Sadly, with the rise in new COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, the JTA Board of Directors has once again decided to cancel this year's Gift of Life Celebration. It was, again, a difficult decision, but with number of new cases and the rate of transmission of the new variant, the decision to cancel was, unfortunately, the only safe decision. The health and safety of our attendees is paramount, and putting anyone at risk is simply not an option.
Despite the effectiveness of COVID vaccines on the general public, there's much doubt as to their effectiveness on transplant recipients. Most recipients have developed few, if any, antibodies to the virus following vaccination. And that's discouraging to the many of us who are anxious to get out and simply socialize with others. The JTA board reflects that frustration as we were all eager to hold the event, particularly following last year's cancellation.
The Tribute to Life donor recognition ceremony, like last year, will be a virtual event only. The event will be livestreamed on YouTube on Friday, October 22 at 7:00pm from Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach. If you tuned in live or watched the ceremony later, you know what a powerful event it was and what a beautiful job LifeQuest did in presenting it.
Just as we did last year, we will once again hope for better circumstances next year. Watch your email for details and of course, we will keep our Facebook page updated. For now, please stay safe and stay well, everyone.
Our Gift of Life Celebration is an annual event for transplant recipients, their families, donor family members, living donors, and transplant professionals. The event features medical staff from Mayo Clinic speaking on topics of interest to transplant recipients. The celebration also offers the opportunity for transplant recipients and donor families to connect and share their stories of donation and transplant. A catered lunch, music, a game of Transplant Trivia, and a beautiful butterfly release all highlight our day.
The Gift of Life Celebration is held in mid-October and is accompanied by Tribute to Life, a donor recognition ceremony hosted by LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services. Donor families, living donors, and transplant recipients are all invited to attend. Both events will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Each event provide an excellent opportunity to renew friendships and to meet donor family members and recipients. Watch for details as they become available each summer and an online photo gallery following each event, right here on JaxTransplant.org.
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