“With this ceremony you have said what we cannot express. Thank you.”
The 2013 Tree Planting and Thanksgiving Ceremony held on Sunday 22 September at beautiful Lake Monger dawned as a wet, windy and cold spring day. It did not however, daunt the efforts of Natalie and her volunteers to organise and manage this very special event!
The annual Tree Planting and Thanksgiving Ceremony is a collaborative event hosted by the Foundation on behalf of the organ and tissue recipient community to commemorate and reflect on the remarkable and generous gift of life by organ and tissue donors and their families.
The ceremony began with the WA Variety Youth Club Choir performing two beautiful tribute songs that set the scene for the ceremony and ignited goosebumps all round.
Dr Bruce Powell, State Medical Director representing Donatelife, gave a heartfelt speech to the attendees on the importance of organ and tissue donation and in particular thanked the remarkable donor families for the gift they have given to so many. Ms Rachel Power, a family donor, responded on behalf of donor families and described the significance of making the life giving decision arising from the death of a loved family member.
Ms Sharareh Ahmadzadeh shared her life changing experiencing of a becoming a heart transplant recipient, and how her gratitude has driven her to embrace the life opportunities that were unavailable to her in the past. We were fortunate to have WA Police Chaplin Joe Newbold to lead the Thanksgiving and Treeplanting service with prayers dedicated to all our Donor families.
The highlight of the ceremony was the candle lighting exchange – first with Rachael representing the life giving energy of organ and tissue donation by lighting the candle representing the skilled hands of the medical profession held by Dr Bruce Powell. Dr Powell in turn lit Sharareh’s candle, representing the receiving of the precious life-giving organ and / or tissue.
During the candle lighting ceremony nature smiled on us as the sun come out from behind the clouds just in time for the planting of the tree to commemorate all those donor families who have given life out of their personal tragedy, so willingly and selflessly.
Big thanks to our organiser, Natalie Akili, our presenters, volunteers and the organ and tissue transplant community – particularly the organ and tissue donors and the medical profession who facilitate the transplant process and those who carry out the amazing transplants.