UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA STUDENT BLOGGED ABOUT CYSTIC FIBROSIS FIGHT
Organ donation advocate
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Eva Markvoort, the 25-year-old University of Victoria student whose blog about her battle with cystic fibrosis attracted an international following, died yesterday of the disease.
Markvoort has recently been awarded her theatre degree from UVic at her hospital bedside.
She had struggled with the genetic disease since she was a year old and went into chronic rejection after receiving a double lung transplant in 2007.
Her father, Bill Markvoort, said her family was by her side in her last days and "in the end she simply ran out of breath."
"We're going to miss her so much."
Markvoort's website, under the moniker 65 Red Roses, inspired an award-winning documentary of the same name, which aired on the CBC.
The New Westminster native wanted to be an actor, and it was with a dramatic flair that she spread awareness about cystic fibrosis and the importance of organ donation.
Shortly after news of her death, hundreds of messages of condolence from all over the world flooded her blog.
"She is in our hearts. Rest in peace dear Eva," said Natalia from Poland.
"Eva changed my life with her message of hope and love. I will never be the same, and though there are no words to express my sorrow for your loss, I am glad to know that she is in peace," wrote Laura, from Albuquerque, NM.
On March 25, Markvoort wrote her last post.
"I am not managing, not managing at all. I'm drowning in the medications. I can't breathe. Every hour. Once an hour. I can't breathe. Something has to change"
As she lay in Vancouver General Hospital the last two months of her life, the walls of her room were plastered with hundreds of cards and letters, many from people with terminal illnesses inspired by her strength.
Markvoort recorded a tearful goodbye video Feb. 11, saying she likely had only days to live. But she kept hoping a lung donor might become available, despite the risks that come with a second double lung transplant.
In late February, UVic forgave the two electives she had yet to finish and awarded Markvoort her bachelor's degree in fine arts. She was also awarded the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Doug Summerhayes award for outstanding commitment to the cause.
Her father said her response after accepting the award was, "This is my legacy."
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, people make a donation in Markvoort's name to the Vancouver chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at www.cfvancouver.ca