As another transplant parent reminded me just last week, “Our kids are all living on borrowed time.” Yeah, that sucks. There’s no way to make that sound any nicer, or soften the blow. When one of the top paediatric cardiologists in the country says “12-15 years is pretty good”, that is a sucker punch. And it’s not that you don’t see it coming because you know the bogeyman is hiding around a corner, but it doesn’t hurt any less.
Any family that has been on a medical journey such as ours talks about the helplessness and complete lack of control. But being the control freak that I am, I was not content to sit back and let fate decide Addison’s path. Aaron and I firmly believe research into transplant medicine is the only way we can make sure our daughter and all other transplant patients will live a long, quality life.
Though the federal government has pledged almost $14 million into the new Canadian National Transplant Research Program, we know that hundreds of researchers in our country working to find the cure for transplant are fighting for an ever-diminishing pool of money. Research takes money…a lot of money. But sometimes a little seed money can help a scientist figure out if their theory is sound, and then they can leverage that initial research into bigger funding.
And what’s where we are hoping The Addison Fund can make a difference. We have partnered with the Transplant Research Foundation of BC to set up a special fund that will support two Venture Grants. 100% of the donations will go towards transplant research. Our initial goal is pretty lofty – $50,000. We will have input into the recipients of the Grants and we are especially interested in research that includes a paediatric component. We haven’t put a deadline on this because our long-term hope is that we will be able to keep increasing our goal so we can continually fund new research. My big dream would be to find enough money so we could be self-sustaining, but that would be a sizeable $500,000 (or more)!!!!
We know there are many worthy charitable organizations asking for donations at this time of year. We know the economy is still recovering. No matter how big or small, we appreciate everyone’s help and we would also love to hear from anyone who has ideas on how we can get there. We just ask that you think about research and the importance of moving the science forward. Hopefully, transplant patients, their families, friends and colleagues feel inspired to take action and start focusing their fundraising efforts on what will really make a difference in the long run. Remember, the first successful paediatric heart transplant was done just 29 years ago. Look how far research has taken us today.
“From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.” – Aeschylus
Elaine, Aaron and Addison