Alex…the bravest redhead

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2008 at 7:36 am

The bravest redhead, photo by V. Lions

Hi All,

If you are reading this, chances are you are one of our friends who have known of Alex’s valiant and lifelong battle with Cystic Fibrosis. You’ve also made your way here because you’ve been apprised of the fact that Alex has finally received the lifesaving gift of new lungs from a very special donor. Over the next few days, weeks, and months I (and before long Alex) will be keeping you up-to-date with Alex’s recovery and life post-transplant. As I am sitting here writing these words Alex is in the ICU ward of Toronto General Hospital. I know that she would much rather be at home typing these words to you if she could. And in truth, she’d probably do a much better job of it. But for now, let me be the one who speaks for the bravest redhead, the love of my life, my beautiful wife, Alex.


(Colonel) Tom Parker


Mississauga Music Walk of Fame

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2017 at 11:59 pm
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Alex Pangman at the unveiling of her stone at Mississauga Music Walk of Fame ceremony 2017 Photo Gabriella Bank

I was recently inducted into the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame, just steps away from where I went to school, and about ten minutes walk to the place I first sang with a jazz band! I gratefully dedicated this award to organ donor heros and the Trillium Gift of Life Network who work so hard to arrange for donation miracles. Thanks also to my own donors, family, friends, bandmates, the ever supportive local media, and to my teachers! I join past inductees Tommy Hunter, Oscar Peterson, Denny Doherty, etc. You can become a donor yourself in Canada at

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Left to right Peter Hill (pianist), Tom Parker, Alex Pangman, Connie Pangman, Jennifer Pangman, Ronnie Gavsie (CEO TGLN)


Amy’s 40th

In Uncategorized on June 7, 2017 at 4:31 am

Amy was my transplant mentor. When I met her I was waiting for my first transplant, and she was awaiting her second, something to me which seemed unfathomable at the time.

She demonstrated to me how someone can have complete grace under pressure. Always polite, always modest, always dedicated to staying hopeful and helpful. She was my mentor! And when my second trasplant came around, she again was my mentor. She showed me that it CAN be done twice and that I should believe. She gave me a necklace with the word “believe” on it.

She always dressed stylishly and loved to shop, and to hang out with her family and two dogs, or as we call them “furbabies”.  Like me, Amy also grew up with Cystic Fibrosis but on Canada’s East Coast. We met in Toronto where the big transplant facility is, and so in effect she had to transplant herself to Toronto before she could have lung transplant! (I can’t even imagine the culture shock and added hurdles of lifestyle change that came with relocating to the big city.) She always managed to smile even on the rough days it seemed.

Amy loved walking, and  riding motorbikes, and her handsome and supportive husband.  She had many hurdles, but enjoyed several extra years of love and life until she passed away last summer at the age of 39. The team hoped Amy would be the patient who received an historic third transplant, but there were insurmountable medical hurdles.

Amy really wanted to turn forty.  This week would have been that birthday. I know technically she was in her 40th year when she passed, but she really wanted to see 4-0 on the top of a cake.  I hope she’s eating a big slice up in heaven and is free from oxygen hosing and can breath easily. Happy birthday in heaven, beauitful friend. Thank you for being you.