Back from Iditarod, heart transplant survivor shares stories with students

Ballard News-Tribune | Shane Harms
 Photo: Shane Harms.  Bedell explained what it meant for her to participate in the ceremonial start of the Iditarod two years after her heart transplant.
Last week Ballard resident, Diane Bedell, spoke to third grade students at St. John School about surviving a heart transplant and how it led to her participating as a tag sled driver in the opening ceremony of Alaska’s legendary Iditarod dog sled race.

The race was held March 5, and Bedell drove a tag sled for the ceremonial start of the race behind the sled of racer, Jan Steves of Edmonds, Wash.

The Ballard News-Tribune spoke with Bedell before she flew to Alaska.

“This is definitely a bucket list item,” said Bedell. “But each day to me is a bucket list item since getting my new heart. It is the greatest gift I ever could have hoped for.”

During the ceremony Bedell honored organ donation and Life Center NW, an organ procurement organization.

Bedell is a ranger for the National Park Service at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle. She was delighted to share her experience with the students. Continue reading
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