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

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

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

Just Posted

First time author Stacey Chomiak is releasing Still Stace in October, 2021. (Special to The News)
First time Maple Ridge author illustrates and writes about reconciling her faith and sexuality

Stacey Chomiak is branching out from a successful career in animation

The speculation and vacancy tax declaration must be filled out by the end of March. (The News files)
SVT declaration packages en route to homeowners in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

A penalty will apply to those, not exempted, who don’t pay by due date

COVID-19. (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposure at Westview in Maple Ridge

Third high school reporting virus in 2021

A vehicle incident is blocking the eastbound lanes on Lougheed Highway at Jim Robson Way in Maple Ridge on Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Google)
TRAFFIC: Lougheed Highway cleared in Maple Ridge, expect congestion

Earlier, eastbound lanes at Jim Robson Way were closed

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Most Read