Commissioner Fantino & OPP join Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Campaign



    Launches poster and information campaign with retired Ontario Provincial
    Police Constable/liver recipient

    TORONTO, Dec. 10 /CNW/ - Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Commissioner,
Julian Fantino, joined retired OPP Constable and liver recipient Gary Cooper
today in a campaign to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation at
Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN). The duo unveiled a new poster designed
to hang in every OPP detachment and office in the province to get OPP
employees talking with their families about organ and tissue donation.
    "Partnerships like this are extremely important," said Frank Markel,
President and CEO of TGLN. "We need every single Ontarian to be thinking about
organ and tissue donation. I commend Commissioner Fantino and the OPP for
their help in raising awareness about organ and tissue donation."
    Today in Ontario, 1,637 patients are on the transplant waiting list.
    "Police officers have long played an important role in helping to save
and enhance lives through organ and tissue donation," said Commissioner
Fantino. "Partnering in this great campaign to promote the need to talk with
our families about organ donation is a natural extension of our support. It's
a privilege for the OPP and for me as Commissioner to help get the message
out. Letting your family know about your organ donation wishes is so
important."
    In addition to posters being distributed throughout the OPP, an article
will appear in the OPP REVIEW, a magazine distributed widely to OPP staff,
retirees, volunteers and families.
    "As a liver recipient and retired OPP Constable, with 38 years of
service, I commend Commissioner Fantino and the OPP for getting involved and
raising awareness about organ and tissue donation. Together, we can make an
incredible difference and, in turn, there can be more success stories like
mine," said Gary Cooper.
    One organ donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to
75 others through tissue donation.
    Eleanor McMahon lost her husband, OPP Sergeant Greg Stobbard, in June
2006 when he was struck by car while riding his bicycle. Sgt. Stobbard's eyes
and blood were donated.
    "When you lose a loved one - especially when the loss is sudden - there
is no better way to contribute to their legacy than to enhance the life of
another person. In this way, Greg's light is somehow not extinguished but can
illuminate the way for others," said Eleanor McMahon.
    Every three days someone on the organ donation waiting list dies.
    "It's critical to have groups like this raising awareness. It's so
important that every person in this province knows that they have the power to
save lives. I hope that we can continue to work together to get people to talk
to your family about your organ and tissue donation wishes," said Markel.

    Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the
Government of Ontario and is responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating
and supporting organ and tissue donation across Ontario and improving the
system so that more lives can be saved.
    For more details on Trillium Gift of Life Network please visit our
website at www.giftoflife.on.ca or call 416.363.4001 or toll free
1-800-263-2833.





For further information:

For further information: Carrie Hoto, Trillium Gift of Life Network,
(416) 619-2299 (direct line), (416) 735-0099 (cell)


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