In June of 2020, the JTA board decided that in the best interest of everyone's health, the only responsible thing to do was to cancel the 2020 Gift of Life Celebration. It was a difficult decision, but with the surge of COVID-19 cases throughout the country, we decided that cancelling the event was our only option.
Now, as we are full into the summer days of 2021, we again find ourselves making a hard decision. Despite the effectiveness of COVID vaccines on the general public, there's much doubt as to their effectiveness on transplant recipients. Many, if not most, 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 all are eager to hold the event, but will only do so if we can do it safely.
We have chosen the date of Saturday, October 23rd for this year's event, if we decide we can host it with proper precautions in place. The Tribute to Life donor recognition ceremony will be held regardless of whether or not the Celebration is held, though it may be a virtual event only. Both events are scheduled to be at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Tribute to Life - Friday, October 22, 2021
Gift of Life Celebration - Saturday, October 23, 2021
There will be more information to come later this month and into August. 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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