Living Green Ribbon formed in Toronto

Mayor David Miller proclaims April 18 - 25 organ and tissue donation awareness week for the City of Toronto

TORONTO, April 21 /CNW/ - Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN), The Kidney Foundation of Canada and The Canadian Liver Foundation, working in partnership with local volunteer groups formed a Living Green Ribbon today in recognition of National Organ and Tissue Awareness Week (NOTDAW) in Ontario.

"The Living Green Ribbon event is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation in places like Toronto," said Frank Markel, President and CEO of the TGLN. "Events like this one today celebrate the generosity of donors and their families, the lives of recipients who have been given a second chance at life and the efforts of volunteers."

Participants wearing green ponchos or carrying "YES" placards joined together and formed the Living Green Ribbon at Yonge-Dundas Square at noon today. Living Green Ribbon events are taking place throughout Ontario during NOTDAW.

"I, Mayor David Miller, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 18 - 25, 2010 as "Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week" and encourage everyone who is of legal age to consent to donate at the organization's website at giftoflife.on.ca," said Miller.

Alex Pangman, jazz singer, is a living testament that transplantation works. In November 2008 Pangman received a double lung transplant giving her back the ability to sing.

"After my lung transplant I was literally blown away because I could sing with my full voice for the first time in years," says Pangman, who performed with her band Alex Pangman & Her Alleycats, at the Living Green Ribbon. "What better way to demonstrate that transplant works than by singing with these precious new lungs for which I am forever grateful."

2009 was a record-breaking year, resulting in almost 700 lives saved, and this upward trend in organ and tissue donation has continued in 2010. However, there is still much more work to be done. As of December 31, 2009 only 10 per cent of Torontonians 16 or older with a health card had registered their consent to be donors.

"One of the most passionate topics for Kidney Foundation of Canada volunteers is organ and tissue donation," said Jim O'Brien, Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Ontario Branch. "Living Green Ribbons, which were established by the Foundation's Ottawa-area Chapter in 2002, are a tremendous opportunity for our volunteers to raise awareness and get people talking about their wishes when it comes to organ donation."

"A positive increase in the number of those registering as donors - and in the number of transplants in recent years - is encouraging, but we must collectively continue to make as much noise as possible about organ and tissue donation," said O'Brien. "We are enthusiastic partners with Trillium Gift of Life Network and the Liver Foundation for this year's Living Green Ribbon activities. By working with all our community and non-profit partners, we can make a difference in the lives of those waiting for a life-changing transplant; collectively, our voices will make a difference."

If you want to find out about more events that are taking place this week, please visit our website at www.giftoflife.on.ca.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Trillium Gift of Life Network

For further information: For further information: Carrie Hoto, Communications Advisor, Trillium Gift of Life Network, (w) (416) 619-2299, (c) (416) 735-0099, choto@giftoflife.on.ca; Kristina Rikunova, Account Coordinator, Argyle Communications, (w) (416) 968-7311 ext. 243, krikunova@argylecommunications.com


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