BC Transplant's Operation Popcorn was in full force Wednesday as donor family member Alice Graham and transplant recipient Randy Sokolowski happily delivered tins of popcorn to the University Hospital of Northern B.C.'s emergency department, operating room staff, and intensive care unit, as well as the coroner's office.
The campaign offers the opportunity for those whose lives have changed forever to show appreciation for all the crucial care provided by healthcare workers.
Graham, whose husband Bob is the oldest organ donor in BC Transplant's history, was happy to be part of the project.
"This is the first time I've done this and I think it's very important for us to do things like this," said Alice.
Bob died on Jan. 6, 2014, just two months shy of his 80th birthday. Bob led a very active lifestyle and Alice fondly recalls one incident where a short trip to the store turned out a bit different than expected.
"We live up on Ridgeview Drive (in the Hart Highlands area) - and Bob said he was going to go to the grocery store on his bicycle - he was about 77 at the time," said Alice, who smiled at the memory. "So two and a half hours later he comes back and I asked him where he'd been. He said 'well, I went to the Save On in College Heights.'"
Sokolowski had a successful kidney transplant on June 22, 2015, due to the generous donation from his younger sister Cheryl Restall, who lives in Saskatoon.
"Things are going fantastic and it's like having a new life," said Sokolowski.
Restall was able to leave the hospital three days after the procedure and Sokolowski was out in five.
This is his first time volunteering with Operation Popcorn, just like Graham.
"It's great to be able to say thank you to the people who are involved with donors and recipients," said Sokolowski.
During the 2016 Operation Popcorn campaign, more than 100 tins of popcorn were delivered by more than 100 volunteers who represent recipients, living donors and donor families. This project has been in existence for 25 years.
To register to be an organ donor visit www.transplant.bc.ca.