It was a night unlike any other fundraising event ever staged in Toronto. Guests of the UHN Transplant Evening: BE AMAZED! not only got to hear about the impact their generous contributions have had on the Organ Transplant Program at UHN, but they were also able to take part in a live demonstration of science in action.
“Wait until I tell my kids I got to touch a lung that was actually breathing,” noted one enthusiastic attendee as he descended from the stage after seeing the world premiere of the new ex vivo lung repair machine developed by Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, UHN Surgeon-in-Chief, Sprott Department of Surgery and Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program along with his collaborators at UHN.
Hosted by well-known Canadian actor/director and artistic director of the Soulpepper Theatre Company Albert Schultz, and co-chaired by Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan and Megan & Brian Porter, BE AMAZED’s more than 400 guests were treated to a spectacular evening beyond the incredible live demonstration of the ex vivo system. The event also previewed a new mini-documentary about the UHN Organ Transplant Program by award-winning Canadian film maker Barry Avrich which tells the story of 10 people whose lives have been touched by the program.
As Canada’s largest transplant program and one of the top five transplant programs in the world, UHN’s Transplant Program saw unprecedented support from BE AMAZED, with an astounding $8.7 million in funds raised though the event itself as well as four remarkable gifts from Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc., John and Marie Di Poce, the Albert and Temmy Latner Family Foundation, and the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Foundation.
“By driving our research forward, the funds and awareness raised through BE AMAZED, as well as the transformational gifts we’ve received, will enable us to save more lives,” notes Dr. Atul Humar, Medical Director of the UHN Organ Transplant Program. “These incredible gifts are helping the world-class team in our program to transform the future for patients and their families.”
Presented by Scotiabank, BE AMAZED! was held on May 11 at the Four Seasons Hotel.