Eva Markvoort – Champion for Cystic Fibrosis and Organ Donation
Sadly, this isn’t an ‘April Fools’ joke.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) campaigner and force-to-be-reckoned with Eva Markvoort passed away on the morning of March 27, 2010.
Eva was a loud advocate for awareness of Cystic Fibrosis, research in the field, and organ donation, and gave us all a window into her world. The hereditary disease causes progressive debility, mainly of the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems; respiratory distress gradually becomes more severe. Despite a double-lung transplant, Eva’s body could not last.
Her livejournal blog, 65 Red Roses, poetically chronicled the realities of a life with CF. She helped others to understand the disease and put a spunky, firey-haired human face to it. On March 25, with the help of her sister, she wrote a ‘goodbye’ post which, I’m sure, has made all of her readers shed a tear, just as did her goodbye video from early February.
She has touched many with her honest thoughts, unending love, and joy even while facing death.
Eva wished to leave a legacy, and she certainly has. She received the 2010 Summerhayes Award in room 450 at Vancouver General Hospital, recorded here, for her outstanding work with the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Her most known work is in the film, 65_RedRoses, a documentary about her determination to live while waiting for the double-lung transplant and her unorthodox connection with two other CF patients over the Internet. It was awarded ‘Most Popular Canadian Film’ at the 2009 Vancouver International Film Festival. 65_RedRoses broadcasts again in Canada on Friday April 2nd on CBC News Network at 4am & 8pm ET and 5pm PT. (65 Roses is what some children with CF call their disease as the words are much easier for them to pronounce).
If you haven’t already become an organ donor, now is an excellent time. It would be an understatement to say that there is a big blanket of sadness over everyone she has touched, but we will remember her spirit and strive to carry on her legacy. The Markvoort family asks that in lieu of flowers, people make a donation in Markvoort’s name to the Vancouver chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at www.cfvancouver.ca.