Two months ago I wouldn’t have given this issue a second thought.
Most of us are (relatively) healthy. We can go about our daily lives, choose to workout (hit and kick stuff, oh yeah!). We can walk, run, bike….the list is endless. My family was very ‘normal’ until a couple of months ago when doctors told us that my dad needs a heart transplant (what?!). There’s just no way to prepare to hear that sort of news.
Next week is the National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness week. Did you know that one donor can save up to 8 lives and benefit more than 75 people¹? In 2016, over 4500 people were waiting for organ transplants and over 2800 organs were transplanted. Although that is a LOT of individuals who were given a second chance at life, unfortunately 260 people died while waiting for a transplant².
In the wake of one of the most devastating bus crashes with the Humboldt Broncos hockey team, one young athlete who signed his donors’ card will be remembered as a hero. Logan Boulet, age 21, gave 6 families the gift of life when he was taken off of life support. If there is a way that something constructive can come of this enormous tragedy, I hope that it will inspire more people to be a registered organ donor. Currently only 20% of Canadians are registered donors, and I think we can help increase those numbers³.
So how do you become an organ donor?
It’s a very easy process – register online here: https://organtissuedonation.ca/en
Make sure to talk to your family and let them understand your wishes! You can choose what items to donate, and also where to donate them to (transplant, research, and medical education).
For my family the road to transplant and recovery has just barely begun. My dad is now a VAD patient (if you are a Grey’s Anatomy fan you might remember a very dramatic episode where the drive line was compromised).
My dad’s story is a long one, but the bottom line is please go sign your donors card! ♥