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Wednesday, 02 January 2013 00:00

Timmins native Dale Shippam, a heart transplant survivor, is trekking to the South Pole!

Timmins TimesBy LEN GILLIS
len.gillis@sunmedia.ca

Dale Shippam, a Timmins native, is today preparing for his ski trip to the South Pole as part of a Canadian team to show the importance of how organ donors can save the lives of others.

Shippam, 61, who now lives in Thunder Bay, is a heart transplant survivor and firefighter. He has become the poster guy in Canada for the Test Your Limits team, which is in support of the heart transplant program at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) and The Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation.

The Timmins High and Vocational School graduate received a heart transplant in 1999 and since then has been living life to the fullest to show the importance of transplant medicine in enhancing the lives of survivors.

Shippam's big brother, Wayne Shippam of Timmins, who also had a career as a professional firefighter, spoke proudly of his brother's achievements in the name of promoting organ transplants.

"That's what its all about, the organ transplants. We're all following him on the blog from all over" said Wayne Shippam, referring to the web log, www.testyourlimits.ca and Dale's brothers and sister.

Wayne said his family, which has four boys and one girl, were all born and raised in Timmins at the Delnite property.

Those on the expedition team with Dale Shippam include Dr. Heather Ross, of Toronto who heads up the team at the Munk Cardiac Centre, PMCC cardiologist Dr. Diego Delgado, and Montreal Heart Institute's Dr. Michel White.

The group has travelled from Toronto to Santiago, Chile, and then on to the remote southern community of Punta Arenas in Chile, which the blog says "is farther south than James Bay is north".

The expedition group intends to fly to Antarctica by Friday and will begin their trek by Sunday, hoping to reach the Pole by January 17th. They will be skiing "the last degree", a 100 kilometre trip to the pole. Even though it is "summer" in the Southern Hemisphere, the temperatures on the ski trek are expected to be routinely minus 30. Along with skiing, the group members will be pulling their sleds over the ice containing their food, their tents and other equipment.

Adding to the effort, Shippam wrote in the blog that the group will be skiing at an altitude of more than 9,000 feet on the polar ice cap

This is not Shippam's first crack at exotic outdoor adventure. As a heart transplant survivor, he has proven his mettle in other venues. In 2006 he visited Antarctica to climb Mount Vinson, he also climbed a mountain in Nepal in 2008 and skied to the North Pole in 2010.

Shippam is hoping the trip to the South Pole will just raise more awareness in Canada, and throughout the world, that organ donors save lives and enhance lives. He encourages everyone not merely to support organ donor programs, but to register as well. Shippam encourages Ontario residents to visit the website: https://beadonor.ca/

Article Link: http://www.timminstimes.com/2013/01/02/timmins-native-dale-shippam-a-heart-transplant-survivor-is-trekking-to-the-south-pole

Photo Credits: www.testyourlimits.ca 


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