Saturday, March 18, 2006

Youth Outreach at Brock University

Surveys indicate that large numbers of students hold misconceptions about organ and tissue donation, especially with regard to religious issues. Trillium Gift of Life Network here in Ontario, Canada (TGLN) has initiated a Youth Outreach Program and made it a priority under the leadership of TGLN educator Brian Kellow. Programs are being planned for students at many universities and colleges throughout the province.

Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario was the setting for one of these sessions Thursday, March 16th. I was privileged to have an opportunity to tell my lung transplant story and to say how thankful I am for being given a "second chance" at life, thanks to the kindness of my donor and his or her family. Nancy Glover, TGLN Community Organ & Tissue Donation Coordinator gave a comprehensive overview of organ and tissue donation, which was well received by these mostly pre-med students.

I have to say that this was one of the better venues I've spoken at. About 30 students came for the late afternoon seminar and they were extremely attentive and interested in the subject. If this group is any indication of our student body in general it certainly bodes well for future efforts to spread the organ and tissue donation message.

During the social time after the meeting, most of the students remained to ask questions and chat with myself, Nancy and Brian Kellow and I can't say enough about their friendliness and politeness. I came away extremely impressed and with a good feeling about the state of our educational system.

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