This week at ABC Wednesday, O gets centre stage.
O is for Organ Donation
Organ donation saves lives. Yet here are some sobering facts about organ donation in Canada (in 2016):
*over 4,500 people are on the waiting list to receive an organ
- 260 people died while waiting for a transplant
Last week, in Canada, we had Green Shirt Day on April 7th, which will now be an annual event. It marked the one year anniversary of the devastating bus crash that killed 16 members of the Humboldt hockey team, and injured 13 others. The tragedy had such an impact on our whole country.
One huge effect though, has been what is called The Logan Boulet Effect. Logan was 19 when he died in the bus crash, but he had already signed his card to ensure his organs would be donated. His parents followed through with Logan’s wishes and so 6 people’s lives were saved or improved because of his donated organs.
But Logan’s impact didn’t stop there. In just the two months after his death, over 100,000 people registered to be organ donors.
More and more people have done so as well since then, and Green Shirt Day will encourage people to be organ donors every year.
Some jurisdictions around the world already have an opt-out option – where people have to actually opt out of donating their organs. In countries that have this option, over 90% of people donate their organs. Where opt-in options exist, not nearly as many donate.
Organ donation though can happen from living donors – blood, liver, kidney, bone marrow.
In 2003, my husband needed a new kidney. He had been on dialysis for a year and a half and though it kept him alive, it was not a quality life. We had married in 2002 and I saw what he went through. I offered to donate a kidney and I proved to be a match.
Sixteen years later my husband’s kidney is still working well. He receives follow up and is watched carefully. He must take anti-rejection drugs for life but his quality of life is so much better.
Organ donation saves lives, improves lives.
Be sure your family knows you consent to be an organ donor.