This year for Living Donation Week (September 10-16), Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) along with University Health Network (UHN) Centre for Living Organ Donation and centres across Canada, are recognizing individuals who have donated and received a living donor organ.
Each year, living donor transplants save the lives of hundreds of Canadians awaiting a kidney or liver transplant. Living organ donation offers a shorter pathway to better health, with less wait time and better health outcomes than a deceased donor transplant. Yet many Canadians are not aware of living organ donation. An estimated 3,500 living kidney and liver donations can eliminate the wait for those patients who are on deceased donor organ waitlists.
Living Donation Week is a national awareness week features social media campaigns (#LDW2023), free virtual events and activities. The focus is on improving access and equity in living organ donation, profiling the work of Team Transplant, celebrating our incredible living donors and transplant recipients and to give hope to those who are currently waiting for a transplant. Visit livingdonationweek.ca for more event details and to celebrate the incredible gift of living donation.
What’s your story?
Living Donation Week is all about sharing stories. Whether you’re a transplant recipient or candidate, a living donor, a family member, caregiver, or health care practitioner, stories help us understand our own complex experiences of those around us.
Stories of living donation play a crucial role in raising public awareness of the life-changing gift of living donation, the resilience of our transplant patients and caregivers, and the dedication of our healthcare teams. The campaign Great Actions Leave a Mark shares video stories of living kidney and liver donors and recipients at greatactions.ca.
Earlier this year, local transplant recipient Terry Gallant and donor Jennifer de Bakker shared their story, which can be read at bit.ly/BeADonor-April-2023.
Stacy Heerema, RN, the Access to Living Kidney Transplant/Donor Coordinator at TBRHSC’s Multi Care Kidney Clinic shared her thoughts on living donation.
“In the Multi-Care Kidney Clinic at TBRHSC we work with patients to complete Kidney Transplant and Kidney Donor Evaluations, in hope that our patients can receive a life-saving kidney transplant.”
“We want to sincerely thank those living donors who have selflessly stepped forward to be a living kidney donor to a family member, friend or a stranger,” Stacy continued. “We have had a few people step forward to be an anonymous kidney donor just because they have the desire to help someone in need. This is just an incredible gift that these individuals have given. I’m just in awe of the selflessness and courage that these donors have demonstrated throughout their evaluation, surgery and post surgery.”
For more information regarding living kidney donation, contact Stacy Heerema at (807) 684-6164.