I've experienced the desperate feeling of waiting for an organ for a loved one, while they fought to stay alive. In 2012 my dad was diagnosed with Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH). Most people with NASH feel well and are not aware that they have a liver problem. This was the case for my dad, who ended up developing cirrhosis, in which his liver was permanently damaged and no longer able to work properly. When the diagnosis finally came in, my dad was given a maximum of two years to live and was put on the transplant list. As fast as the doctors moved, the transplant list could not keep up, and my dad was told that he was looking at approximately four years for a liver. This is when I started looking into living donation. A series of tests, screens, and appointments led to my eligibility to donate a part of my liver to my dad. The surgery took place in early 2013 and it was an absolute success. Three and a half years later, my dad is healthy, happy, and still with us.
Anyone willing to be a registered organ donor should register now!
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a living donor. Currently, over 1,600 people in Ontario are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. And though most of us believe that organ donation is a good thing, only 29% of Ontarians are registered donors. One donor can save eight lives but affect so many more, including daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends. As someone who experienced the importance of organ donation, I encourage everyone to register. It only takes three minutes of your time and you can do it online through this campaign. Just have your health card ready!