The Record, New Westminster, B.C.
It seems like only last week that MLA Chuck Puchmayr was diagnosed with liver cancer and was waiting for a potential transplant.
In fact, it was only last week. Puchmayr is now getting to know his new, or rather used, new liver after receiving it on Saturday.
We wish him a full and quick recovery.
He will be one of the first in this rather fresh new year to receive a much-appreciated transplant organ.
Last year, a record 266 transplants were performed in British Columbia, the third consecutive record-setting year. A record 47 liver transplants were also performed.
Over the past four decades, more than 4,500 British Columbians have received a life-saving organ transplant.
Part of the success of the program is that there was a 42 per cent increase in the number of donors last year over 2007. This is great news. There are a lot of people whose lives depend on finding a kidney, lung or liver. And the need, of course, never goes away.
Part of the success of the organ transplant program in B.C. is probably due to a relatively new and innovative online legal organ donor consent system incorporating digital signature technology.
B.C. was the first in Canada to offer this. What it means is that British Columbians can register their decision on B.C.'s Organ Donor Registry using a customized donor registration form. It's a legal and paperless online alternative to mailing in forms.
However, as easy as it is, while 85 per cent of British Columbians surveyed said that they support organ donation and intend to register their decision, only about 16 per cent, at last count, have done so.
Come on, if you've made a resolution to help someone this year, this is the easiest and possibly most crucial decision you can make. You could save a life.
To register, visit http://www.transplant.bc.ca or telephone 1-800-663-6189.
“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves