National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week

April 18, 2011

Making a Difference

This week is national organ and tissue donation awareness week. A local resident shared her personal story with me and gave me permission to share it here as a way to raise awareness:

Although I lead a very healthy lifestyle, last summer I was hospitalized for 37 days. Due to a genetic disorder, my heart’s ability to pump blood throughout my body has been deteriorating over time. Last summer the deterioration had taken me to a point where I was in a state of walking shock – my organs were not getting enough oxygen and were shutting down. I was told I would need a heart transplant. I am on the transplant list and I am hopeful that my heart will come along in time. I now have an artificial heart – a pump – that circulates my blood, acting as a ‘bridge to transplant’ keeping me healthy until my new heart arrives. This cannot happen without a donor.

There are approximately 1500 people in Ontario waiting for organ transplants and every three days one of us will die. One donor alone can save the lives of up to 8 people on the transplant list, and improve the quality of life for up to 75 more. Unfortunately less than 20% of Ontarians are currently reigstered to be donors and only 2% of those registered will actually be able to donate. Many of us have signed our Driver’s License/ donor wallet card believing that this is what it takes to be a donor, but unfortunately this has not been effective. So Ontario has created a new organ and tissue donation registry meant to ensure that donors are found in time. We are now asked to complete a registration form, send it to Service Ontario, and our wishes will be input into the Trillium Gift of Life database so that donors will be matched more effectively with those on transplant lists and doctors will have faster access to organs and can save more lives.

To learn more about organ and tissue donation, and to register as a donor with the Trillium Gift of Life Network, visit www.giftoflife.on.ca.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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One Comment on “National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week”

  1. richard st Amour Says:

    Would like to draw your attention to the Sudbury Catholic School Boards web page http://www.scdsb.edu.on.ca

    You will notice a direct link to Trillium Gift of Life Network…they are the only school board in the province to take this intitiative…perhaps you could talk with your school board and see if they can do likewise…perhaps then others will follow

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