Silo Heart Trail

Riding to promote organ donation

A bike ride to raise awareness of the value of organ donation

The heart trail is a self-imposed challenge set by the recipient of a life-changing gift: a heart. Over a weekend in January 2019, James Sheppard and a group of his closest friends and family will set out to ride the 200km Silo Art Trail in rural Victoria. The purpose? To show that organ donation can be absolutely life-changing.

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The Silo Art Trail is Australia's largest outdoor gallery.
  • Day 1: Rupanyup via Sheep Hills to Brim (75 kms)
  • Day 2: Brim via Rosebery to Hopetoun (39km)
  • Day 3: Hopetoun via Lascelles to Patchewallock (77km)

In the space of a three year period James went from being relatively healthy to losing a third of his body weight, being unable to walk and reliant on a wheelchair. After several months in several hospitals across Melbourne, was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy and was put on the heart transplant waiting list. Doctors had some dire warnings:

There is a chance you will die before a heart becomes available.

8 months later the phone rang. James had one hour to be at the Alfred hospital. They had a heart for him. After a week in ICU and another week on the ward James was sent home.

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Australians currently waitlisted for a transplant.
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Percent of Australians are currently registered organ donors despite 69% believing that registering is important.
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The number of lives you could change by becoming an organ donor.

* Source: and

Physios advised James that he needed to find a hobby that would keep him fit and healthy, and cycling was it. He now has a new lease on life, allowing him to stay fit and active, enjoy time with family and friends, and look forward to the future.

He was lucky that a heart became available in time, but others in Australia are often not so lucky.

Heart trail aims to better the odds for those that are waiting. We hope to start the conversation for people to discuss their preferences with their loved ones and to hopefully decide to register.

Whether we encourage 1 person or 1000 people to register, lives will be changed.

Register today, but registering is just the beginning. Discussing your organ donation preferences with loved ones is equally important as they will have the final say.

Join the donor register today