Two years ago, John Dickhout received a donated heart from 22-year-old Adam Parshaw who tragically died after suffering a seizure in his hot tub.
On Sunday, Dickhout ran a 10-kilometre race near Adam’s hometown of Kanata, Ontario, Canada, with Adam’s father cheering on.
“I wanted to let my donor family know how much this gift meant to me and my family,” Dickhout told CTV Ottawa.
Once Dickhout crossed the finish line, Adam’s father Rick Prashaw gave him a hug, and told him he was proud, CTV reported.
“It was just like watching my kid in a hockey game,” Prashaw said.
Running a 10-kilometre race was one of the items on Dickhout’s “to do list” which he created shortly after being added to the organ transplant wait list.
“These are things I’m going to do to honour the person and to…live my life to the fullest, and one of them, the last item on the list, was that some day I’ll run a 10K,” Dickhout said in an interview with the Newstalk 1010 radio station.
“Everything on that list now has become to honour Adam, and his family, and the family’s decision to honour his decision to be a donor.”
Also on his “to do list” was becoming a professional actor, which Dickhout has managed to cross from his list as he’s been acting for about a year. On his Twitter account, Dickhout introduces himself as “Actor, Facilitator, Husband, Dad, and Caretaker of Adam’s Heart.”
Adam’s father Rick said after Adam’s tragic passing, deciding to donate his organs was the easiest thing to do, “because we knew Adam’s wishes,” he told CTV.
According to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, over 4,500 people are on waitlists to receive an organ across Canada. The demand is highest in Ontario with over 1,5000 people on the wait list.
People wishing to register to be an organ donor can check with the relevant agencies in their province of residence. In Ontario, residents can register on BeADonor.ca.