Say "Yes" to Organ and Tissue Donation During National Organ and Tissue
Donation Awareness Week - April 18-25

Only 17 per cent of Ontarians with health cards are registered donors

TORONTO, April 20 /CNW/ - Municipalities, fire departments, hospitals, police and emergency medical services across Ontario are appealing to Ontarians to register their consent to become organ and tissue donors during National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, April 18-25, 2010.

Part of an initiative coordinated by the Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN), communities throughout the province are showing their support for organ and tissue donation in many ways. Some are reading public proclamations and flying flags, and others are reaching out to friends and employees to encourage the simple act of registering their consent to become a donor.

"During National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week - and throughout the rest of the year - we want to educate Ontarians about organ and tissue donation to help them make informed decisions about their wishes and those of their families," said Frank Markel, President and CEO of TGLN. "We encourage everyone to register their consent to donate and help save a life."

While donor registrations in Ontario increased by nine per cent between November 30, 2008 to December 31, 2009, and despite the majority of Ontarians indicating that they support organ and tissue donation, only 17 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 16 with health cards have registered their consent to donate. To save and enhance lives, more Ontarians need to register their consent to donate organs and tissue now.

It's easy to register consent: www.giftoflife.on.ca

Ontarians can register their consent to donate their organs and tissue by visiting www.giftoflife.on.ca, downloading a Gift of Life Consent Form and mailing it to the address on the form. They can also visit a local ServiceOntario Health Card Services office or outreach centre to register.

For those who have already signed a donor card, it is also important to register and inform family members. Registration information is stored by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and is made available to Trillium Gift of Life Network for the purpose of ensuring each individual's decision to donate is known and respected.

    
    Quick facts
    -   Today, there are approximately 1,600 people on the waiting list for
        life-saving transplants in Ontario.
    -   Only 17 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 16 with health cards
        have registered their consent, which means many in need will not
        receive their transplants in time.
    -   One organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives and enhance as
        many as 75 more.
    -   Everyone is a potential organ and tissue donor, regardless of age.
    

For more information on National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week and events in your area please visit www.giftoflife.on.ca.

About Trillium Gift of Life Network

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.

SOURCE Trillium Gift of Life Network

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

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Trillium Gift of Life Network

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