In 1991, Colleen Best felt something was wrong. She was more tired than usual and started having stomach pains. At first, she didn't think much of it. But as the pain got worse, she decided to see her doctor.
That's when she got the news that many British Columbians get every year - she needed an organ transplant.
It was May 1992 when the doctor told her she had end-stage liver disease. Her only chance of survival was to get a liver transplant immediately.
On Feb. 6, 1993, she got that transplant and now, 20 years later, she wants to thank the Kelowna family of the donor.
"We hope someone who knows the family or is close the family sees this. We want to say thank you," she said.
Best was a 38-year-old single mom of three living in Burnaby when she got the news. She owned a successful daycare business out of her home, was going to Douglas College and was engaged. For her, life was just beginning.
"I was in shock when I got the news," she said. "I remember going to the library and looking up end-stage liver disease."
She was first diagnosed with esophageal varices, causing her blood vessels to begin to blow up. Once that started, things quickly became serious.
She was sent to a specialist and told she needed a transplant.
"All the doctor said was that we have to watch and wait and eventually I would be put on the organ transplant list."
Two weeks before she got the transplant, she was valedictorian for her community support worker program.
"I didn't just want to stay home and give up," she said.
She had been carrying a pager with her for six months when she got the call that a liver had become available. She had the surgery at Vancouver General Hospital.
Best doesn't know much about the family of the organ donor.
"From what we understand, there was an accident in Kelowna and the family of the woman that was killed, agreed to donate her organs."
Best doesn't think she would be alive if it wasn't for the organ donation program.
"It is successful and it changes lives and it's something that everyone needs to think about and be aware about."
For the past 12 years, she's lived in Strathmore, Alta. Her children have grown up and now have families of their own. She's expecting her 15th grandchild soon.
She's never forgotten that a local family gave her a second chance at life.
"By them donating the organ, it was a miracle and changed the lives of our whole family. We are grateful every day for that gift. It's something you never forget. It was the gift of life"