MPPs view Ontario's first Gift of Life Donor and Recipient Quilts on display at Queen's Park



    MPPs and staff learn more about human side of organ and tissue donation
    during National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week

    QUEEN'S PARK, April 25 /CNW/ - Members of the Ontario legislature will
have a chance to view Ontario's first Gift of Life Donor and Recipient Quilts
and learn about what they can do to help raise awareness about the need for
organ and tissue donation as they attend a reception hosted by the London
Transplant Gift of Life Association (LTGOLA) and Trillium Gift of Life Network
(TGLN) tonight.
    "This is an extremely important opportunity for all MPPs to see the lives
that are affected by organ and tissue donation," said Jane Tucker, President
of the London Transplant Gift of Life Association. "These quilts are created
by loving, devoted, donor families, and by appreciative, inspiring recipients.
It is a loving tribute to everyone within the donation and gift of life
process. We are honoured to have the Quilts at Queen's Park, on exhibit during
this important week to help raise awareness and to celebrate these lives."
    The Quilts were created in 2005 and have travelled the province with
Tucker to events designed to illustrate the need for organ and tissue donation
in Ontario.
    "All Ontarians have a chance to make a difference for people who need
organ and tissue transplants," said the Honourable George Smitherman, Minister
of Health and Long-Term Care. "This evening is about awareness, which is a big
component of what the Citizen's Panel to Increase Organ Donation talked about
when it released its report last week. The need is great and all of us can
help make a difference and save lives."
    Each MPP will be given the opportunity to receive donor cards, posters
and information for their constituency offices and websites.
    "Without organ donors people like me would not have a second chance at
life," said 10 year-old Sarah Marshall from London, Ontario. "When I was 5
months, 24 days old I had a stomach, pancreas, liver and bowel transplant -
which is why I wear this green ribbon - it's the symbol for giving the gift of
life. It's really important to me that people know that they have the power to
save someone's life. Just like someone saved mine."
    Today in Ontario, 1748 patients are on the waiting list. Of those, 1086
are men, 632 are women and 30 of those patients are children.
    "I look forward to seeing the MPPs tonight," said Frank Markel, President
and CEO of TGLN. "All three parties have shown a real interest in raising
awareness about organ and tissue donation in Ontario. And it's important that
everyone knows they can make a difference - everyone can save lives. We are
grateful for this opportunity, and look forward to assisting in any way we
can."
    National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week runs from April 22-29
    For more details on National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week
events, or for local waiting list numbers please go to www.giftoflife.on.ca or
call 416.363.4001 or toll free 1-800-263-2833.

    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 further information:

For further information: Kari Cuss, Trillium Gift of Life Network, (416)
619-2300 (direct line), (416) 526-0564 (cell)


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