2nd Chance Trail Ride sets a new attendance record

A record-setting number of people turned out for last Saturday's 2nd Chance Trail Ride, an event which highlights the importance of organ donation.  Vicki Brooker photo
ST. PAUL JOURNAL | Vicki Brooker

Saturday was “a perfect day for a trail ride,” 2nd Chance Trail Ride organizing committee members Lionel Romanchuk and Robyn Ockerman agreed as they welcomed a capacity crowd to Heinsburg Community Hall on Saturday evening at the conclusion of the afternoon’s trek down the Iron Horse Trail from Lindbergh to Heinsburg.

A new record of 318 riders took part, either on horseback or in wagons and other horse-drawn conveyances, and Ockerman, granddaughter of the ride’s founder, Morris Irvine, said she was “so proud of what our organization has done.”

Irvine was the first of a lineup of transplant recipients to come on stage to share his story. After years of battling respiratory illnesses and suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Irvine learned that to survive, he must have a double lung transplant. On March 13, 2011, he received the “best gift ever, a double lung transplant. Because of one person who made a decision to sign a donor card, we all had a happy ending. The 2nd Chance wants to change more people’s lives,” he said, and to this point the organization has done this by raising organ donation awareness through signage, and assisting those going through the transplant process by mentoring, donating gas and grocery cards and funding subsidized accommodation for transplant patients. Continue  reading
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