I was 21 when I had my first real connection with organ donation... a friend died after a bicycle-car accident and his mother decided to donate his organs, which helped 5 other people. About 9 years ago, my husband's brother, Trevor, was in need of a kidney transplant and my husband was tested as a possible donor. At that time I did a lot of research to understand what both were facing. Ultimately, Trevor also need a pancreas, which, as a living donor, my husband could not provide. Fortunately, within a few months a suitable match was found and the transplant was successful. Later, in 2005, when my friend, Darcie, half-jokingly said, when I asked how she was, "Know anyone with a spare O-positive kidney?", my immediate response was "Me". After a series of tests, it was determined we were a match and the transplant was scheduled. As Darcie likes to say, 'our kidney' is doing really well, and I am thrilled that she and her husband have been able to get their life plans back on track.
One donor can save up to 8 lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 more.
Unfortunately, last year in Canada 1 person died every 3 days waiting for an organ transplant. When I speak to my neighbours about organ donation advocacy and my own personal connections, almost all tell me that they would be a donor or that they've signed their donor card. This is wonderful to hear, but it doesn't mean your wishes are registered. The most effective means of making your wishes known is to register your wishes with the Ministry of Health. When a person has registered their desire to be an organ donor, 9 out of 10 times their loved ones will honor that wish; if they haven't registered, the consent rate drops to only 50%. Please take a few minutes today - to visit beadonor.ca to register, or just to find out more information - to speak to your loved ones about your wishes, so that their decision is made easier should such an unfortunate circumstance occur - to raise organ and tissue donation awareness in just one other person Organ donation saves lives.