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2008 SOS4000



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About Step by Step

 Our Charity Step By Step
Step By Step is a charity dedicated to promote organ & tissue donations
and hopefully save lives by;
Empowering Students to carry the Torch Of Life
and bring Genuine love throughout the world
Pope John Paul II blesses Torch Of Life Sept 5 2001
Vatican Radio interview - Sept 6 2001

"Organ & Tissue donations is a Genuine Act Of Love
Let the youth carry the Torch Of Life and they will inspire the world" PJP2

History and Background

In 1995, Fitness Promoter, George Marcello received a life saving liver transplant with 2 days left to live. It was a known fact that Canada had one of the lowest rates of organ and tissue donations in the entire world. George wanted to change this. He created Step By Step.
Step by Step Organ Transplant Association, a non-profit charitable organization was incorporated November 16 1998 and received a charitable status October 25 1999. Step By Step’s mission is to empower student participation Their role is to promote the importance of organ and tissue donations throughout the world by inspiring the public, media and the 3 levels of government.

George Marcello's personal note

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Step by Step, a non-profit charitable organization. We are committed to promote Organ and Tissue donations, so that more people who are desperately waiting for these precious gifts can have their lives saved and restored.People from all walks of life have been and are continuing to receive diagnoses of terminal organ diseases and tissue damage. They now have an opportunity to get on the waiting list to receive a life saving organ transplant and restoration of tissues. Countless people throughout the world have received organ & tissue transplants and as a result have led healthy and active lives. Before organ & tissue transplants, these people would have likely died or have been disabled. Clearly we have a cure on our hands A lot of credit goes to the researchers, hospital staff, and agencies that facilitate the process. The most important person is the organ & tissue donor, without them the process would not exist. For organs alone, Canada has over 4,000 people on the waiting list; the United States has over 100,000. The unfortunate comment in this picture is that many of these people will not receive their transplants and many more thousands will not have the opportunity to get on the waiting list. In fact every day someone is passing away while waiting in Canada and almost every hour someone passes away in America. Many precious organs are going to waste in both countries. The problem is a shortage of donations. Clearly we must do more, and more can be done.

Please join us in Step By Step’s 8th Campaign SOS THE WORLD and support the 10,000 Student Torch Champions as they relay the Torch of Life throughout almost 200 countries of the World.

With Kinds Regards
George Marcello CEO/Founder Step By Step

7 Campaigns

1st Toronto/Ottawa Walk

In 1997 George created a charitable organization and called it Step By Step and began by walking from Toronto to Ottawa with his friend Sam Vinci. This campaign raised local attention to this issue.

2nd Ontario Walk

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.

3rd Canada 769 Day Walk

In 2000, Step By Step continued to recruit more organizations and individuals and organized a 500 community tour across Canada. George walked over 12,000 kilometers for 769 days and received national and world attention. His holiness Pope John Paul II granted George an audience and proclaimed organ and tissue a genuine act of love.

4th Kristopher’s Wish

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.

5th European Tour

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

6th SOS4000

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.


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

Torch Of Life 

  • June, 2000 - The famous Torch Of Life was first lit up at the start of the Canada 769 Day Walk in memory of Legendary World & Olympic Champion Swimmer Victor Davis.
  • September 5, 2001 - During Step By Step’s 3rd Campaign, as he blessed the Torch Of Life,
    Pope John Paul II urged George Marcello to pass the Torch to the Students
  • Jan 8, 2004 - During the 4th Campaign, the Torch was given to 14 year old Kristopher Knowles. He needed a liver transplant. Kris recruited hundreds of thousands of students as he carried the Torch Of Life across Canada.
  • October 1, 2007 - During the 6th Campaign , 17 year old Kris passed the Torch to 17 year old St John's Native Samantha Elton Taite; the Torch was carried by 100 other Students across Canada to Yellowknife NT
  • April 6, 2009 - After the 6th Campaign,  the Canadian Students were honoured for their great work at a special ceremony Their combined feat will set an example for other countries. This event set the stage for the next chapter of the Torch Of Life to continue its journey and helped launch Step By Step’s 7th Campaign SOS THE AMERICAS, SOSTA for short.
  • October 24, 2009 - This is why we are currently organizing over 500 students in 36 countries in the Americas in Step By Step’s seventh campaign, SOSTHEAMERICAS. These student’s roles include carrying the Torch, talking to the public, media interviews and participating in photo ops.