Marcia’s shirt reads “You were born to do more than just pay bills and die.” Courtesy Jordan D. Marcia

B.C. heart transplant recipient is travelling to every country because ‘life is short’

Jordan D. Marcia wants to be the first heart transplant recipient to travel to every country.

Travelling to every country in the world sounds like a tough goal to achieve.

But Langley’s Jordan D. Marcia is taking on the challenge–and plans to be the first heart transplant recipient to do so.

For now, Marcia is spending the holidays at home before he takes off to the Philippines and Indonesia in the new year and ticks the 15th and 16th countries off his bucket list.

“If you want to do something, you have to go out and do it,” said Marcia, who hopes to accomplish his goal of hitting all 195 countries in the world within 5 or 6 years.

Marcia was born with a rare congenital heart disease, and when he was 3-years-old, received a heart transplant at Toronto’s Sick Kids hospital from a family who had lost their son to a car accident.

Now 27, Marcia has made it his goal to travel to every country, simply because “life is short.”

“Life is short and I’m going to die. I’m going to die before everyone else and I want to achieve the goal,” said Marcia.

According to Marcia, a heart transplant usually lasts the recipient about 10 years, but his has been beating for 22 years.

His expected lifespan is 40.

Marcia started travelling in 2014, and said he’s been interested in travelling ever since he was a kid and went on his first family vacation to Mexico.

“It sparked this wanderlust of wanting to see different countries and their cultures,” explained Marcia.

As a transplant recipient, Marcia hopes his journey will inspire others with medical conditions or transplants to “live their life to the fullest.”

I figure this is the biggest thing I could do and if i succeed, then no one can say ‘I can’t do something.’ It makes them [transplant recipients] feel like they can go out and live their life to the fullest, because we’re all going to die.”

While he’s travelling, Marcia works on his online marketing company, does contract work, and creates travel videos.

Since all his trips are done alone, Marcia said he’s learned a lot about himself.

“You learn what you can take and what your breaking points are. Breaking points don’t mean anything because there’s always new breaking point after those breaking points.”

Marcia has never met his transplant family, but hopes he will someday, or that they will see his travel videos and “put the pieces together themselves.”

“That’d be amazing for them to know their son’s sacrifice led to me being able to achieve all my goals and help people. I’d love to meet them if I could.”

Marcia’s motto of “life is short,” is something that also runs in his immediate family.

“My dad said, ‘go for it, whatever makes you happy.’ We all have the same concept that life is short and you should do what you want to do,” said Jordan of his family.

And Marcia has a deep appreciation for organ donors, and is signed up to be one himself. Since he takes anti-rejection medicine for his heart, Marcia will only be able to donate his eyes once he passes, but said the rest of his body is signed up for science research.

“My entire family is organ donors. I think everybody should be an organ donor. It helps people live life, and get a second chance. It’s hard to put into words,” said Marcia.

When Marcia is not travelling, he receives care at St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver from Dr. Andy Ignaszewski.

Marcia said his doctor was also supportive of his travel goals.

“When I told Dr. Andy my plan, he said ‘go for it.’ So that’s what I’m doing.”

During the holiday season, St. Paul’s lights up the building for their annual Lights of Hope giving campaign which is a fundraiser for medical equipment and patient programs at their facilities.

The hospital is lit up nightly until Jan. 7 at St. Paul’s hospital at 1081 Burrard St. in Vancouver.

To follow Marcia’s travel adventures, visit the Facebook page @jordandmarcia

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Marcia has been to 14 countries out of 195 in the world. Courtesy Jordan D. Marcia

Just Posted

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Sound system, Ipad stolen from Rossland restaurant

Mook Thai Lounge staff have had to buy a new sound system at a cost of $700

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Fruitvale

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Most Read