BY MICHELLE CARNOVALE Waverley Leader
Organ recipient Kate Young is a fervent supporter of the DonateLife campaign. Picture: Matt Murphy N34WG207
LAST year, 931 Australians were given a second chance at life through organ donation.
They received the life-giving gifts of kidneys, lungs, livers and hearts — a final gesture from strangers whose time had ended.
However, despite 2010 being a record year for donations, almost 50 per cent of Australians still do not give consent for their loved ones’ organs to be donated after they die.
To promote the life-changing benefits of organ donation, this year’s DonateLife Week will promote Book of Life, a collection of stories from those touched by organ and tissue donation.
Oakleigh resident Kate Young is one of those people wanting to share her story of hope after she had a vital liver transplant at the age of seven.
Now 19, Ms Young said the selfless actions of strangers in offering their organs to another in need let her become “a normal kid”.
“I think I was just excited about being able to be like everyone else,” Ms Young said.
“I was able to get into sport and play outside, which I couldn’t do beforehand because I was often too sick.”
Ms Young encouraged Monash residents to talk to their families about organ donation.
“Some people can be a little bit funny about the topic but it is a very important issue,” she said.
“If we can try to increase the numbers, that’s all we can hope for.”
DonateLife Week will run from February 20-26 and encourages conversations and awareness about organ and tissue donation.
Monash residents can submit their own life-saving and life-changing stories to donatelife.gov.au for possible inclusion in the book.
“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Register to be an organ and tissue donor & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Register to be a donor in Ontario at Trillium Gift of Life Network NEW for Ontario: recycleMe.org - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today!
For other Canadian provinces click here
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save or enhance the lives of up to fifty people with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allograft">allotransplantation). One tissue donor can help by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves
Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant. Organs can save lives, corneas renew vision, and tissue may help to restore someone's ability to walk, run or move freely without pain. Life Begins with You