Burin teen plays in annual memorial hockey game for heart donor

Published on March 30, 2017

Tanner Fitzpatrick of Burin played goal for the Merit Cup in Calgary this week, a legacy event named for Merit McKenzie who died as a result of a pulmonary embolism in 2013. Tanner was the recipient of Marit’s heart.

©Calgary Christian School (Facebook)

Tanner Fitzpatrick of Burin has played goal for many hockey games in his young life.

None could possibly be as special as the Merit Cup in Calgary on Tuesday, however.

The event is a students versus teachers hockey game at Calgary Christian School held in memory of Marit Mackenzie, a graduate of the school who died in January 2013 as a result of a pulmonary embolism.

Tanner was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2012 when he was just 13 and required a heart transplant.

He received Marit’s.

The Marit Cup is a fundraiser for the David Foster Foundation, which helps in providing financial support to Canadian families with children in need of organ transplants. The charity was a favourite of Marit who completed a project on the organization when she was in Grade 12.

According to a news release issued by the foundation, Tanner and his family received an anonymous letter from Merit’s family in 2015. After piecing some information together and learning of the Merit Cup, he asked his parents if he could meet them and possibly take part in the event.

The Fitzpatricks knew of the McKenzie family’s ties with the David Foster Foundation and an initial meeting was arranged last November.