Fifth Canadian Transplant Games - A celebration of the gift of life that
highlights the importance of donating human tissues and organs

QUÉBEC CITY, Aug. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - At the time of the fifth Canadian Transplant Games, which will take place in Québec City until August 14, Québec-Transplant and Héma-Québec would like to make the most of this event celebrating the gift of life to remind the public about the importance of indicating their intention to donate organs and human tissues.

More than 200 athletes from across Canada and the United States who are transplant recipients have, in fact, accepted the invitation of the Canadian Transplant Association to take part in this event.

"The performances of transplant athletes celebrate the benefits of transplants and provide tangible proof that donating organs means giving life. The Games provide hope for the more than 3,750 Canadians who are waiting for transplants, including over 1,200 Quebecers," stated Mr. Louis Beaulieu, CEO of Québec-Transplant.

The participants in the games also serve as living examples of the success of donating human organs and tissues, of transplants and the possibility that transplant recipients have of regaining quality of life. "The Canadian Transplant Games are an exemplary opportunity to make the public aware of the cause of organ and tissue donation. They celebrate life and demonstrate that, for those who have the opportunity to receive a transplant, everything is possible," said Dr. Francine Décary, President and Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec.

Québec-Transplant and Héma-Québec would like to remind the public about the importance of signing the consent sticker distributed when their health insurance cards are renewed. This awareness raising event is also an ideal opportunity for people to inform their loved ones about their desire to allow life to continue following death by donating organs and tissues.

To learn how to indicate your consent or to obtain the consent sticker, visit www.signezdon.ca. People can also instruct their notaries to register their wishes with the Registre des consentements au don d'organes et de tissus: www.cdnq.org.

Moreover, it is important for people to let their loved ones know they wish to donate their organs as a heritage so as to make sure this choice will be respected once the decision has been made.

About Québec-Transplant and Héma-Québec

Québec-Transplant is the official organization, mandated by the Minister of Health and Social Services, to coordinate organ donation in Québec. It is responsible for coordinating and facilitating activities pertaining to the identification of potential donors and the collection and allocation of organs so as to contribute to the ongoing improvement of the quality of the services offered to people who need organ transplants. Québec-Transplant informs the general public and health professionals about this issue. To learn more: www.quebec-transplant.qc.ca

In addition to its role as a supplier of blood products for Québec, Héma-Québec supplies human tissues for transplant, including skin for grafts, heart valves and musculo-skeletal tissues such as tendons and bones, making them available to Québec hospitals. Under a partnership agreement with Banque d'Yeux du Québec, Héma-Québec also collects eyeballs for use in cornea transplants. To learn more about donating human tissues, consult Human tissues on the Héma-Québec web site at www.hema-quebec.qc.ca.

SOURCE Héma-Québec

For further information: For further information: Brigitte Junius, Québec-Transplant, 514-349-0752; Laurent Paul Ménard, Héma-Québec, 514-832-0871

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