How a series of events led to Khaled coming to Canada 

“I was looking at this journey, as a big puzzle and events seemed to develop organically. As time went on more pieces were appearing and the picture continued to develop. I believe we have now all the pieces;”  The first moment I seen the story on Ahmed Khatib on November 6, 2005, I was compelled to bring the Torch of Life to Palestine to honour Ahmed. A very simple thought, but of course very hard to do. But I was determined, just like all the other campaigns, to make this happen."

George Marcello CEO Step By Step

 George Marcello looks at a story in the Metro Toronto paper on November 6 2005 

George's world changed as a result of this article 

 Shaheem & a series of amazing events

From 2005 to 2011, George’s dream of bringing the Torch to Palestine was fading, however Step By Step was continuing to produce campaigns by lobbying new organ laws and organizing Student Torch relays from Canada to USA. In April 2010 George had to abandon his USA tour after completing the North Eastern part of it. For the next year George attempted everything to get back on the “Road” as he called, but failed constantly. He was devastated, and had no choice but to finally quit Step By Step, “put out the flame” and suddenly Shaheem Joya appears.

Shaheem Joya, a young Afghan-Canadian Law Student had a debate in school one day, and wanted to prove his gratitude for living in Canada by walking from Ottawa to Toronto. After a Google search of Ottawa to Toronto, George’s name kept coming up and Shaheem contacted George asking for assistance. George agreed to help on the basis that he carry the Torch for a Pakistan father, who needed a liver transplant. Shaheem agreed and kept in touch with George every day of his journey. George felt like this was a good omen, reminding him of his first walk in 19997.  On April  6 2011, as he carried the Torch on its last kilometre, a vision appeared to George as walked beside Shaheem. George envisioned the Khatibs in Canada. Shortly after Shaheem completed his walk, he connected with Ismail Khatib on Facebook.

And in early May, 2011, we all sat in a media company boardroom, and Ismail was talking to us through a speakerphone. I sat and while listening, I was seeing a beautiful future unfold.

Since November, 2005, I tried to find a way to get to Palestine to honour Ahmed & the Khatib Family. In April 2011, suddenly it became possible to honour this family. However, I turned my energies trying to invite Ismail Khatib to Canada, instead of going to Palestine. When Step By Step began this campaign with Ismail, almost everyone agreed that it was impossible to make this happen, for many reasons.

We were determined to bring Ismail to Canada, for many reasons that were known to us at the time & for reasons that would develop as a result of bringing Ismail here. We began by developing a plan to create a strategic & exciting campaign and a plan to carry out the campaign.  Strategically, I called the campaign, The Donor Dads, It began on October 31, 2011 to Nov 10 2011 It was a 10 day 5 city Torch Of Life Canadian humanitarian tour to promote organ & tissue awareness in Canada.

Shaheem’s unabashed enthusiasm to show his gratitude living in Canada, led to his walk from Ottawa to Toronto and contacting George Marcello, by a google search on how to walk Ottawa to Toronto. George asked Shaheem if he would carry the Torch Of Life for a Pakistan father who was in need of a liver transplant. On his final steps  carrying the Torch Of Life north on University Ave towards Queen’s Park, George seen a vision of the Khatibs in Canada. George shared this with Shaheem, and in a few days, Shaheem was in contact with Ismail Khatib on Facebook

Ismail Khatib meets Reg Green  For the 1st time on Skype

Donor Dads get together first by Skype then in Real Life

In July, 2011, we brought both Ismail & Reg Green, together not physically by Skype (Reg is another famous Donor Father, his son Nicholas, was killed by Italian gangsters in Italy, and Reg donated Nicholas’s organs to Italian children.)


On October 31, 2011, we arranged to have Reg & Ismail join together physically and carry the Torch Of Life through the heart of Toronto, followed by 5 other Canadian Cities in the next 10 days. This event was called the Donor Dads, and their amazing feat together reached both their worlds and others around the globe

How Ismail & Khaled Khatib came to Canada