Heather Badenoch’s Journey: The Gift of Life on White Coat Black Art

In a recent episode of White Coat Black Art, host Dr. Brian Goldman welcomed Heather Badenoch, a CDTRP patient partner and non-directed living liver donor, as well as a communications strategist for charities. The episode, titled “The Gift of Life,” delved into the complex topics of altruism and ethics surrounding anonymous donation. Heather shared her personal experience as a donor and how it has inspired her to help other living donors and patients on the waitlist. As a communications strategist for charities, Heather brings a unique perspective to the conversation, highlighting the importance of raising awareness and helping other spread the word on finding living donors. The episode serves as a thought-provoking discussion on the power of altruism and the ethical considerations that come with it. Heather’s story serves as a testament to the incredible impact one person can have on the lives of others through the gift of life.

Also in this episode, we hear from Dr. Nazia Selzner, transplant hepatologist at the Ajmera Transplant Center in Toronto and Medical Director of the Living Donor Liver Transplant Program. Dr. Selzner highlighted the importance of this program in addressing the critical shortage of donor organs and improving the chances of survival for those in need of a liver transplant. Her expertise and insights shed light on the significant impact of non-directed donation and the potential it holds in saving countless lives.

“Becoming a non-directed living liver donor and being a part of saving a life was easily one of the best decisions of my life. As a communications strategist, combining my professional skills and lived transplant experience has allowed me to help nearly 30 patients pro-bono with their appeals for living donors. Being a CDTRP patient partner has provided access to knowledge and data, including key equity and living donation data, that strengthens appeals.”
– Heather Badenoch

The snowball effect

In a follow-up episode of the White Coat Black Art (An Organ Donation Leads To An Unlikely Friendship), Dr. Brian Goldman meets with Tara De Pratto, a living liver donor and Farah Ali, a liver recipient, along with her two daughters, Sidra and Yusra, at Heather’s home. In 2021, Sidra and Heather met through a Facebook group where Sidra had placed an ad requesting a potential donor for her mother, Farah Ali, who had liver cancer. Heather played a crucial role in creating a Facebook announcement and raising awareness about Farah Ali’s urgent need for a liver transplant. Tara came across the post on a local Facebook group and felt an immediate connection, realizing she was the one who could help.

Tara De Pratto’s selfless act of donating part of her liver to a stranger is a testament to the incredible impact that living organ donors can have on the lives of others. By responding to a unique callout for a donor on social media, Tara not only saved Farah’s life but also formed a powerful bond with her and her family.

Read the full story here.

Heather Badenoch with Tara De Pratto & her mother, Farah Ali’s family and Dr. Brian Goldman.

CDTRP Special Interview for 2022 Living Donation Week

In September 2022, CDTRP Communications & Events Manager, Stéphanie, had the pleasure to meet with two exceptional living donors: Heather Badenoch and Leonard Hodder. During this interview, they discussed their path to living donation, advices for future living donors and what type of research they would like to see around living donation. Listen to the interview below.