Every December, Operation Popcorn signals the start of the season of giving with volunteers and transplant recipients delivering festive tins of to staff in intensive care units, emergency departments and operating rooms across the province.
Irene Phan, communications and community initiatives with BC Transplant, said normally the gifts would be accompanied by bigger teams, but due to COVID-19, no volunteers participated this year.
Video messages were created by some donors and recipients to thank health care staff instead.
“We delivered one box each to the OR, ICU and ER teams at Langley Memorial Hospital (LMH),” Phan said. “The majority of our deliveries went direct to the hospitals but there were a handful of deliveries done in person by BC Transplant’s Organ Donor and Hospital Development team.”
Former Langley Township Councillor and Aldergrove resident Charlie Fox received a kidney from his wife Diane in 2009; he has been a regular at the Operation Popcorn delivery at LMH for the past decade.
“Operation Popcorn was an opportunity for transplant recipients and or donors to show their sincere appreciation to the front line hospital staff that are so vital in the transplant preoperative and post operative transplant care,” Fox told the Aldergrove Star.
He said for the volunteers that deliver the popcorn, it was a chance to meet face to face the people who have been touched by transplantation and those in the public health sector that care for people’s health and welfare.
“They make a difference on a daily basis and this gift of popcorn is a token of our appreciation for the work they do and this opportunity was missed by the volunteers this year unfortunately,” Fox added.
Phan added that registering as an organ donor gives hope to the more than 750 British Columbians waiting for a transplant.
“What better way to embody that spirit than for British Columbians to register as an organ donor, willing to give the gift of life,” she said.
People can register to become an organ donor and find out more information on how to get involved at www.transplant.bc.ca.
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