Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

November 25, 1999

Walker visits U of G to promote new journey

George Marcello, the Guelph man who walked more than 2,000 kilometers to promote organ donations, will be at the University of Guelph Nov. 30 to generate support for a new trek across Canada next spring.

Marcello, who received a new liver in summer 1995, will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. in the University Centre, Room 103. He will be joined by Mel Davis, father of the late Olympic champion swimmer, Vic Davis, whose family donated his organs, and members of the performance groups Spice and Backstreet. The event is open to the media and general public.

Marcello, a volunteer with "Step by Step," an organization that raises funds to increase awareness of the need for organ donations, suffered from hepatitis B and C before receiving a liver transplant. In the summer, he walked 2,375 kilometers to draw attention to the critical shortage of organ and tissue donations. Canada has one of the lowest organ donation rates in the West.

He is helping to launch The Canada 500-Day Walk, scheduled for May, along with other organ transplant recipients, and representatives from various groups and agencies, each walking a fixed distance. "This will allow organ transplant recipients to participate personally while having the opportunity to ‘pay something back' for the incredible gift of life they have received," Marcello said.

Marcello added he still does not know who donated his liver. "For me, taking part in these walks is my way of saying ‘thanks' to this person's family. I would like my donor's family to know that life continues because of what they did."

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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