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The Chain of Life Challenge was once again highlighted at the Polyvalente de Saint-Jérôme this fall to raise awareness among students and those around them about signing their organ donation card and the delays that are often associated with doing this.

By Luc Robert | This article was first published in French in Journal Le Nord on October 31, 2023.

Since the beginning of September, students in Secondary IV have been exploring the world of organ and tissue donation with their English teachers, Mylène Gingras and Dora Aczél.

"Guided by stimulating texts, enlightening discussions, informative videos and interactive games from the Chain of Life program, the students have become aware of the magnitude of the challenges posed by long waiting lists for organ transplants and the alarming shortage of available organs. They have also become advocates for the cause," says Ms. Aczél.

Moving testimonials 

One of the highlights of the program was a moving conference that took place in early October. It featured two vital links in the chain of life: a donor family and a double lung transplant recipient. Their stories touched the students deeply.

"Real cases, living examples telling their stories, helped raise awareness among young people. The family always has the last word on organ donation, and we need to talk about it with our loved ones so that it can take place in the event of death. The other part of the program focused on the importance of taking care of oneself and staying in good physical shape," she says.

Back to Tremblant

On Tuesday, October 5, 106 students from the Intermediate Education Program (IEP), accompanied by 7 teachers, took on the remarkable challenge of climbing to the summit of Mont-Tremblant. Through this physical feat, the students aimed to raise community awareness of the cause, establishing a symbolic link between climbing a mountain and the courageous battle of those on the waiting list.
"We enjoyed a complete day, with a 9:30 a.m. departure from Saint-Jérôme and an 11 a.m. departure for the climb. Everyone made it to the top, with plenty of encouragement. No one turned back. The climb isn't easy, and neither is waiting for a transplant. The goal was to keep a positive morale all the way to the top, just like people on the waiting list," said Ms. Aczél, who took part in the event for the second time.

Chain of Life [Chaîne de vie] is a recognized charitable organization. Its mission is to educate young people aged 15 to 17 about organ and tissue donation in school. The ultimate goal is to make them ambassadors of family discussions in order to help save more lives.

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