Our National Board is elected every two years on October 31, 60 days after year-end, following the World Transplant Games. The National Executive is drawn from across Canada, and Regional Directors are elected from the seven regions that comprise our national body.
Aubrey received his liver transplant May 10, 1998 after living with PSC for 18 years. His disease started when he was in his second year of medical school. Since his transplant he has competed in 4 Canadian Transplant Games and 2 World Transplant Games.
He has worked as an Emergency Physician, General Practitioner, been program director of a chronic care renal dialysis unit, as a medical reviewer for Health Canada.
He is a member of the Scientific Medical Review Board for PSC Partners seeking a cure, as well as being a member of their foundation board. He was the President of the Medical Staff for Bruyere Continuing Care for three years and is now the Vice President of the Medical Staff. Aubrey has been active in local programs in Ottawa for organ and tissue donation and transplant awareness. He is married to Caroline Vanneste.
Dave received a kidney transplant on February 18, 1997 (family day) from his older brother Barry. Since then, he has been fortunate to be able to participate in the Gift of Life Games in Kamloops, BC, the first Canadian National Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 2000, the 2001 World Transplant Games in Kobe, Japan and the 2002 Canadian, National Games in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Dave keeps active in the gym and runs in local road races. After becoming Regional Director for Alberta early in 2002, he has been busy trying to increase local awareness of organ and tissue donation, as well as planning fundraisers and social gatherings.
Dave recently became involved with a pre-transplant teaching group at the University of Alberta Hospital, which helps patients going on the waiting list understand what they are about to go through, and to let them know that they can pursue a healthy and active lifestyle after a transplant. Dave traveled to Nancy, France and participated in the 2003 World Transplant Games and met up again with all his transplant buddies.
Jennifer Holman has been a physical therapist at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton since 1977 in several specialties including cardiac surgery, intensive care, pediatrics and pulmonary medicine.
She has been a Clinical Coordinator in Transplant Services since the first heart and lung transplants in 1985 and developed the PT program for liver transplants in 1989.
She has have been active with CTA in Alberta for more than 15 years, first as Hospital Liaison and later as Provincial Director and, now Vice-President West. Jennifer was Co-Chair for the 2006 Canadian Transplant Games in Edmonton and now leads the LOC planning the 2012 Games in Calgary.
After more than 35 years as a physical therapist, Jennifer says she continues to be inspired by the miraculous recovery possible after a transplant. “Every day”, she says, “I am privileged to share the lives of transplant candidates, recipients and their families and to be a small part of their triumphs.”
She looks forward to many more years with both the University of Alberta Hospital and the Canadian Transplant Association.
Bianca is a health and wellness specialist and is passionate about helping people achieve their health and fitness goals and to live their best life possible by utilizing holistic principles and an individualized approach. She has extensive experience in sport event planning and management, including serving on the Executive LOC for the 2008 Canadian Transplant Games in Windsor, ON.
Completing a Master’s degree from McGill University in Health and Exercise Psychology, her thesis focused on the behavioural and affective outcomes of motivation for physical activity among transplant recipients. The research program provided insights to transplant recipient’s health related quality of life, and psychological well-being in relation to physical activity.
Surrounded by the transplant community her entire life, as her father is transplant recipient, Bianca has been involved with the CTA and promoting organ donation from a very young age. Bianca is excited to bring her wide range of expertise and multidisciplinary skill set in health and wellness, sport performance, event management, and research to the CTA Board of Directors.
Kathy received her gift of life in August, 1991 after 6 ½ years on dialysis. Within a year of her kidney transplant, she became actively involved with the CTA in Edmonton, AB. From her first World Transplant Games experience in 1993 (Vancouver, BC), she (and her family) felt an instant connection to the CTA. As a result, she has volunteered with the CTA ever-since and has participated in every Canadian Transplant Games as well as many World Transplant Games. Wherever Kathy is at the games, you're bound to find at least one member of the Tach- clan either cheering her on, or helping out in some way. She has served in various capacities as Regional Director (Alberta), LOC Chairperson of Media/Marketing (2006 Canadian Transplant Games - Edmonton, AB) and also serves as Secretary for the Alberta Region of CTA.
Kathy works as a Patient Care Manager with the Northern Alberta Renal Program at the University of Alberta Hospital. She also enjoys singing with her twin sister and two good friends in a Ukrainian female a cappella quartet called Heruvymy (which means Cherubim) and have produced a couple of recordings. She finds it very rewarding to speak to students, church groups and other organizations sharing the story of her journey from renal failure to kidney transplant and also volunteers with the Kidney Foundation’s Speaker’s Bureau. She hopes that by sharing her story, she can help others learn about the importance of organ donation and do her part as a transplant recipient to help others on the waiting list receive their gift of life.
Information to follow...
Neil Folkins has been involved with the Canadian Transplant Association for 14 years now.
His first involvement started with becoming treasurer for the Alberta region and then becoming Membership Director for the national board.
He has been to several national games and world games, most recently in Sweden.
He is also involved with the local community league, which he is now vice president, and has maintained his role as treasurer in a local badminton group now for 25 years.
Neil is now coming up on his 16th year post transplant, after having received 2 liver transplants.
Tara’s personal experience with the success of organ donation and transplantation, (mom's gift of life in 1990), has guided her commitment to promoting organ donation awareness nationally and internationally. Since her initial involvement as a volunteer at the inaugural Canadian Transplant Games in 2000, Tara has been inspired by transplant recipients, family supporters, donors and donor families. What better way to witness the second chance at life for so many, as recipients demonstrate that organ donation works, through sport and healthy lifestyle! Her mission is to encourage others to talk about it, sparking conversations as often as possible in the community, and amongst families and friends. Tara has volunteered at national and world transplant games, and managed the Astellas Children's Program for the 2005 World Transplant Games in London. Along with her experience as a varsity competitive athlete and referee, Tara brings her love of sport and her commitment to promoting organ donation awareness together, to help make a difference. Professionally, Tara has pursued her passion working in music and cultural event planning for a contemporary non-profit organization in Toronto.
ANTHONY (TONY) WHITE
Tony was born and raised in Vancouver B.C. He moved to Vancouver Island in the 70’ (after a stint in the recording industry), married, helped raise 3 children and began a career in community recreation and social services programs. After a 30 year career he retired in 2006, jumped down the rabbit hole and moved to Grande Cache Alberta in the fall of 2008. (You can make plans but you can’t plan outcomes.)
In early 2009 he became critically ill and by late spring received two life-saving liver transplants at the University of Alberta hospital in Edmonton. During 2010/11, as part of recovery, he wrote “Collision with Grace,” a transcendent memoir of his life before, during and following his transplants. Profits from his book go to the HOPE (Human Organ Procurement & Exchange) program – a program Tony continues to volunteer with as a public speaker. In the fall of 2011 serendipity came calling once again as he was accepted into the chaplain intern program at the U of A, a position that allowed him to come full circle in the organ donation/transplant process.
In the spring of 2012 Tony received notice of the CTA Transplant Games. Following participation in the Games, he joined the active (Northern Alberta) CTA membership group in the fall of 2012. Now an Edmonton resident (as are his three grown children and eight grandchildren) he remains passionate about the need to eliminate organ & tissue transplant waiting lists and support those who have been through the transplant process.
He greets each day as a bonus and blessing, ever grateful for his donors, family, friends and colleagues and the staff and volunteers of Alberta Health Services.
Margaret Benson received her “Gift of Life,” a double lung transplant, Dec. 1999. Since then she has promoted organ donation and transplantation through many programs endorsed by BC Transplant (BCT) and the Canadian Transplant Association. (CTA) Through the BCT’s school committee, she draws on her skills as a teacher and has spoken to thousands of students, administrators and counselors about the significance of organ donation.
Margaret is actively involved in athletics to help promote the importance of fitness to transplant recipients and to honour her donor. She’s participated successfully in four World Transplant Games and is looking forward to the 2013 games in Durban, South Africa. Since her transplant, Margaret has discovered many new athletic passions such as; race walking, running, dragon boating, rowing, snowshoeing and her favourite Zumba. She has recently become a Zumba instructor and loves sharing her passion of dancing combined with exercising, with others. In 2012 instead of the Sun Run, which BC participated in for 9 years, Margaret and the Vancouver group of BC CTA hosted its first ever Transplant Trot. The event was extremely successful with over 300 people in attendance. The BC CTA hopes to have the event grow bigger every year.
Six years ago Margaret returned to her true passion, teaching. After taking a long break, she is back in the classroom and although it is only one day a week, she thoroughly loves it. Teaching is her life and her true joy. Margaret suggests to everyone, that if you love what you do, then you will be happy.
Margaret recently stepped down as the Western Vice President of CTA, but still remains on the board as the BC representative, a position she has held since 2005. Margaret continues to encourage people from all across Canada to join forces to promote organ donation, to honour our donors and donor families and to prove Organ Donation Works.
Representing - NB - PEI - NS - NF
Mark was the recipient of a double-lung and heart transplant in September of 2002 and has been involved in raising awareness for Organ and Tissue Donation ever since. As one of the new VPs of the CTA, Mark is excited to play a role in helping bring the CTA into the national spotlight.
Mark works full time as a teacher in NB and in his spare time travels the province as a motivational speaker for schools and businesses.
Sandra Holdsworth received a liver transplant on February 26, 1997 due to Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and has since become an advocate for organ donation. She previously held a position on the National Board from 1999-2001 and has been actively involved with the Ontario Executive since 1998.
Sandra has devoted much time to promoting this important cause and has attended every World Transplant & Canadian Transplant Games since her transplant as well has attended 5 US Games.
She also volunteers for Trillium Gift of Life Network, The Canadian Liver Foundation and is a mentor for the Toronto General Hospital Liver Mentor Program.
A heart transplant recipient in July 2000, Gaston Martin has been heavily involved and is a « golden » volunteer for Quebec Transplant since 2002. He readily shares his experiences, be they written, televised or radio, as well as speaks at various business functions, schools and in hospitals. A true professional when it comes to promoting organ and tissue donation, he also speaks with and keeps in regular contact with people waiting for a transplant. He approaches all projects, be they personal or as part of a team, with enthusiasm and passion. These qualities are always present and can be heard when Gaston speaks about the benefits of organ donation and transplantation.
Born September 19th, 1946, this native of Repentigny is an entrepreneur when it comes time to develop and initiate various projects. He also is an accomplished athlete, and uses this to promote organ and tissue donation. Since 2008, Gaston has held the title of Provincial Director for the Canadian Transplant Association. During his tenure, he has increased Quebec membership and has established that each member be part of the Hydro-Québec coop plan. This plan aids recipients in various ways such as travel insurance. He has helped the Canadian Transplant Association become a known and appreciated entity in Québec.
- Director of the 5th edition of the Canadian Transplant Games in the summer of 2010, held at Québec city. He amassed multiple financial donations for these games. Moreover, he helped increase children participation, aided with obtaining Team Québec uniforms, as well as shirts for donor families invited to the opening ceremonies
- Main event organizer for the annual tennis tournament (7th edition to be held in 2012), whose goal is to promote organ donation.
- A key promoter and spokesperson during National Organ and Tissue Donation week
- Organized to have donor families honoured at the 25th edition of the International Junior Tennis Tournament held in Repentigny (August 2010).
- Accomplished transplant athlete at both provincial and national levels; events include tennis and badminton.
- Five year member of the CCRR (Comité Consultatif Représentant Receveur) at Héma-Québec
- Honorary president of the Lions Club and Scouts Canada for the Repentigny region for the local blood drive. One of the main blood drives for the Lanaudière region, it collects 460 donations.
- Founder of the “Caravane du Don d’Organes” (Organ Donation Awareness Caravan). It’s mandate is to travel to various communities in Québec with a team of transplant recipients, doctors and other personnel, to promote organ and tissue donation.
- Receiver of the 2010 Ambassador of Transplant Québec prize
I received my heart transplant in Edmonton on August 17, 2008. I am one of five members in my family to have received heart transplants. My mother, the first, received a heart transplant in 1997. The gene that she and I shared is common in our family so I have a deep and personal commitment to the goals of the CTA. I got involved in the CTA shortly after my return home in 2008 and I have regularly attended meetings and participated in numerous fundraisers focused on organ donation awareness throughout the past five years. I have also attended CTA Games in Quebec City and Calgary.
Prior to my heart transplant I was a Senior English Teacher and the principal of a rural K – 12 school and a rural high school. One year following my transplant I returned to my position as a high school principal where I completed the final four years of my career in education, retiring at the end of the 2013 school year. In addition to my duties as principal, before and after my transplant, I coached and officiated high school football, basketball, and track and field. My wife, Cheryl, a teacher as well, also retired at the end of June 2013. We have recently moved to Saskatoon, which is allowing both of us to be even more active in CTA activities.