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Join our hosts as they explore transplantation through the perspectives of frontline staff, researchers, innovators, and transplant pioneers, as well as organ donation recipients, living organ donors, families and caregivers.
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Release Date: January 25, 2021 |
Download Episode 9 Transcript
Courtney and Brittany sit down with the hilarious Trevor Hanagan to discuss his journey to becoming a non-directed living kidney donor and his 16-year career with UHN security. With humour and vulnerability, Trevor discusses working security in hemodialysis, convincing his mother and partner that donating was a good idea, and the 'high' of the non-directed donor process. Also in this episode: the pros and cons of growing up in a family of nurses, bonding during the nightshift, kidney paired donation, and something every man should know when recovering from a kidney transplant.
Release Date: January 11, 2021 |
Download Episode 8 Transcript
Courtney and Brittany are joined by Michael Ward, Provincial Lead of Donor Family Services, Trillium Gift of Life Network, Thanatology candidate (Association for Death Education and Counselling) and former Funeral Home Director. Michael guides our hosts through the process of letter exchanges between donor families and the recipients of their loved one's organs. In addition to reading a few letters, this episode includes advice on what and when to write, acknowledging grief and survivor's guilt after transplant, and discovering how gratitude can help you move forward. Warning: tissues may be required.
This episode was recorded during
Living Donation Week 2020.
Release Date: December 21, 2020 |
Download Episode 7 Transcript
In this bonus episode, Living Transplant shares four stories of transplant, organ donation and the holiday season, all woven around an insightful interview with Stefan Pankiw, Spiritual Care, UHN. A heads up, this episode runs the gamut of emotions! From Hallmark movies and receiving the gift of life on Christmas Eve, to finding purpose through the loss of a loved one and eating latkes on the transplant unit, Courtney and Brittany provide listeners with a holistic view of the transplant holiday experience and remind listeners that no matter where they are or what they're going through, they are not alone.
A huge thank you to Maariyah Rahman, Leslie Kaufman, Heather Talbot, and Len Hodder for graciously sharing their stories.
Release Date: December 14, 2020 |
Download Episode 6 Transcript
Floral designer and living donor kidney transplant recipient Claudia Morgan shares her experience living with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), postponing the reality of kidney failure for a trip to Paris, and turning to her church for help with finding a living donor. Claudia speaks openly about life on dialysis – including the bond you form with your 'dialysis family' – as well as her reluctance to share her health condition with others, pushing out of her comfort zone to find a living donor through social media, and what it's like to go 'viral.'
Release Date: November 30, 2020 |
Download Episode 5 Transcript
Dr. Gary Levy and Charmaine Beal walk Courtney and Brittany through the history of the Ajmera Transplant Centre (previously the Multi-Organ Transplant Program) and its astounding number of world firsts. Dr. Levy talks candidly about his determination to find a treatment for end-stage liver disease, sleeping in the ICU, recruiting Dr. Heather Ross, and his dislike for the word 'no,' - while Charmaine discusses the early days of the program (no OTTR!) and how her career flourished from riding the rollercoaster that is working alongside Dr. Levy. From three beds in the Eaton wing to 700 transplants in 2019, discover the origins of the program that is leading the world in transplantation.
Release Date: November 16, 2020 |
Download Episode 4 Transcript
Courtney and Brittany talk transplant with living liver donor Sonia Munoz, and her father and transplant recipient, Jaime. This hilarious duo walk our hosts through their whirlwind transplant experience that began in 2017, when Jaime was told he had three months to live. From chaos and uncertainty to recovery and reflection, Sonia and Jaime share their story with honesty, authenticity and laughter.
Release Date: November 2, 2020 |
Download Episode 3 Transcript
Courtney and Brittany sit down with Dr. Deepali Kumar, transplant infectious diseases physician in the Ajmera Transplant Centre, to talk transplants and COVID-19.
This episode was recorded June 2020. For the most recent updates on COVID-19 in Canada, please check with
For specific transplant-related questions or specific health concerns, please check with your transplant team or healthcare provider.
Release Date: November 2, 2020 |
Download Episode 2 Transcript
Colleen Shelton, nurse manager for the multi-organ transplant coordinators in the Ajmera Transplant Centre, explains what's kept her with the transplant program at UHN for over 25 years, including the unpredictable nature of working in transplant and being the one to make "the call." Colleen walks Courtney and Brittany through the process of a patient's first transplant workup call and shares some of her most rewarding moments working in transplant.
Release Date: November 2, 2020 |
Download Episode 1 Transcript
Hosts Brittany Cole and Courtney Mahrt interview Kadeem Morgan, a 23-year-old double lung transplant recipient living with cystic fibrosis (CF). Kadeem talks about growing up with CF – a rare genetic disease that predominantly affects Caucasian patients – as well as feelings of euphoria and guilt after transplant, and the collective rebelliousness that permeates the CF community.
Release Date: September 7, 2021
Hosts Courtney and Brittany sit down with Indigenous storyteller and kidney transplant recipient, Mary Beaucage for an authentic look at the kidney transplant experience. From her crash start into kidney failure to new experiences of community to advocating for patient-oriented research, Mary holds nothing back.
Read more about Mary's transplant patient advocacy
Release Date: August 9, 2021
Courtney and Brittany sit down with Tianna McFarlane, the founder of Heal in Colour, for something a little different but absolutely necessary. Launched earlier this year, Heal in Colour is revolutionizing the way people shop for bandages by creating a world where black and brown bandages are part of the norm. Find out how Tianna broke into the bandage world and how Heal in Colour has brought Canada closer to true representation at home and in the healthcare world. For more about Heal in Colour visit
Release Date: July 26, 2021
Post-liver transplant coordinator, Shauna Watson and post-lung transplant coordinator, Pauline Harney join Courtney and Brittany to discuss their roads into the world of transplant, the day-to-day life of a coordinator, and how they stay organized with literally hundreds of patients. Shauna and Pauline talk about the joy of seeing patients thrive and the wins that keep them addicted to the world of transplant. Also in this episode: what coordinators miss (and don't miss) about working on the floor, why you should send your coordinator pictures of your grandchildren, and Brittany likes wounds.
Release Date: July 12, 2021
Courtney and Brittany are joined by Dr. Hance Clarke, Director of Pain Services and Medical Director of the Pain Research Unit at Toronto General Hospital. Dr. Clarke walks our hosts through his journey to pain medicine, the difference between acute pain services and transitional pain services, and the interaction between CBD, THC, and anti-rejection medications. Also in this episode: how to pick out the anesthesiologist in the room, misconceptions about opioids, and Dr. Clarke's favourite non-pharmacological form of pain management.
Release Date: June 28, 2021
In the second and final part of A Heart Away From Home, guest Heather Lannon explains how she landed on her PhD research question: how is home connected to the transplant journey? After promising Jamie she would do her PhD, Heather talks about what it was like to jump into her research just two months after his passing (she blames "widow brain"), the pros and cons of combining the personal and the academic, and how she became a participant in her own research study. Part two of this interview delves deeper into the caregiver experience and examines the hardships and resilience of patients who need to relocate for transplant. Don't listen to this episode without listening to part one!
Release Date: June 14, 2021
We're back to hearts this week with Heather Lannon, Outreach Coordinator for the Centre for Living Organ Donation, PhD candidate and caregiver. Heather recounts her transplant experience which began when her and her husband Jamie relocated from St. John's Newfoundland to Toronto in the hopes of receiving a new heart for Jamie. With an unbeatable sense of humour, Heather offers an in-depth look at the caregiver experience. From honeymooning in Toronto General to welcoming an LVAD into the family, Heather's story is a unique reminder of human resilience.
Release Date: May 31, 2021
In this special episode of Living Transplant, Courtney and Brittany host Explore a Career in Transplantation, part two of the Ajmera Transplant Centre's Virtual Open House (May 19, 2021). Dr. Kathryn Tinckam, UHN's Physician-in-Chief, Dr. Blayne Sayed, Liver Transplant Surgeon, Dr. Cynthia Tsien, Transplant Hepatologist and Education Director, and Joanne Zee, Senior Clinical Director of the Ajmera Transplant Centre, answer audience questions including what led them to the field of transplant, what keeps them motivated, and the most rewarding and memorable moments in their careers so far.
Release Date: May 10, 2021
In Living Transplant's first heart-focused episode, Courtney and Brittany sit down with heart function (not "failure"!) fellow, Mali Worme, and heart transplant recipient, Vino Ramachandran. Diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy 10 years ago, Vino walks us through what it was like to go from a "fairly normal life" to watching his health "fall off a cliff." As Vino recalls some of the more challenging moments of his journey, including his wife being 8 months pregnant with their first child at the time of transplant, Mali provides insight into the technical aspects of Vino's journey, what she learned, and why she loves her work. Also in this episode: common misconceptions about heart failure and transplant, celebrating milestones in the CVICU, and pre-surgery ginger ale cravings.
Release Date: April 26, 2021 |
Download Season 2 Episode 6 Transcript
Jeff Robertson, founder of the PKD Foundation of Canada, joins Courtney and Brittany to talk all things polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Raised by a mother with PKD and a father juggling the roles of husband, caregiver and parent, Jeff learned firsthand what it means to live with chronic disease, as well as the life-altering power of transplant. With frank authenticity, Jeff talks about the ebbs and flows of fear that come with a hereditary disease in the family, why he started the PKD Foundation, mental health, and the importance of sharing your story. Also in this episode: PKD myth-busting, what the resilience of chronic disease patients teaches us about coping during the pandemic, and the significance of the game
This episode was recorded in March 2021.
Release Date: April 12, 2021 |
Download Season 2 Episode 5 Transcript
Transplant pharmacist, Dipika Munyal guides Courtney and Brittany through the complex world of antirejection and immunosuppression. From libido to infection to how drugs interact with grapefruit, Dipika explains the reasoning behind medications for transplant recipients, common side effects, and why it's not all bad. Also in this episode: the golden rule of anti-rejection meds, taxes and drug coverage, and the future of transplant medicine.
Release Date: March 22, 2021 |
Download Season 2 Episode 4 Transcript
In this episode, Courtney and Brittany are joined by Toby and Bernadine "Bernie" Boulet, the parents of Logan Boulet. In 2018 Logan became an organ donor after he was injured in the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Logan inspired hundreds of thousands of Canadians to register as organ donors, resulting in an unprecedented increase in donor registration, a movement that came to be known as the Logan Boulet Effect. Toby and Bernie share their story with our hosts, discussing how Logan arrived at the idea of organ donation, saying goodbye at the hospital, and how they keep memories of Logan alive today. Also in this episode: what the Boulets have learned about organ donation and the transplant community since becoming advocates three years ago, how and why you should have the conversation about organ donation, and Green Shirt Day 2021.
Release Date: March 8, 2021 |
Download Season 2 Episode 3 Transcript
Diagnosed with lupus in her early twenties, Jennen Johnson's road to transplant was a windy one. With humour and authenticity, Jennen dives into the details of her story exploring her denial and eventual acceptance of kidney failure. From explaining transplant to her 12-year-old daughter, to searching for a living kidney donor, to intimacy pre- and post-transplant, Jennen's story is an excellent reminder that everything happens for a reason. Also in this episode: the joy of peeing with your new kidney, Jennen gives a sneak peek at her upcoming project with the Centre for Living Organ Donation, and astrology tangents.
Release Date: February 22, 2021 |
Download Season 2 Episode 2 Transcript
Courtney and Brittany are joined by kidney transplant recipient and philanthropist, Salah Bachir, his husband, Jacob Yerex, and UHN's Physician-in-Chief, Dr. Ed Cole. They discuss Salah's seven years on dialysis prior to transplant, the inspiration for the Bachir Yerex Family Dialysis Centre, and what Dr. Cole sees for the future of kidney transplantation and dialysis. Also in this episode, a brainstorming session about the concept of an anonymous donor line, Courtney and Brittany love astrology, and Salah reveals the secret to a nightshift nurse's heart (spoiler alert, it involves a lot of fried chicken).
Release Date: February 8, 2021 |
Download Season 2 Episode 1 Transcript
Courtney and Brittany sit down with living liver donor, Melissa Sidhu to talk research ethics, biliary atresia, and the privilege of good health. With honesty and humour, Melissa talks about her brother's reluctance to accept her as a donor, her fear of post-donation depression, and the challenges of having a mother who knows too much about surgery. Warning: This episode contains excessive laughter.
Release Date: December 22, 2022 |
Download Season 3 Episode 13 Transcript
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 8, 2022 |
Download Season 3 Episode 12 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.
Release Date: November 24, 2022 |
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.
Release Date: November 10, 2022 |
Download Season 3 Episode 10 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.
Release Date: October 27, 2022 |
Download Season 3 Episode 9 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.
Release Date: October 13, 2022 |
Download Season 3 Episode 8 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.
Release Date: September 29, 2022 |
Download Season 3 Episode 7 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?
Release Date: September 15, 2022 |
Download Season 3 Episode 6 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.
Release Date: September 1, 2022 |
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.
Release Date: August 18, 2022 |
Download Season 3 Episode 4 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.
Release Date: August 4, 2022 |
Download Season 3 Episode 3 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
Release Date: July 21, 2022 |
Download Season 3 Episode 2 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.
Release Date: July 7, 2022 |
Download Season 3 Episode 1 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.