Rocky Mountaineer invites organ donors, recipients and their families aboard the annual "Life Changing Train for Heroes"

Event Looks to Draw 5,000 Donor Sign Ups in One Week

VANCOUVER, Sept. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Every 36 hours in Canada, someone will die waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. And although a single donor can save the lives of up to eight people, only 15 in every 1,000,000 Canadians are registered to donate.

To raise national awareness for the cause and increase donor registration, B.C.- based company Rocky Mountaineer is honoring 40 individuals and families from around the world, that have been impacted by organ donation. These individuals will embark on an inspiring rail journey to the majestic Canadian Rockies. A goal has been set to secure 5,000 registered donors by week's end.

Rocky Mountaineer's annual Life Changing Train for Heroes program honours everyday heroes who have made significant efforts for the good of others, recognizes the families that have supported them and raises awareness for the organizations that provide them with assistance. Along the journey, the families will enjoy some well-deserved time to relax and reconnect with each other. The train will depart from the Rocky Mountaineer Station on September 16th, stopover in Kamloops, B.C., and arrive at Lake Louise, Alberta on September 19th.

"We are humbled and excited to welcome the heroes and their families for our second annual Life Changing Train for Heroes program," say Randy Powell, President and CEO of Rocky Mountaineer. "As the heroes give selflessly to positively impact the lives of others, we hope to provide them with a life changing experience of their own and raise awareness for the important cause."

This year's program will host a total of thirteen organ donors/recipients and their families onboard the train for the special journey. Amongst the heroes is Professional Snowboarder and Olympic-medalist, Chris Klug. The Colorado native received a life-saving liver transplant in 2000 and went on to win a bronze medal in the Olympic Winter Games, just two years later.

There are also four Canadian families that will be taking part in the Life Changing Train for Heroes trip:

  • Kristy and Wade Thackeray and their daughters Shaylynn and McKayla, Organ Recipients from Alberta
  • Coral and Remi Tremblay, Donor family of Kristy Thackeray from Alberta
  • Addison McArthur and her parents Elaine Yong and Aaron McArthur, Organ Recipient from British Columbia
  • Terry, Heather and Emily Talbot, Donor family from Toronto, Ontario

"With over 5000 people in Canada waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, it is the Canadian Transplant Association's mission is to increase organ and tissue donor awareness and offer hope to those waiting on the list," said Margaret Benson, Canadian Transplant Association representative.  "We encourage people to have the discussion with their family regarding organ and tissue donation and let their wishes be known. Organ donation works and the families from Canada participating in this journey are living proof."

According to statistics from the Canadian Transplant Association:

  • Over 1,600 Canadians are added to organ wait lists yearly
  • A 90% majority of Canadians support organ and tissue donation but less than 25% have made plans to donate
  • One donor can benefit more than 75 people and save up to 8 lives

For more information on Rocky Mountaineer's Life Changing Train for Heroes or get involved and register as an organ donor, please visit rockymountaineer.com/heroes. To learn more about our heroes and follow them on their life changing journey, follow us on Twitter at @rmountaineer and use #HeroesTrain.

About Rocky Mountaineer:
2015 marks the 25th Anniversary for Rocky Mountaineer and the company has a lot to celebrate. Since its inception in 1990, Rocky Mountaineer has grown to be the largest privately owned luxury tourist train in the world and is considered by many as the only way to see the Canadian Rockies. In the past 25 years, the train has welcomed onboard nearly two million guests from around the globe. With over 45 vacation packages, five unique rail routes, and iconic destinations such as Seattle, WA, Vancouver and Whistler, BC, and the majestic Canadian Rockies in Alberta, there is a journey for anyone looking for a life changing experience. The world renowned train travels by daylight through the diverse landscapes of the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada while guests relish in the breathtaking views of tumbling waterfalls, glacier-capped mountains, and wildlife of the regions. Rocky Mountaineer has received numerous international awards and accolades for service excellence, including eight World Travel Awards for both "World's Leading Travel Experience By Train" and "World's Leading Luxury Train." In 2013, it was also recognized as one of the world's "Dream Trips" by the prestigious Travel +Leisure magazine.

About The Canadian Transplant Association
The Canadian Transplant Association (CTA) is a registered charitable organization founded in 1987 to enrich and celebrate life while promoting organ and tissue donation. Our members share a unique bond and include transplant recipients, candidates on transplant wait lists, donor families, living donors, families, friends and health care professionals.

CTA advocates for organ and tissue donation to give more Canadians access to life-saving and life-changing transplants. We provide a support network to those waiting for a transplant and for transplant recipients.  The Canadian Transplant Games are hosted by the CTA every two years to showcase the success of organ transplantation. The games demonstrate the active, healthy life style that can be achieved following a transplant.

Membership is open to all Canadians who share our mission to increase organ and tissue donation rates in Canada. The volunteer CTA Board of Directors collaborates with a number of related government, corporate and private organizations, provincially and nationally, and is a member of the World Transplant Games Federation, (recognized by the International Olympic Committee).

SOURCE: Rocky Mountaineer

For further information: For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact: Jacqueline Bennett, Citizen Relations, jacqueline.bennett@citizenrelations.com, 604 647 2943; Crystal Kwon, Citizen Relations, crystal.kwon@citizenrelations.com, 604 647 2985; Shannon Kidd, Rocky Mountaineers, skidd@rockymountaineer.com, 604 606 8421


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