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Who is Step By Step
Step By Step, a Canadian Charitable organization was created by George Marcello.
Mr Marcello, was born in Toronto, Canada & received a liver transplant on August 3 1995.
The moment George woke up after the surgery, he was determined to thank his anonymous organ donor, and as he states, that’s when Step By Step was born. He wanted to promote organ & tissue donations to everyone, and;
He began his mission by walking across Canada carrying the Torch Of Life.
Step By Step received its Canadian non profit corporation status on November 16, 1998.
Step By Step received its Canadian Charitable Status on October 25, 1999.
Recently Step By Step received its Certificate of Continuance under the NFA Act on July 16 2015.
the description here.
George's Walk & The Torch Of Life
During the past 20 years,
Step By Step has made a considerable impact on bringing awareness to organ & tissue donations throughout Canada & the rest of world. Many high profile campaigns & events have been well documented by the public media& the charity’s own resources.
On June 20, 2000, at Toronto City Hall, with Mayor Lastman at hand, the Torch Of Life was lit up for the first time. It was lit in memory of legendary Olympic swimmer, Victor Davis .
The Torch was given to Step By Step by an anonymous donor and for the past 15 years, it has been touched by millions of people. The Torch honours the organ & tissue donor.
Pope John Paul 2
Midway into George’s walk, he was invited to bring the Torch to Vatican City, where Pope John Paul 2 blessed the Torch Of Life at St Peter’s Square on September 5, 2001, in the presence of over 100,000 people & hundreds of media cameras. His Holiness proclaimed organ & tissue donations a “Genuine Act Of Love”. Encouraged by the Pope’s wisdom, the Torch of Life was championed by young people or as we like to call them the Student Torch Champions.
As George made his way back to Canada to complete his walk, many interviews were arranged throughout Canada & USA, including interviews with popular Talk Show hosts. The tragic events of 9/11 disrupted the campaign and all interviews were canceled thus preventing Step By Step from reaching higher plateaus. However, this did not discourage George from completing his walk. On August 9, 2002 in Toronto he gave the Torch to a young boy who carried it to the final steps
Student Torch Champions
He faithfully followed the Pope’s wisdom, and sought out a Student Torch Champion. That young boy was 10 year old Kristopher Knowles from Sarnia Ontario and he, needed a liver transplant, wanted to walk across Canada. He captured George’s heart. On January 8, 2004, 13 year old Kristopher Knowles prepared his first step carrying a beeper to alert him, when a liver would become available. George was his Road Manager & called this campaign Kristopher’s Wish. He organized, a 200 city/town tour across Canada, so Kris could manage short walks into the communities. In each stop, thousands of students greeted Kris, and when he completed his tour finished, on December 25, 2004, almost a million kids became followers, and this led to the next 2 campaigns.
On October, 1 2007, SOS400 was created & hundreds of kids became Student Torch Champions, and relayed the Torch across Canada. On October 23, 2009, SOS THE AMERICAS was created, and thousands of kids became Student Torch Champions & relayed the Torch from Canada to the USA. All these kids were creating amazing legacies in their respective communities in Canada & USA.
Khaled Khatib & Yael Gladstone
Since 2004, over a thousand kids carried the Torch Of Life in cities & towns across Canada & USA, including the famous families from the Middle East. In 2012, in Toronto, 20 year old Palestinian Khaled Khatib, whose 12 year old brother Ahmed was accidentally killed by an Israeli soldier and joined his family to donate Ahmed's organs to Israeli kids, joined 20 year Israeli Yael Gladstone, whose 19 year old brother Yoni Jessner, was killed by a Palestinian Suicide Bomber, and her family donated Yoni's kidney to a Palestinian girl. Khaled & Yael carried the Torch together through downtown Toronto on June 19, 2012. Plans are being prepared to have students relay the Torch Of Life around the world. George says, "Pope John Paul 2 is smiling up above