Parry Sound fourth for organ donation
By Stephannie Johnson
May 16, 2012
PARRY SOUND - Parry Sound places fourth in all of Ontario as having the most registered donors - of the 11,407 health card holders, 5,478 of those (or 48 per cent) are registered donors.
An impressive number, said Trillium Gift of Life Network president and CEO Ronnie Gavsie.
“We actually find that smaller communities that are very cohesive, where people tend to know each other, have higher registration rates, than the larger, more diverse cities,” said Gavsie. “That’s not only true in Ontario, but we see that internationally. We think it’s easier to share stories and common values in a smaller community. Your numbers are very high and your community deserves to be very proud.”
The Gift of Life Network recently launched a new campaign, the Gift of 8 Movement, because one organ donor can save as many as eight lives.
“Registration saves lives, it’s as simple as that,” she said.
Gavsie said people should register their consent as donors and tell their families of the decision.
“In every case a family is asked for consent, in the majority of cases, when the family knows that their loved one registered consent, they will consent to go ahead,” she said. “In only 50 per cent of cases will the family consent if their loved one has not registered. It’s very important. It saves lives. Also, at that awful time of grief, you soften their grief in advance by making this decision and telling them what it is. So they aren’t faced with trying to think it through.”
Parry Sound Mayor Jamie McGarvey registered online on April 26 and challenged everyone to do the same at the Parry Sound District Municipal Meeting on April 27.
“I believe that the importance in this is that if you have reached the end of your life, from whatever means, and you are able to provide some healthy organs to someone who is need, then you have made a great gesture to help someone else and their loved ones,” said McGarvey. “Life goes on and with good intentions we show that we care about others.”
Gavsie also stressed that those who have filled out registered donor cards may not actually be on the donor-registered list.
“The registered donor card will not be sent away any longer,” said Gavsie. “The reason is, this is a time-sensitive process. Realistically, it may be your donor card wouldn’t be found in time. We are putting a call out to all who have signed the donor card, to know that they must go to beadonor.ca and actually register in the database. All they need is their health card. It takes two minutes to register.”
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To register to become an organ donor, visit www.beadonor.ca
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