in two people have not yet identified their will on organ donation and it is still very taboo as a subject. Often, when they talk about it on television, it’s in series and it’s scary. It is either a person who has a bad guy’s heart transplanted and becomes bad, or organ trafficking. The shows generate interest, but negatively. We are always working upstream to counter these negative impacts. ”
At the moment, no less than 799 Quebecers are awaiting a transplant, including 33 in Mauricie. For months already, Chaîne de vie has made it its duty to provide information to young high school students.
“We entered schools, not to convince young people, but to guide them to the right information. We are offered as a theme in secondary 4 and 5 English lessons, with two lessons per week, ”explains Ms. Dumont.
“In Mauricie, I met all the teachers from the Shawinigan school board and some from Trois-Rivières. It is at the level of private schools that we have work to do. Our goal is to enter all secondary schools in the next few years. ”
It was Anthony Lafrenière-Gélinas, this young entrepreneur who organized the Grande Foire de Trois-Rivières at the Les Rivières shopping center last year, who had the chance to act as standard bearer for the region of Mauricie.
“This is my fourth year with the Chaîne de vie team and each fall, we have a targeted mountain to climb in order to raise money for this organization. Its primary goal is to raise awareness and teach people about organ donation, ”testifies the young man.
“Compared to cancer and heart disease, organ donation is still too little known. Usually, we invite people to come up with us, but with COVID-19, we were more restricted this year. I was nevertheless accompanied by the former TVA journalist, Ghislain Morissette, who, he and his family, made the decision to donate their son’s organs when he died, which saved three lives. We set up as a tribute to his son, Vincent Béland. ”
To all those interested in making a donation, visit the https://defi.chainedevie.org/.