Yesterday, while George Marcello was in Emergency with a setback on his post transplant journey, his Torch of Life Relay came to a finish at Queen’s Park. I was concerned really about him, but knew he wanted the message he cares about to get out through the event. I had the privilege to carry the Torch of Life from the Toronto General Hospital to Queen’s Park with Khaled Khatib and Olivia Hubert. I gave it to a construction worker on the way, we even had one doing the dance while we walked by. We passed the torch to one of my great friends Nancy Salvalaggio, who is waiting for a double lung and liver transplant. I met her in the treadmill room.
My groovy friends and family from Ottawa surprised me with their smiling faces and amazing banners in front of the TGH. They were here, in Toronto, ready to walk by our side and promote the importance of being a donor. We hung out in air conditioned comfort for the afternoon. It made me realize how much I miss my core group of friends – I’m looking forward to walking the bicycle friendly streets of Ottawa again with friends and family.
These guys made my month!! (And it has been a bigger month than usual – from Justin Beiber, MMVA’s, to the Diamond Jubilee Gala…) Another highlight was the chance I had to spend time with Taber, my glorious webmaster and de facto manager, alung with his delightful family. We kept them up late and threw off every routine their family has.
MPPs Lisa McLeod, France Gélinas and Health Minister Deb Mathews gave great speeches in front of QP and survived the blast furnace heat. We retreated inside where a press conference featured Khaled Khatib, Marsha Gladstone, a Rabi, a Marriott Inn manager Beth, and a Toronto police chaplain.
People have been inspired by my story and I in turn am being inspired by others’ stories.
So, I get asked, “How are you doing?”
I’m still not a transplant Jedi, but my “powers” are increasing. I can handle stairs, walkup long ramps, walk at a regular pace, eat 3 WHOLE slices of pizza…
I have not regained my love of coffee – hard to imagine, but true. But I’ll still grab a “coffee” with you sometime.
My recovery is now taking centre stage, as I’ve asked that there be no media interviews, etc. for the next few weeks. My Toronto Bucket List awaits. And if anyone is concerned that it may contain crazy or dangerous exploits, don’t forget, Mama Lion Manon is still my 24/7 support person.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you George - get well soon.