In 2015, Samantha’s mother Tina saw a Facebook post about 11 year old, Allexis Siebrecht, who was in desperate search of a liver donor. As a Board Member and survivor of liver disease, Tina was well acquainted with the Canadian Liver Foundation, and with Allexis and her mother, and knowing that Samantha was already on the bone marrow transplant list, brought it to her attention.
Without a second thought, Samantha decided that she needed to help. She sent in an application and began the testing procedures. Toronto Sick Kid’s hospital contacted her to say she was a match in the first stage of testing! Knowing that there were more exhaustive and painful tests involved and that she may still not be the perfect match, Samantha began a media awareness campaign which involved countless interviews to local and national media to help Allexis as well as to raise the money needed for Samantha and her mother to fly to Toronto to undergo further testing.
After taking a week off from work and flying to Toronto to undergo the necessary tests, it was revealed that her liver was not anatomically appropriate for transplant. Although upset and disappointed, this did not deter Samantha, she was still determined to help. Samantha returned to Winnipeg to meet Allexis and her mother for the first time and then undertook several fundraising events and more media interviews to encourage awareness and raise funds for Allexis’ travel and medical expenses, should one of the potential donors result in a match for her. Events included the #HelpSaveAllexis Bracelet Blitz Fundraiser, a BBQ at Co Op and the #HelpSaveAllexis Bud, Spud & Steak Fundraiser. Samantha worked tirelessly emailing requests for donations, running around collecting prizes, organizing and volunteering at the events and graciously speaking to all media who asked. Many new potential organ donors came forward to register with Transplant Manitoba and Samantha raised approximately $30,000. Allexis did end up getting her liver from a deceased donor and she and Samantha now have a friendship and a bond that will last a lifetime.