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The Multi-Organ Transplant Program at London Health Sciences Centre is one of the leading transplant programs in Canada, performing almost 200 transplants annually. More than 5,500 Canadians have received transplants, including kidney, liver, heart, kidney-pancreas, pancreas and multi-organ transplantation. 

Patient-centred care has always been a hallmark of London’s transplant program. A close association between patient care and research – both basic research and clinical studies – has enabled us to move innovations quickly from the laboratory to the bedside. 

The Impact of Your Gift

We have made numerous clinical and research breakthroughs, all of which have strengthened our program’s standing as an international leader in transplantation. 

Support for New Canvas of Life will be invaluable in expanding our research mission, ultimately improving the lives of transplant patients not only in London but across Canada and internationally. 




Doug Ferguson

A father, grandfather, artist and liver transplant survivor.

Doug Ferguson is a father, a grandfather and a lawyer. He is also a liver transplant survivor. When his first transplant failed on the table, Doug’s wife and children were told he would only survive for 24 hours without a new liver. Miraculously, he lived for five days before the second organ arrived. In six months, he was back at work as the Director of the Community Legal Services Clinic at Western Law. Within a year, he was playing hockey and just eight months after his surgery; he got a hole-in-one during a round of golf. 




Heather Fisher

One of the longest-living liver transplant recipients in the world.

A courageous adventurer and warrior in her own right, Heather Fisher challenges the odds and embraces opportunity every chance she gets. Fisher is a Mount Kilimanjaro conqueror, an international athletic gold medalist, and one of the longest living liver transplant recipients in the world. She was 29 when she learned that a liver transplant was the only means to her autoimmune disease recovery, but in 1982, at Heather Fisher’s time of need, only three transplants had been performed in London; only one had survived. Fisher worked as a nurse at the intensive care unit and the operating room. “I knew that they had done transplants and knew the risks.” Against all odds, Heather Fisher’s liver transplant was phenomenally successful; she has since climbed mountains, competed in the World Transplant Games, and has had a long and rich nursing career. “It’s such an altruistic gift. 35 years and I still get emotional.” With an unremitting strength to embrace challenges, Heather has realized the power of her own bravery and revels in her life every single day. Heather donated felt artwork to LHSC’s New Canvas online auction in 2018 and 2019. 


Ryley Mitchell

Received a heart transplant thanks to the courage of a family who donated a child's heart.

Ryley Mitchell is a cheerful and creative thirteen-year-old because of the courage of a family who donated their child’s heart. When she was only two months old, parents Jeff and Joanna Mitchell were terrified to learn their daughter was in heart failure. They watched as Ryley was airlifted from home to wait for a donor in intensive care. Ryley’s family waited for 10 long days until a match was found. Ryley was given a new heart and with it, she and her family were given their future. Since the operation, Ryley has continued growing with a determination to make the most of the second chance she was given. She keeps an adventurous spirit at transplant camp, where she and her ‘transplant friends’, go kayaking, sailing, and shoot archery – all activities they’d be unable to experience without the selfless gift of a donor. “It has really made our family appreciate the smaller things in life,” her mother Joanna reflected. Twelve years since her transplant, Ryley and her family have embraced the spirit of donation, sharing their story through personal presentations to local organizations. In 2017, she and her mother were awarded the Trillium Gift of Life Award for organ donation awareness. They see it as a way of being able to give back the gift they were given. “I am passionate about spreading donor awareness. I know that without my transplant, I wouldn’t be here.” Ryley’s transplant has also allowed her to explore her artistic creativity. In recent years she has concentrated on Manga style drawings, a form of comic art popular in Japan. Ryley donated drawings to LHSC’s New Canvas online auction in 2018 and 2019.


Dave Sandford

Donated his kidney to save his sister's life.

Sandford is driven to give the gift of experience to others through his photography. Being a live kidney donor allowed him to give the gift of experience on an even grander scale. He saved his sister’s life. Sandford’s decision to be a live donor was made long before he knew with certainty that his sister needed a kidney transplant to survive. “I was always willing and ready to do that for her.” Dave and his sister always had a solid and strong relationship, but saving her life deepened their bond and his love for life and adventure. “There are times when she looks at her son and thinks if it wasn’t for the transplant her son wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have this amazing five-year-old nephew who is so much fun to be around. So many wonderful things have come from this decision.” A passionate photographer, Dave has developed a unique admiration for the world. “I am so very fortunate to do what I do. I see so many wonderful things,” said Sandford. “If someone is in a position to be a living donor, to give someone the opportunity to feel the warmth of the sun and to see the ocean, why would they not?” Dave donated photography prints to LHSC’s New Canvas online auction in 2018 and 2019. 


Dr. Bill Wall

Performed the first long-term, successful liver transplants in Canada. His patients are among the longest-surviving recipients in the world.

With an eye for fine detail, Dr. Bill Wall has practiced artistry both on canvas and in the operating room. Dr. Wall performed the first long-term, successful liver transplants in Canada. His earliest patients are among the longest-surviving recipients in the world. In those early days, London was also involved with scientific breakthroughs. It was one of the first centres worldwide to use a newly discovered anti-rejection drug, cyclosporine. That breakthrough dramatically increased the success of transplantation and benefitted patients enormously. Throughout his career, Dr. Wall was a passionate advocate for greater awareness about the need for organ donation. Along with colleagues in London, he developed an education program, One Life…Many Gifts that teaches secondary school students about the benefits of donation and transplantation and encourages them to discuss this with their families and friends. Over the course of his career, Dr. Wall has received many awards. The Canadian Society of Transplantation honoured him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. That same year he was appointed to the Order of Canada for developing and advancing liver transplantation and for his efforts at increasing organ donation across Canada. Now retired, he has shifted his talent towards the easel. “I find painting enjoyable because – like surgery – it requires vision with attention to detail, and sometimes boldness.” With a warm smile and brush in hand, he says “It’s a good thing surgery isn’t as hard as oil painting!” Dr. Wall donated oil paintings to LHSC’s New Canvas online auction in 2018 and 2019. 


Mary-Ann Jack-Bleach

First Occupational Therapist to work in the transplant unit 30 years ago.

Mary-Ann Jack-Bleach has collected many reasons to believe in the power of revival over her lifetime. Being an occupational therapist at the Multi-Organ Transplant Unit in its early years ignited this belief. “I helped people blossom and watched them thrive after feeling so depleted,” said Jack-Bleach. “Witnessing a transplant patient regain life and strength always left me in awe.” Helping patients function in ways they had lost made her a key part of the program’s internationally recognized success by 1987. While Jack-Bleach worked to build resiliency in others, she says that she was moved greatly by the strength of those she worked with. Witnessing the ability for transplantation to restore lives on a daily basis shifted her perspective on life. As she explains, “Anybody can find themself in a position where they need a transplant to save their life.” Through the life-changing impact of her work, Jack-Bleach developed a tenacity to overcome significant health battles of her own. She is a devoted transplant advocate because she has seen life’s fragility. The theme of revival carries through in Mary-Ann’s woodcarvings as she gives new life to every piece she touches. Mary-Ann donated woodcarvings to LHSC’s New Canvas online auction in 2018 and 2019.