About Step by Step
It all started with one small step on August 17 1997 in Toronto
.......it led to 50 million steps, 15 years & 8 campaigns
August 17-30 1997
"I CAN'T SING OR DANCE.........SO WHY NOT WALK
In 1997 shortly after receiving a liver transplant, George Marcello created a charitable organization and
called it Step By Step. He wanted to thank his anonymous donor and began by walking from Toronto to
Ottawa with his friend Sam Vinci. This campaign sparked attention to organ & tissue donations
June 26-September 30 1999
120 MILLION DOLLARS
In 1999 Step By Step recruited the YMCA, Salvation Army and many other organizations
as George walked 2,500 kilometers around the province of Ontario. He walked under
the watchful eye of his road manager Joe Camara. This campaign
raised Provincial attention and inspired Premier Harris to
allocate 120 million dollars towards this issue and as well, created a new organ agency.
(Presently called the Trillium Gift of Life Network)
George was recognized in the 37th Parliamentary Throne Speech with Don Cherry.
June 20 2000 - August 9 2002
POPE JOHN PAUL 2 & THE TORCH OF LIFE
In 2000, Step By Step continued to recruit more organizations and individuals and organized
a 500 community tour across Canada. On June 13 2000, the famous Torch Of Life arrives
anonymously at the Step By Step office.
George walked over 12,000 kilometers for 769 days, carrying the Torch
and received national and world attention. His holiness Pope John Paul II
granted George an audience, blessed the Torch and proclaimed organ and tissue
a genuine actof Love. The Pope encouraged George to pass the Torch to children.
January 8 - December 21 2004
13 YEAR OLD NEED LIVER CARRIES TORCH ACROSS CANADA
In 2004, Step By Step arranged a 200 community tour across Canada for Kristopher Knowles,
a 14 year old boy that needed a liver transplant. This campaign was called Kristophers Wish and as he made his way across Canada, he touched the hearts of many Canadians and recruited
hundreds of thousands of students.
January 2005 - April 2007
2 YEARS OF IMPROVING ORGAN POLICIES
In 2005, Step By Step and Multimedia Nova arranged the European Tour for George Marcello.
The purpose for this tour was to gather important information from the world’s leading
organ donor countries and use it to help solve Canada’s organ shortage
While George was in Paris, Francis, he was struck with Thrombosis of the Liver, and ended up in intensive care with days left to live. He somehow made it back to Canada cause he wanted to make sure all his video & computer equipment that contained his European video files were safe. On July 27 2005, he received his second liver transplant, on his 50th birthday. For the next 2 years George used his treasured research to push for new organ policies in Canada
October 1 2007 -June 13 2008
STUDENT TORCH OF LIFE RELAY ACROSS CANADA
During Kristopher's Wish in 2004, Kris inspired over a million students across Canada
On October 1, 2007, St. Johns NL, Kristopher Knowles officially passed the Torch of Life to
Student Torch Champion Samantha Elton Taite. The Torch was relayed to over 100 students
through Canada until the final destination in Yellowknife, North West Territories where
student Torch Champions Kathleen O'Brien and Derick Polakoff carried the Torch to the finish line.
This campaign was very successful and led to the possibility in creating similar campaigns in other countries.
SOS4000 Student Torch Champions Pics
7th Campaign SOS The Americas
October 23 2009 - April 14 2010
STUDENT TORCH OF LIFE RELAY ACROSS CANADA & USA
Student Torch Relay of the Americas, began on October 23, 2009, the Torch of Life
continued throughout Canada and entered the lower 48 States in Maine, continued through 13 States
and ended in Washington DC on April 14 2010. Originally the plans were to bring the Torch through 36 countries to Argentina. The Bank was going to take George's house, so he was forced to stop. However it seemed like fate that he stopped at Pope Joh Paul 2 Cultural House in Washington DC.
SOSTheAmericas Student Torch Champions Pics
April 2010 - 2014
TORCH OF LIFE JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD
On April 14, 2010 in Washington DC, George completed 25% of Step by Step's 7th Campaign SOSTheAmericas. The bank was taking his house & George had to abandon his dream of bringing the Torch through 35 countries to Argentina. Ironically this happened at Pope John Paul 2 Cultural Centre. Throughout the rest of 2010, George desperately tried to raise the funds & resources to continue the campaign but time & time again was unsuccessful, and accomplished smaller activities in Toronto.
In January 2011, George went to his friend Lorenzo home in Vancouver BC. Something remarkable happened, that indirectly set off an amazing series of events. In December 2010 George agreed to walk for Sickle Cell Disease from Ottawa to Toronto in the dead cold month of February 2011, and in January 2011 witnessed on TV the tragic shooting of Christina Green. George had a vision, that her organs were donated & expressed this to his friend Alex Roman, the next day. A week later Lorenzo sent George a news clip that Christina's organs were donated. George rushed to Vancouver, and shared this astounding vision with Lorenzo.
February 1, 2011, immediately after George's visit with Lorenzo, he began walking from Ottawa to Toronto, a 500 km walk. Many people were asking why a white guy was walking for what was known as a Black disease. George answered, that he didn't see colour. In the painful walk, George was hoping to see a premonition.
On March 5 2011, after finishing the walk, George receives a call from Phoenix AZ to bring the Torch of Life to lead a march to Governor Brewer's office.The Governor had taken 100 people off the waiting list for organs in Arizona & 2 had died, so this was called the Arizona 98. George thought this was also a calling to meet the Green family who lived in Tucson AZ. George had to cancel the plan to travel to Tucson and flew back to Toronto after a very successful march in Phoenix.
April 13 2011, After painfully walking for Sickle Cell, and risking himself into a dangerous situation with Arizona authorities for the Arizona 98,Throughout the year, countless efforts were made to resume the campaign in Washington DC, but to no avail. It was disappointment after disappointment. Couuld this journey be coming to an end. This brought tears to George Marcello as he looked at the Torch & started reflecting back to the first Step.
April 17 2011, George was checking his emails and noticed in one email, that a young male Afghanistan student from McGill University was asking George for advice to walk from Ottawa to Toronto. He wanted to walk to show his gratitude to Canada. In another email a young female Pakistan student from McMaster University was asking George for help in saving her dad who needed a liver transplant. This felt like a good omen for George to ask Shaheem Joya (the McGill student) if he would walk for the young girl's dad and for Step By Step.
Shaheem agreed & during his walk he contacted George every day. Shaheem woke something up in George. After completing the walk George shared with Shaheem the story about Ismail Khatib and how deeply it affected him. George was compelled to invite the father, Ismael Khatib to Canada to honour Ahmed with the Torch of Life.
May 31 2011, George & Shaheem make contact with Ismail Khatib
Aug 1 2011 - George contacts world famous Donor Dad Reg Green and arranges to bring him to Toronto in Sept 2011 to honour his son Nicholas Green with the Torch of Life. This is after a failed attempt to do this with Vatican City
Sept 5 2011, Reg Green carries Torch Of Life in Nicholas memory through Little Italy in the heart of Toronto
Oct 2 2011 Ismail Khatib confirms that his VISA is accepted, and will be arriving to Toronto with his son Khaled on Oct 28 11
Oct 6 11, George arranges for Reg Green & Ismail to talk to each other through SKYPE
Oct 29 11 Ismail Khatib & Reg Green meet at Toronto Airport
Oct 31 2011 The Donor Dads carry the Torch Of Life through Toronto and 5 other major cities in the next 10 days
Jan 26 2012, Khaled Khatib meets Helene Campbell at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital, and promises he will carry the Torch Of Life for her through 72 cities & towns in Ontario
This campaign was call Register Now Ontario
Mar 5-Jun 19 2012 Khaled begins carrying Torch of Life in Kenora for Helene & in memory of Mrs Betty Albreht. On his final day in Toronto, June 19 2012, Israeli girl Yael Gladstone and Helene meet Khaled & together they carry the Torch to the finish line.
Feb 3 2013, Khaled carries Torch from Ottawa to Toronto for his friend Anthony Socci who needs a kidney transplant. Anthony is Jewish
Apr 1-30 13 Torch is carried for Kayla Baker in Toronto
Oct 4 13 - Reg Green & Khaled Khatib carry Torch Of Life through Vancouver BC
Dec 12 13 - George tries to help Anthony Socci & Mary Giavedoni receive her liver, this indeed might be the end of his journey
more will be revealed
Step By Step 1995-2013