National team of SickKids heart transplant patients to participate in the World Transplant Games in Bangkok



    TORONTO, Aug. 10 /CNW/ - The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is
proud to announce that an official hospital team of heart transplant patients
will be travelling to Bangkok to participate in the 16th World Transplant
Games, held from August 25 to September 3, 2007.
    Team SickKids is comprised of 17 SickKids cardiac patients from across
Canada who have received one or more heart transplants. SickKids is the first
and only Canadian hospital to have an official team attend the games and the
team makes up half of the 34-member Canadian delegation.
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulated Team SickKids for
representing Canada at the games. "Your stories are inspirational," said the
Prime Minister. "I admire the courage and determination you are showing as you
take part in this international competition. You are testaments to the great
potential of transplant patients of all ages and it is my hope that you will
continue to enjoy renewed strength."
    The SickKids Heart Transplant Program embarked on the ambitious task of
organizing a formal hospital team after witnessing the positive effects the
games had on patients' physical and social development post-transplantation.
The team organizers, Dr. Anne Dipchand, head of the SickKids Heart Transplant
Program, and Alison Drabble, a heart and lung transplant nurse at SickKids,
will be accompanying the participants and their parents to the games in
Thailand.
    "One of the main goals of paediatric heart transplantation is to provide
a better quality of life and as normal a childhood as possible for our
patients," said Dr. Dipchand. "What better way to motivate patients
post-transplant to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to foster special
childhood memories than by taking them on this trip of a lifetime."
    Many of Team SickKids' athletes are preparing for the games through an
exercise training program developed by Robin Deliva, a heart and lung
transplant physiotherapist at SickKids, who will be attending the games with
the group. The athletes will be participating in several competitions,
including: badminton, track and field, swimming, golf, volleyball, bowling and
table tennis.
    The patients have also prepared for the games by fundraising in their
communities to cover the cost of the trip to Thailand. In addition, Team
SickKids received support from Cardiac Kids, David Foster Foundation, Trillium
Gift of Life Network, Cathay Pacific, Roche Canada and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
    Team SickKids member Devan Cruickshanks, 11, received her heart
transplant three years ago. Since then, she has competed in the 2005 World
Transplant Games, where she won five medals, and in last summer's Canadian
Transplant Games, where she won seven medals.
    "I think it's important that people know just how much we can do after
transplant," said Cruickshanks, who lives in Dundas, Ontario. "I am excited
about going to Thailand with Team SickKids. It will be nice to be around kids
that have gone through the same thing that I have been through. Hopefully I'll
win a medal or two."
    Team SickKids will be posting daily journal entries and results from the
World Transplant Games on the hospital's Web site, www.sickkids.ca.
    The World Transplant Games first started in 1978 and included teams from
four countries with just under 100 competitors. Since then, the games have
grown to include over 68 member countries and 1,500 participants. The
competitors are unique in that each one of them is alive as a result of a
successful organ transplant.
    The SickKids Heart Transplant Program offers a multi-disciplinary team
approach that focuses on post-transplant care to ensure both better outcomes
and an improved quality of life amongst paediatric heart transplant patients,
from babies to teenagers. The hospital is the only Canadian centre
participating in a North American study tracking paediatric heart transplant
patients.
    Since the SickKids Heart Transplant Program began in 1990, over 200 heart
transplants have been performed at the hospital, establishing SickKids as one
of the largest paediatric heart transplant centres in the world. In 2006,
SickKids performed 20 heart transplants on children from across the country,
setting a record for the number of paediatric heart transplants performed in a
year by a Canadian transplant centre.

    The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), affiliated with the University
of Toronto, is Canada's most research-intensive hospital and the largest
centre dedicated to improving children's health in the country. As innovators
in child health, SickKids improves the health of children by integrating care,
research and teaching. Our mission is to provide the best in complex and
specialized care by creating scientific and clinical advancements, sharing our
knowledge and expertise and championing the development of an accessible,
comprehensive and sustainable child health system. For more information,
please visit www.sickkids.ca. SickKids is committed to healthier children for
a better world.



    
                                TEAM SICKKIDS
                         Staff and Athlete Profiles
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    SICKKIDS STAFF
    --------------

    Dr. Anne Dipchand, Head of the Heart Transplant Program, SickKids

    Alison Drabble, Heart and Lung Transplant Nurse, SickKids

    Robin Deliva, Heart and Lung Transplant Physiotherapist, SickKids

    ATHLETES
    --------

    Zoe Alstrup, 16, Gold River, British Columbia
    Zoe received a heart transplant when she was a year old. She will be
participating in the 100 metre, cricket ball throw, long jump and 3 km walk
competitions.

    Ronald Antonroy, 10, Markham, Ontario
    Ronald received a heart transplant when he was two months old. Ronald
will be participating in the 50 metre sprint, cricket ball throw, long jump
and badminton singles competitions.

    Jake Blair, 9, Mississauga, Ontario
    Jake received a heart transplant when he was 11 months old. He will be
participating in the 50 meter sprint, the cricket ball throw, long jump and
both badminton and table tennis events.

    Kailyn and Ayden Bredin, 10 and 6, Ajax, Ontario
    Kailyn received a heart transplant when she was eight months old and
Ayden received a heart transplant when he was one month old. Kailyn will be
competing in the badminton singles, 25 metre freestyle swim and cricket ball
throw events. Ayden will be competing in the 50 metre sprint, cricket ball
throw and badminton singles events.

    Ryley Brotman, 10, Newmarket, Ontario
    Ryley received a heart transplant in 2005. He has previously competed in
the 2005 World Transplant Games in London, Ontario, where he won a bronze
medal, and in the Canadian Games held last summer in Edmonton, Alberta, where
he won gold, silver and bronze medals. In Bangkok, he will be competing in the
cricket ball throw, long jump, badminton singles, table tennis singles and
tennis singles events.

    Devan Cruickshanks, 11, Dundas, Ontario
    Devan received a heart transplant in 2004. Devan has previously competed
in the 2005 World Transplant Games in London, Ontario, where she won five
medals, and in last summer's Canadian Games in Edmonton, where she won seven
medals. In Bangkok, Devan will be competing in the 50 metre freestyle swim, 50
metre backstroke, 50 metre breaststroke, cricket ball throw and long jump
events.

    Seth Delguidice, 8, Barrie, Ontario
    In 1999, Seth was the first child over a year old to successfully receive
an ABO-incompatible heart transplant at Sick Kids. He will be participating in
the 50 metre sprint, the cricket ball throw, tennis singles and long jump
events.

    Jessica Dorcich, 8, Oakville, Ontario
    Jessica received a heart transplant when she was two months old. She will
be participating in the badminton singles, 50 metre backstroke, 50 metre
running and long jump competitions.

    Terry Gill, 18, Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland
    Terry has undergone three heart transplants at SickKids, the last taking
place in 2002. He will be competing in the golf, bowling and badminton singles
events.

    Benjamin Giroux, 13, Ottawa, Ontario
    Benjamin received a heart transplant in November 2006. He will be
participating in the 50 metre freestyle swim, the 50 metre breaststroke and
the badminton singles competitions.

    Jacob Kingdon-Kramer, 11, Vineland, Ontario
    Jacob received a heart transplant when he was five months old. He will be
competing in the swimming, badminton and track events.

    Jordan Marcia, 15, Langley, British Columbia
    Jordan received a heart transplant when he was four years old. He will be
participating in the 100 metre, long jump and shot put competitions.

    Dustin Martin, 15, Hamilton, Ontario
    Dustin has undergone two heart transplants, the last taking place in
2004. He will be participating in the ball throw, long jump, badminton, table
tennis and tennis singles events.

    Christopher Milliard, 12, Hilliardton, Ontario
    Christopher received a heart transplant in 2002 and previously attended
the World Transplant Games in London. He will be participating in the 100
metre sprint, long jump, ball throw, badminton singles and tennis singles
events.

    Kaila Rémillard, 15, Ottawa, Ontario
    Kaila received a heart transplant in 2005. She will be competing in the
50 metre freestyle swim, ball throw, 100 metre sprint and 5 km cycling events.

    Kelsey Seniuk, 15, Kingston, Ontario
    Kelsey received a heart transplant in November 2006 and will be
participating in the 100 metre, high jump, badminton singles and tennis
singles competitions.





For further information:

For further information: Lisa Lipkin, Public Affairs, Tel: (416)
813-6380, The Hospital for Sick Children

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