National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week takes place from April 24-30, and is an opportunity to not only celebrate donors and transplantation but to also raise awareness about organ and tissue donation, and to encourage people to register as donors if they haven’t already.
This week, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) is joining others to raise awareness about the critical need for more organ and tissue donors in our community and across the country.
Today, more than 1,600 people in Ontario are on the waitlist for a lifesaving organ transplant, and every three days someone will die without one. Some patients have been on dialysis for years; others are waiting for lungs to breathe on their own again; while others have burns so severe that they require skin grafts. TBRHSC is committed to helping increase the number of registered donors.
“Organ and tissue donations are life-saving and life-enhancing,” said Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, President and CEO of TBRHSC and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. “While the decision to become an organ and tissue donor is a personal one, each day our staff, physicians and volunteers meet patients whose lives are forever changed by organ and tissue donation. Participating in this campaign is just one way that our Hospital can help to raise awareness.”
In 2021, a total of 16 lives were saved in Ontario because of the generosity of seven organ donors at TBRHSC. Those donors allowed four lung transplants, six kidney transplants, four liver transplants, one heart transplanted, and one pancreas transplanted.
By registering to become a donor, you can have the power to save or change someone’s life. One organ donor can save up to eight lives and enhance as many as 75 more through the gift of tissue.
“By registering your consent, you are making the caring and selfless decision to try and help save other lives after your death through organ and tissue donation”, said Kiley Perrier, Trillium Gift of Life Network’s Organ and Tissue Donation Coordinator at TBRHSC. “By recording your wishes now and talking with your family, you are relieving them of the burden of making this decision on your behalf.”
Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) is a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario. TGLN plans, promotes, coordinates and supports organ and tissue donation and transplantation across Ontario. TGLN provides Ontarians with tools and supports to help them make informed decisions around organ and tissue donation for transplantation. They also work closely with the health care professionals at TBRHSC to support families grieving the loss of a loved one and guide them through the donation process.
National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week provides an ideal opportunity to consider becoming an organ and tissue donor. Have the conversation with your loved ones and make a difference in the lives of others. Find out more and register at www.beadonor.ca. It only takes two minutes to potentially save or enhance many lives.