High mountains. Gap: Firefighters give a "pedal kick", to encourage transplants

In the middle of the week, several Haute-Garonne cycling firefighters stopped at Gap.

High mountains. Gap: Firefighters give a "pedal kick", to encourage transplants

In the middle of the week, several Haute-Garonne cycling firefighters stopped at Gap. Jacques Courtade (62 years old volunteer firefighter) received a bone marrow donation after he was diagnosed with leukemia. He says, "I was very fortunate to have this transplant in 2013, which resulted into complete remission." Without the assistance of both the medical staff and the voluntary donors, nothing would have been possible. Therefore, I want to contribute to the research and treatment of leukemia.

For him, his contribution translates into a challenge: to connect in 11 stages the municipalities of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne (Savoie) and Marignac (Haute-Garonne). That's 879 km. He hopes to spread awareness about organ donation through the "Coup d'pedale for la remission" project. We do bike rides in morning, and have meetings in afternoon.

"You should be aware that there were 5,273 organ transplants performed in France in 2021, thanks to 1,292 deceased donors as well as 521 living donors," recalls Bertrand Charpin, France-Adot (association devoted to the donation of organs, tissues, and other human tissue), who was himself a lung transplant recipient. Many lives can be saved by a deceased person. Nearly 25,000 people still need a transplant. It is important to increase public awareness about the gap between the needs and the number of donors.

The team was received at the Gap fire and rescue centre. Three other colleagues provide support and stewardship for the five cyclist firefighters. They admit that sometimes it was difficult to get in touch with people after the challenging alpine climbs (they crossed Galibier). Aurore, a volunteer firefighter and caregiver, says, "People are very reluctant to get in touch since the Covid." Pierre Sartori Bissé, deputy head at the Merignac centre, said, "As a firefighter I saw the pain of parents who have to make an organ donation for their loved one." People don't know enough. We deal with difficult topics, people are being dealt with, and the cause is beautiful, generous, and beautiful.

Information: www.dondemoelleosseuse.fr The appointment: June 22 will be the National Day of Reflection on Organ Donation and Transplantation and Donor Recognition.

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