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Richmond kids golf for charity

Young organ recipients joined adult golfers to fundraise for cause

Madeline Sam and Markus Mani may just be a couple of regular kids having a fun day swinging clubs at the Quilchena Golf and Country Club. But their early years were anything but typical.

Both children are organ transplant recipients.

Markus was born two months premature with an underdeveloped kidney. He spent the first few years of his life in and out of hospitals, being poked, prodded and examined.

At age three, his parents put him on the waiting list for a kidney transplant and, incredibly, 12 hours later he got one.

Madeline, a shy, bright-eyed girl, received a liver transplant when she was just 11 months old.

Those medical struggles are behind them now, but what continues is their willingness to be advocates for organ transplants.

Madeline, 7, and Markus, 9, were the ambassadors of the Second Annual Charity Classic Golf Tournament hosted by the Childrens Organ Transplant Society (C.O.T.S.) held last week.

The Second Annual Charity Classic Golf Tournament is C.O.T.S. biggest fundraiser and the money will go towards the family events, sending kids to camps, and to awareness and advocacy, said spokesperson Alexi Murray.

Every participant of the event had the opportunity to play golf on an 18-hole course, to have dinner and to participate in a live and silent auction.

It was a lot of fun, said Markus, whos described by his parents as a happy, healthy boy, who loves to be out playing with other kids.

Madeline, 7, said she wants to become a doctor when she grows up because she knows how important it is to stay healthy. Madelines parents said they have remained in contact with BC Childrens Hospital and C.O.T.S. for support since Madelines transplant.

C.O.T.S. was founded in 2001 as a non-profit and registered charity, committed to improving the lives of children requiring organ transplants. Its also committed to helping the childrens families through the process.

It is run by volunteers and relies on personal and corporate donations and fundraising events. All funds raised go towards supporting families across British Columbia.