Before I took on the challenge of serving Ontario as the MPP for London North Centre, I registered as an organ donor. I didn’t realize the impact this could have until I became Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and met a heart transplant recipient. At that moment it really struck me – the person standing in front of me simply would not be here if not for the generosity of a complete stranger and their family. What an amazing feeling; to know that even after you are gone, you can still make a difference. I’m proud of so many of the accomplishments of the McGuinty government, but one of my proudest moments was the launch of BeADonor.ca last year. Forget the paper card, registering consent now takes three minutes online! What else can you do in such a short time to make that big of a difference?
The Trillium Gift of Life Network is working every day to improve organ and tissue donation rates in our province. But there is more work to do. Today, only one in five Ontarians are registered organ or tissue donors. We can do better and we need to. The Gift of 8 Movement is one more way to get the word out there, to encourage Ontarians and provide them with the information and inspiration they need to register their consent. I’ve set my personal goal – and I hope you will too. Register your consent, then share this page with your family and friends. Better yet, create your own. You might just save a life – even eight – someday.