There are approximately 1500 individuals in Ontario waiting for a life saving organ transplant and every three days, one person dies because they did not receive a transplant in time. April is BeADonor month across Ontario in recognition of organ and tissue donation. Did you know that 85% of Ontarians are in favour of organ donation but only 33% have registered their consent to donate?!
In Ontario organ and tissue donation is coordinated by the Trillium Gift of Life Network. This is a non-profit organization which provides tools and support to family members, transplant recipients, medical professionals and other community stakeholders. Trillium helps all stakeholders to make informed decisions about donation and transplantation.
A single donor can have a huge impact on the health of others — saving the lives of up to eight people through organ donation and improving the lives of up to 75 via tissue donation. Organs and tissues that can be transplanted include the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, small bowel, eyes, skin, bone, heart valves, and connective tissue (ligaments).
Registering to become a donor is easy by either visiting www.BeADonor.ca or in person at any Service Ontario location. This way you ensure that your decision is recorded and can be made available to your loved ones at the right time. Paper cards previously signed are no longer accepted.
So how do we fare as a community? According to beADonor.ca, out of 170 communities, St. Thomas ranks 81st with a donor rate of 42%. Port Stanley cracks the top 50 at position 31 with a registered donor rate of 49%. Provincially and locally we can do better. So how do we improve? Like the old saying, a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. Please go online or stop by Service Ontario. Confirm whether or not you are registered and if not, seriously consider registering. Share this article and information about tissue and organ donation with family and friends. You can also join our Facebook drive (on April 18) to encourage friends to register. If you’re part of an organization, club or team, raise awareness within and outside of your organization. As always, take care of yourselves and each other.