Aug 15

Tuesday Reflection - The Beautiful Gift of Life

Tuesday morning Reflection - The Beautiful Gift of Life Camp Kivita is a true celebration of the gift of life. Our campers encapsulate what living life is all about and exemplify the success of organ donation and transplantation at its very core. Living and laughing, making new friends, reuniting with old ones, learning, cheering, swimming, running, tie-dying, kayaking, competing or relaxing. Whether they are laughing, pushing limits, skipping through nature, overcoming obstacles, trying new things, seeking solace in nature, challenging, experiencing, reflecting or supporting one another. Our campers are simply living life to the fullest. This summer, 73 campers - those that have been transplanted and live with their gift of life, and some who are waiting, on dialysis or living with intestinal or other organ failure are sharing in this special camp experience.  All are bonded by a shared experience of organ donation. For our campers it is a chance to be with others who have been through similar experiences, and create new and special memories that will last forever. I've reflected several times before that there is no more compelling case for organ donation and transplantation than seeing our campers of all ages - recipients of hearts, livers, kidneys, lungs and bowels experiencing the magic of camp in all its richness. We are touched and inspired by our campers transplant stories, medical journeys, resilience and fortitude. We are in awe of the camper's joyous spirit, their bravery and tenacity, and learn so much from them each week at camp.  We are grateful for the trust of their parents to provide camp. We are thankful to the donors. Nine years ago, a group of us who work in the field of organ transplantation and organ failure came together with a dream of celebrating children with transplants and providing a magical summer camp experience. Organ transplantation is a very unique and special field. Organ transplantation works - thanks to the critical life changing decision of so many families to donate their loved ones organs, our children have the opportunity to live and thrive. But there is a lot of work to be done to raise awareness about organ donation and transplantation in Canada. Our rates of donation are far too low.  There are too many people languishing on wait lists across Canada waiting for a donor. Please help to spread the word about organ donation - encourage people to have a discussion, learn more, and register to become a donor (


This picture above is one of my favorites from camp several years ago. I was walking along and came across a young camper, alone bent over and reflecting. She had been extremely homesick the first few days and my instinct was to run over and see if she was okay. I stood for a moment and watched her - she was just reflecting, watching something in the periphery of the woods. After a couple of seconds she looked up, looked at me and bounded happily over. I asked her how she was and she replied "AWESOME". It is these small but critical moments that touch our hearts and bring such joy. Each day, as you view the pictures and anecdotes from camp, we hope that you will share in the exuberance, joy and magic of camp and see how transplantation has transformed lives - and in that, you will see the beautiful gift of life shining through. Have a wonderful day! Yours in Camping, Stacey   On behalf of the camp team