World's only active professional firefighter with heart transplant headed on five-week, 800 km pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

    Shippam to send blog updates from along the route

    TORONTO, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - Trillium Gift of Life Network is wishing heart
recipient Dale Shippam of Thunder Bay well as he heads off to Spain and France
to complete the famous Way of St. James ending at the Cathedral of Santiago de
Compostela over the next five weeks.
    "Dale continues to be a fantastic example of how far organ
transplantation in Canada has come," said Frank Markel, President and CEO of
Trillium Gift of Life Network. "He had a transplant over 8 years ago and now
he's setting off on another exciting pilgrimage requiring both endurance and
strength. We are so proud of Dale - he really is committed to going to the
ends of the earth to raise awareness of the need for organ donation. Thank you
Dale. We look forward to reading your live blog and want you to have a great
    The Way of St. James, often known by its Spanish name, el Camino de
Santiago is a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in
northwestern Spain. There are several routes, one of the most popular is the
one Shippam and his friends will take starting in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port,
France. The group will stay in hostels along the way while completing what is
called the "credencial" or "pilgrim's passport", whereby each town provides a
stamp as proof that the pilgrim has visited. The "credencial" must be complete
by the time the group gets to the Cathedral to receive the "compostela", a
certificate of accomplishment awarded to those who have completed the full
journey. Pilgrims on foot must complete a minimum of 100 kilometers walking to
    "If I hadn't had my heart transplant I wouldn't be on this pilgrimage,"
said Shippam. "I'm so grateful to my donor family, and I want to honour them
by living every single day to its fullest. It's my goal to visit every single
continent to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation - the
world needs to know that organ donation saves lives, look at me - I'm living
proof. Sign your organ donor card and talk to your family about your organ
donation wishes today."

    Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the
Government of Ontario and is responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating
and supporting organ and tissue donation across Ontario and improving the
system so that more lives can be saved. Sign your donor card. Talk to your
family about your wishes.

    For more details on Trillium Gift of Life Network or to connect to
Shippam's blog please visit our website at or call
416.363.4001 or toll free 1-800-263-2833.

For further information:

For further information: Kari Cuss, Trillium Gift of Life Network, (416)
619-2300 (office), (416) 526-0564 (cell)

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