CALGARY – For the last 232 days, Mark Dolter has called the Peter Lougheed Centre’s ICU home.
“Life is pretty much on hold, it’s sad to say. There are things I wish I could be doing but I just can’t right now.”
The 51-year-old suffers from a degenerative lung disease and needs a double lung transplant to survive. Each day, he and his fiancée, Martine Striemer, do what they can to remain positive, hoping for news that suitable lungs have been found.
“I think that’s why I don’t sleep, because you’re waiting for the phone to ring,” said Striemer.
There are approximately 4,000 Canadians who, like Dolter, are waiting for an organ transplant. One donor can save up to eight lives, but according to data obtained under access-to-information laws, only five per cent of Albertans are registered to give.
“I just don’t think people realize how important it is, or they just don’t realize how simple it is to become one.”
Dolter says he still has big plans for his life, he hopes to marry Striemer on a beach in Hawaii and spend time with his grandson.
“He was born just last week. I’d love to be able to throw a baseball with him two, three years down the road.”
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help raise funds to help cover Dolter’s post-transplant living expenses.
Albertans can join the registry online at ultimategiftalberta.ca or in person at at provincial registry office when they renew either their provincial ID card or driver’s licence.
© 2016 Shaw Media