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LEANNE MCDOUGALL: Gift of 8 Campaign

Personal | Downtown Ottawa

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By the time I had my heart transplant I was 36 years of age and had undergone 3 previous open-heart surgeries - and I was close to death. Twenty three years ago my life changed! I received a new healthy heart thanks to the generosity of an unknown stranger. For the first time ever I had a future to plan, full of hope and dreams I began my new life with my husband. One of the dreams that was important to both of us was to do everything we could to encourage others to give the gift of life, it seemed ridiculous that healthy organ were being wasted while others died on a waiting list.

You never know how quickly life can change for you!

After nineteen years of enjoying my renewed health from out of the blue our lives were changed again. A close family member died suddenly four years ago. We found ourselves in a hospital ICU being faced with the question of donating his organs. We quickly remembered our loved one's comment at dinner one night, "if anything happens to me, take everything that can be used!" We are proud to say that his legacy saved the lives of others. We would encourage all families to be prepared and to register their wishes today! We know first hand that lives can be saved with an organ transplant and we know that there is a little comfort to be derived from tragedy at a time of great loss.

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