New lungs gave Andy new life.

Andy Dykstra nearly died from an acute attack of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His two-year wait for new lungs was cut down to less than five months because surgeons were able to offer him a donor pair that would normally not have been healthy enough to transplant.

Less than two weeks after his surgery at Toronto General, Andy was healthy enough to go home and get back to his healthy life.

Merv proved that age is only a number.

Merv Sheppard had always lived an active lifestyle. He had been a marathon runner, cross-country ski racer and competitive cyclist. But by age 65 he couldn’t even bend over to tie his own shoes. Merv was dying from end stage respiratory failure due to pulmonary fibrosis. Doctor’s assumed he was too old for a lung transplant until an interview at Toronto General Hospital changed his course of life.

Due to his active past, Merv was placed on their transplant list. Less than a month later he got the lifesaving call that he had been waiting for.

Merv continues to live life to the fullest and thanks Dr. Shaf Keshavjee and for giving him the gift of new lungs.

Type 1 diabetes didn’t stop Chris from pursuing his dream.

Type 1 diabetes might not have stopped Chris from pursuing his goal to be an Olympic athlete, but he still dreams to live without insulin injections.

Chris Jarvis is an Olympian, and a member of Canada’s national rowing team. In the summer of 2004, he represented Canada at the Olympic games in Greece and won a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American games. Chris has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 13, and is living proof that people with diabetes can succeed in high-performance athletics. He speaks on behalf of all those who hope to be liberated from constant blood glucose monitoring and insulin treatments.

Chris hopes to raise awareness and support for our research that could allow type 1 diabetics to live without insulin injections.

Derek fought testicular cancer, and won.

In August of 1999, Derek Punchard was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He was only 14. A year later, he underwent a successful stem cell transplant at Princess Margaret Hospital. Today, he lives a normal and happy life with his wife, Christine, and their two young sons. He volunteers as a firefighter in his spare time and is an active member of the Huntsville community.

If it wasn’t for stem cell research, Derek Punchard might not be with us today.

A stem cell transplant saved Lisa’s life.

Lisa Ray is a patient advocate, actor, model, philanthropist and stem cell therapy recipient with an international career in Canada, the United States and India. Her films include Oscar-nominated Water, Defender and Cooking with Stella. In June 2009, she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma – a cancer that usually strikes people in their 60s. In February 2010, following stem cell transplantation, Lisa announced that she was cancer free.

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