Bittersweet sacrifice for families of deceased organ donors


Vancouver teacher and cyclist died but then her organs saved five people

Briony Lennig’s older sister died in 2012 but, because she was a registered organ donor, the lives of five others were changed forever. photo Dan Toulgoet
Five years after the sudden and accidental death of Van Tech secondary science teacher Amy Hurn, the avid commuter cyclist has been remembered each September with a walk and 20-kilometre bike ride.

The route to Kitsilano and back to the school on East Broadway counted about 80 annual riders and walkers, plus organizers who pulled the whole thing together, including a troupe of Girl Guides as that had been a life-long passion for Hurn.

In addition to family, friends, teachers and her former students — most of them now high school graduates — the caravan recently included several very grateful participants who had a unique connection to the late cyclist.

They were organ recipients. They live today because donors such as Amy Hurn do not.

Hurn was a registered organ donor. After her death in 2012 at the age of 32, the lives of five other people were changed forever because each received an organ or tissue, including her kidneys, liver, lungs, part of her pancreases, and corneas. Continue reading

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