Media Advisory - First-ever Kidney Transplant Summit Addresses Controversial Ideas That Affect All British Columbians

VANCOUVER, April 28, 2015 /CNW/ -

When and WhereFriday May 1, Vancouver Convention Centre – West Wing Room 211- 214

What:  There is an urgent need for more kidney transplants in BC.  Right now there are over 3,000 British Columbians on dialysis, and 50% of them will die before they get a kidney transplant.  95% of British Columbians say they support organ donation but only 19% have actually registered on BC's organ donor registry.  We must take action now and give hope to kidney patients who need a life-saving transplant. 

How:  The Kidney Foundation of Canada has committed to increase kidney transplants by 50% over the next 5 years.  We are hosting a first-ever Kidney Transplant Summit to help change the future of kidney transplantation and organ donor registration in BC. A few highlights from the agenda:  

11:30 am -12:45 pm  Kidney Patients Speak – Kidney patients are why we are here. They will share their powerful and compelling stories and speak on why this Summit is critically important to them.  Anticipate a passionate and emotional conversation, very strong for television. 

1:00 pm - 4:30 pm  Experts DebateLeading expert speakers will lay out the evidence that supports as well as argues against key controversial issues like: Should British Columbians automatically be considered organ donors when they die, or not?  Should people be paid to be organ donors?  Kidney patients will also reflect/provide context for how these issues affect their lives.  A highly qualified Jury will deliberate and try to reach consensus on the questions. We will release the Jury's findings to the media.  

Who:  Upwards of 350 kidney patients are traveling from all parts of the province along with family members, caregivers, government policy makers, health care professionals and experts to participate in the Summit.  The Hon. Amrik Virk, BC Minister for Technology, Innovation & Citizens' Services, will join us and help provide context for the day. The Hon. Wally Oppal, QC, will chair the Jury.    

Opportunity for Interviews with: 

  • Kidney patients in desperate need of a kidney – like Logyn, the 4 year old who urgently needs a kidney transplant, and his mom.  These patients and their families can help shed light on what this Summit means to them. 

     
  • Kidney patients who have had a transplant and how it changed their lives, and people who have donated a kidney to save someone's life.    

  • Expert speakers including Dr. David Landsberg, Medical Director, Kidney Transplantation for BC Transplant will be available to speak to the current state of kidney disease in BC.  Others like Joel Solomon, kidney transplant recipient, can share their views on the controversial topic of presumed consent.

  • Members of the Jury including the Chair, the Hon. Wally Oppal QC.

Note: We would be happy to arrange interviews with kidney patients, expert speakers and members of the Jury both before the event, on the day of or after the event.

SOURCE The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC & Yukon

For further information: Contacts at The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC & Yukon Branch: Deborah Tucker, Cell: 604-837-4317, Ph: 604-736-9775 ext 230, deboraht@kidney.bc.ca; Naomi Low, Cell: 778-984-2376, Ph: 604-736-9775, naomil@kidney.bc.ca

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The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC & Yukon

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