Kirby FamilyIn 2010, Chris Kirby received the heart transplant that saved his life.

The transplant came just in time after a harrowing 19-month wait. When the call came, they headed to the hospital and Chris was sent into surgery at 11pm. It is typical for these surgeries to take place at night and loved ones usually have to sit in an uncomfortable waiting room for the more than five-hour wait. Tanya checked into a hotel across the street and was able to get a rest after a long wait and night. This rest was much needed and the proximity meant she was able to be close by when the nurses called to say Chris was awake. Had she been at home, she would have likely missed these precious early moments to comfort him.

Once Chris was healed and back to his life, they decided that they wanted to give back to the process that gave them a second chance at life with their growing family. The people that really need the help during those crazy first few hours and days are the caregivers – they need a comfortable place to rest and have a shower, and they need to be able to be close to the person they’ve helped keep alive. And so, Rest Easy was born. Chris and Tanya’s mission is to provide a one-night stay at a hotel close to St Paul’s Hospital for every heart transplant recipient’s “person” so they can Rest Easy for the first time in a long time.

Now in its fourth year, the funds raised at the event and through donations provide a gift card for a free night’s stay at the Sandman Suites on Davie Street to new transplant candidates when they receive their pager. So far, the Rest Easy fundraiser has provided stays for nearly 20 families.

Read more about Chris’ story.