ELLIOT LAKE – Around the world and throughout history, Canadians are known to step up to the plate when called upon. Just say Vimy or Dieppe in Europe and see what the response is. More recently and closer to home just say the names Fort McMurray or Humboldt and you have two more good examples of our national pride and strength. Even today Canadians can make a selfless contribution by making a simple but lifesaving commitment right here at home, taking less than 2 minutes out of a single day.
Here in Canada there are approximately 4,400 Canadians who are waiting, hoping for a lifesaving organ or tissue transplant. “When people are recognized for saving a life, we automatically conjure up images flashy, young, super-heroes,” said Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha. “But in truth, by becoming an organ donor, no one is too young or old to become a superhero to someone and their entire family.”
In 1997 a two-and-a-half year old toddler by the name of Stewart Herriott died as a result of a tragic car accident. Though totally devastated, his parents were determined to make his young life count for something truly noble. Because of their decision to donate Stewart’s organs, four others were able to live. As a result of the Herriott family’s decision, through an act of Parliament, the third week of April was chosen to remind people of the power we have to save lives.
Recent surveys show that more than 90 percent of Canadians approve of organ and tissue donation yet, only 23 percent have indicated they have actually registered their decision to be an organ and tissue donor.
“I am always more than proud to say I’m a Northerner. The people of Algoma-Manitoulin are resilient, strong and giving because we have learned to reach out when our friends and neighbors need us. The third week of April is annually set aside to spread the news that all of us have the opportunity to be lifesavers. I encourage everyone to discuss their wishes with family and ask them to honor their decision to become a potential donor.”
Quick Facts about Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation:
One organ donor can save up to 8 lives and enhance as many as 75 lives through tissue donation.
Today, there are more than 1,600 men, women and children in Ontario waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.
Every 3 days, someone in Ontario dies a preventable death waiting for a transplant.
You are 5 times more likely to need an organ than to donate one.
It takes less than 2 minutes to register as an organ and tissue donor online.
more information or to register, visit www.blood.ca/organs-tissues.