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Season 3 of the Living Transplant podcast from the Ajmera Transplant Centre and the Centre for Living Organ Donation

Listen in to season three with new host, Candice Coghlan, a kidney transplant recipient and Education & Outreach Coordinator at the Centre for Living Organ Donation. Each episode she is joined by a guest host with lived transplant experience to interview an expert in the field of transplant. Candice and her guest hosts will tell the incredible stories of transplant recipients, donors and caregivers, and together, they will explore transplantation through the perspective of frontline staff, researchers, innovators and transplant pioneers.

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Latest Episode
Episode 13 – Cancer Muggles & James Bond

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by Natalie Theron, a liver transplant recipient who was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer the day before she gave birth to her daughter. After an incredible journey with cancer trials, chemotherapy, a HAIP pump and hospital stays, Natalie's husband became her liver donor, effectively curing her liver cancer. Candice and Natalie speak about rollercoasters, motherhood, bravery and cancer muggles. Candice and Natalie are joined by her liver transplant surgeon, Dr. Gonzalo Sapisochin, whose innovative research is opening opportunities for patients to have living liver transplants to live longer lives, and for some people to be cured of their liver cancer.

Release Date: December 22, 2022 | Run Time: 01:04:55 | ​ Download the transcript 

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Past Episodes
Episode 1 – Yes, you can have a family

Release Date: July 7, 2022 | Run Time: 01:27:20 | Download the transcript 

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by guest host, Kate Chong, who received a kidney transplant from her husband. Kate and her husband have a two-year-old daughter, and she is pregnant, excitedly awaiting the birth of her son. Candice and Kate discuss their journeys in family planning, being pregnant, and the joys of motherhood while living with chronic kidney disease. They are joined by Candice's OB nephrologist, Dr. Anna Mathew, an Associate Professor of Medicine at McMaster University, staff nephrologist at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Director of Hemodialysis who discusses the process of family planning post-transplant, the considerations to be made before getting pregnant, and the hope for people wanting to explore this possibility.

Episode 2 – One step closer to freedom

Release Date: July 21, 2022 | Run Time: 01:21:12 | Download the transcript 

This episode contains material that might be difficult to hear. Discretion is advised.

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by guest host, Tamara Hartley-Harris who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at a young age. Tamara's journey is one that is filled with hardship, strength and love. She discusses living with diabetes, having a life-threatening health episode that sent her into a coma which turned her and her family's life upside down, how she managed dialysis and eventually the call for a kidney-pancreas transplant. Candice and Tamara share touching moments as Tamara speaks about how her husband and family got her through the hardest days of her life. They are joined by Dr. Sharon Bray, writer and workshop developer as they discuss how writing is therapeutic, how to get your pen to paper and what writing about your transplant journey is all about. Hear beautiful excerpts of writings about the transplant journey from transplant recipients and donors who participated in the Writing Your Transplant Story webinar.

Episode 3 – I have parts from everybody

Release Date: August 4, 2022 | Run Time: 01:31:25 | Download the transcript 

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by guest host, Sara Murray, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just months old. She brings us through her brave journey of what life was like as a child and young adult with cystic fibrosis and what it was like to receive "the call" for her lung transplant. Sara also discusses her journey in wanting to become a mother, and how her sister stepped forward to be her surrogate. Several years later Sara's kidneys began to fail, and the same sister stepped forward to be her kidney donor. Sara and Candice are joined by Dr. Cecilia Chaparro who is the Director, Toronto Lung Transplant Program, Fellowship Program Director Respirology University of Toronto and Staff Respirologist at The Ajmera Transplant Center and Cystic Fibrosis Program, St. Michael's Hospital. She discusses her passion for supporting people living with cystic fibrosis, the lung transplant program and how COVID changed the landscape for transplants.

For definitions of medical terminology used in this episode, please visit UHN's Medical Dictionary.

Episode 4 – If you're going through hell, keep going

Release Date: August 18, 2022 | Run Time: 01:10:22 | Download the transcript 

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by guest host, Alley Adams who lived with type 1 diabetes for over 30 years, and after three calls, received a kidney pancreas transplant on her fourth. They speak about what it is like to be diagnosed with a chronic illness at a young age, how that impacts your outlook on life, and how to find a living donor. Alley and Candice are joined by Andrea Norgate, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Coordinator at University Health Network and non-directed, altruistic kidney donor. They talk about why transplant calls don't always end in surgery, the ups and downs of the waitlist, and the goodness in people.

Episode 5 – Listen more and talk less

Release Date: September 1, 2022 | Run Time: 01:09:41

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by guest host, Mary Beaucage. As a follow-up to the episode Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Mary discusses her kidney transplant from her cousin, barriers to transplant and her extensive advocacy work. Candice and Mary are joined by Dr. Istvan Mucsi, a clinical investigator and transplant nephrologist at the Ajmera Transplant Centre and Division of Nephrology at UHN. They talk about Dr. Mucsi's work in research about inequities in transplant, how research findings can support patients and families to remove some of these barriers and how to build trusting relationships.

And what was that all about the camo pants? Mary wears camo pants when she travels to bring her good luck as she had a string of unlucky travel delays and since wearing the camo pants, it has resolved some of her travel delays.

Episode 6 – Two bellybuttons and the end of the waitlist

Release Date: September 15, 2022 | Run Time: 01:33:32 | Download the transcript 

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by guest hosts Joanne Kearney and Brendan Cahill, co-founders of the Centre for Living Organ Donation to tell their story of how Brendan became a kidney donor to Joanne through the Paired Exchange Program and how they used math to support their decisions. They later pivoted to channel their passions and experience to help others.

Later, they are joined by Dr. Atul Humar, Director of the Ajmera Transplant Centre as they discuss innovations in transplant, policy changes, what changes are coming to transplant and how to end the waitlist.

Episode 7 – We need more advocates!

Release Date: September 29, 2022 | Run Time: 01:01:39 | Download the transcript 

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by guest host, Chris Smith. Chris discusses how he became involved as an organ donation advocate through meeting his partner after she donated a portion of her liver to her father. Candice and Chris are joined by Dr. Markus Selzner, the Surgical Director of the Ajmera Liver Transplant Program at the University of Toronto and Co-Director of the Toronto Abdominal Organ Transplant Fellowship. Chris and Candice speak to him about the incredible process of donating a piece of your liver, advancements in liver innovation, the selflessness of living donors, and if the liver is more like a lizard or a turtle?

Episode 8 – There isn't a heart sitting on a shelf waiting

Release Date: October 13, 2022 | Run Time: 01:39:08 | Download the transcript 

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by guest host, Michelle Rambarran. They discuss Michelle's journey as a new mom, learning she had spontaneous coronary artery dissection and what it was like to have a heart transplant, fearing that she may not see her son's first birthday. Michelle had twelve amazing years with her heart, but needed a second heart transplant at the height of COVID. They discuss how to appreciate the little joys in life, moon face and how having a good support team can make the journey more manageable. Candice and Michelle are joined by Dr. Michael McDonald, Director of the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Program, the Peter Munk Cardiac Center and UHN Transplant to discuss prevention, innovations and how some patients plug themselves in to charge at night.

Episode 9 – Behind the scenes at the Banff CST Conference

Release Date: October 27, 2022 | Run Time: 01:26:18 | Download the transcript 

This is a special episode of Behind the Scenes at the Banff CST Conference. The conference connects members of the Canadian Society of Transplantation with cutting-edge science and leading clinical practices that can be used to advance the practice and science of transplantation in Canada. Host Candice Coghlan is joined by members who presented at the conference. You will hear from Dr. Marcello Cypel about universal blood types. Ghazaleh Ahmadzadeh about the relationship between African Caribbean and black kidney transplant candidates and recipients and their healthcare providers in living donation. Dr. Deepali Kumar about boosters and antibodies preventing COVID in transplantation. Jeff Green and Ryanna Bowling who discuss a modernized pan-Canadian organ donation and transplantation data and performance reporting system. Dr. Caroline Tait joins me to discuss presumed consent legislation and why engagement of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit health leaders are key to decision-making. Dr. Heather Ross speaks about women in transplant and how to test your limits and Dr. Massimo Mangiola, who speaks about the immunology of xenotransplantation. I hope you enjoy this compilation from presenters at Banff CST. Stay tuned for future episodes and thank you so much for listening. Visit the Canadian Society of Transplantation for more information about them.

Episode 10 – A whole family journey

Release Date: November 10, 2022 | Run Time: 01:55:33 | Download the transcript 

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by guest host, Maria Acero. They discuss Maria's journey as a caregiver to her husband Luis, who was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis at the age of 15, and at the age of 47, was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma. In 2019, Luis underwent two liver transplants within nine days, saving his life, but leaving him and his family with a difficult recovery journey, spending over 42 days at Toronto General. Candice and Maria are joined by Dr. Margaret Herridge, who is a professor of Medicine, Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine at UHN, a senior scientist in the Toronto General Research Institute and Director of Research for the Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Herridge was also a caregiver to her husband who received a living liver transplant from a colleague after a snake bite caused his liver to fail. Together they speak about how to cope as a caregiver and family, how to make plans, the emotional impact of these life-altering situations and how a good cry can be therapeutic.

Episode 11 – Ordinary people can do extraordinary things

Release Date: November 24, 2022 | Run Time: 01:38:55​​

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by guest host, Ioanna Roumeliotis, a kidney donor to her brother who lives with Polycystic Kidney Disease. They discuss the process of donating, the ups and downs and how ordinary people can do extraordinary things, like saving a life by donating a kidney or liver. Candice and Ioanna are joined by Dr. Sunita Singh, Medical Director of the Living Kidney Donation Program at UHN. She describes the importance of donor safety, the process of becoming a living donor and how grateful she is to be part of such a remarkable journey.

​Episode 12 – Team Delfina, A Fresh Start

Release Date: December 8, 2022 | Run Time: 01:45:35 | Download the transcript 

Host Candice Coghlan is joined by Team Delfina: Betsy Amores, Peter Budziak and their two amazing children, liver transplant recipient Delfina, and big brother Matthew. Peter and Betsy talk about their family's journey with Delfina, who was diagnosed with biliary atresia and later needed a living liver transplant to save her life. After a large media campaign and surgery on her liver, mom Betsy became Delfina's living liver donor. They speak about the impact it has had on their family, how they love sports and supporting others going through similar journeys. Candice and Delfina's family are joined by Delfina's doctor, Dr. Vicky Ng, a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto, staff physician in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and Medical Director of the Pediatric Liver Transplantation Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Centre at SickKids Hospital. They speak about biliary atresia, the transplant process, and how flying pigs and clowns are just a couple of reasons why Sick Kids is one incredibly special place.