Transplant recipient organizes hockey game to raise organ donation awareness

Transplant recipient organizes hockey game to raise organ donation awareness

A benefit hockey game will be played Sunday morning in Halifax to help raise awareness about organ and tissue donation.

The Life: Pass It On Transplant Society will be hosting the National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week Cup, where alumni from the Fairview Aces and Rockingham Eagles will go head-to-head.

Game programs will be handed out at the event at Fairview's Centennial Arena in hopes of encouraging people to become donors.

"What we have done is printed the game program to show the rosters but on the back side of it is the organ donation form," said event organizer Trevor Umlah, one of the goalies who will play for Fairview.

"Everybody who's in attendance can just flip it over, fill it out and submit it."

Umlah was the recipient of a double lung transplant in 2007. He said it saved his life.

"I only had weeks to months to live. The prognosis wasn't too rosy," said Umlah.

'Pretty nostalgic'

In all, 56 players are expected to take part and will wear vintage-style jerseys worn by the two teams back in the 1960s and 70s.

"They are modern jerseys but they have the old replica logos," said Umlah. "They'll be like the uniforms we wore as kids so it will be pretty nostalgic."

The game will be played beginning at 10 a.m. It will officially kick off Centennial Arena's 50th year of operation and all money raised will go to an expansion fund.

Following the game, a ceremony will be held to rename the arena's boardroom in honour of longtime hockey volunteer Bernie Lawlor, who died last month. Lawlor was best known for his work as an equipment manager at the rink where he gave 41 years of volunteer service. 

"After we all graduated from juvenile hockey, Bernie kind of took it upon himself to create a gentlemen's team called Bernie's Aces," said Darryl Maunder, 49, who will suit up for Rockingham.

"Bernie was truly the tie that kept the guys together as we got older."