But this story starts much earlier.
In 2011, Morris Irvine’s life was saved by a stranger.
“I needed oxygen,” the Alberta man recalled Sunday. “I couldn’t breathe.”
He’s one of the thousands of Canadians who required an organ transplant and counts himself as one of the lucky ones.
Irvine feared the worst as his health deteriorated — but a double lung transplant changed everything.
“I took a deep breath and it was so easy, it was unbelievable,” Irvine said. “I took a second breath and there was no pressure in my chest, nothing. I’ve done nothing but good since.”
Irvine has spent the last eight years fighting to help the roughly 1,600 Canadians who are added to organ wait lists every year.
He’s raised more than $70,000 through the Second Chance Trail Ride, an annual trek across the historic Iron Horse Trail to raise awareness and support.
The money helps the Canadian Transplant Games and the Good Hearts Foundation, which provides lodging and other supports for transplant patients and families going through recovery in Edmonton.
Irvine has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Logan Boulet Humanitarian of the Year award. He was presented with his award in Calgary Sunday.
“He’s worked hard to promote the idea of organ donations and making people aware you can give that gift and making sure families know what those desires are, as Logan did,” said Norm MacDougall, Boulet’s uncle.
LISTEN BELOW: Toby Boulet joins the Ryan Jespersen Show
Boulet saved six lives by donating his organs after the 2018 Broncos tragedy.
The “Logan Boulet Effect” has inspired hundreds of thousands to sign up as donors.
Logan made the decision when he was 21 after his strength coach, Ric Suggitt, died.
“Ric passed away with a brain aneurysm, leaving behind a young family,” McDougall said. “Logan found out he was an organ donor, and that made a huge impact on him.”
Now 72 years old, Irvine has no plans to slow down his charity work and said he isn’t doing it alone.
“It’s my whole family and my friends,” he said. “They’ve all been there to help. I couldn’t do it myself, so I’ve got to thank them and I have to thank my donor every day, thank my donor for me being able to do this.”