Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association Join Organ Donation Awareness Campaign

    Heart recipient speaks to firefighters conference in Kingston

    KINGSTON, ON, June 12 /CNW/ - Heart recipient Dale Shippam will partner
with Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) to educate the Ontario Professional
Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA) on organ and tissue donation tomorrow. The
groups will be working together on an awareness program that includes
important information on the issue and the distribution of posters featuring
Shippam to fire halls across the province.
    "We are so privileged to be working with the Ontario Professional Fire
Fighters Association on this education and awareness campaign," said Frank
Markel, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network. "Having Dale speak
to this organization illustrates what getting a transplant really means -it
makes people understand how important organ and tissue donation really is."
    The OPFFA will hear from Shippam, receive information packages and have
access to a newsletter piece being sent by the organization in the months to
    "Without my heart transplant I wouldn't be alive let alone still a fire
fighter," said Dale Shippam from Thunder Bay. "I'm honoured to share my story
with this group - I hope that it makes people see that every person has the
power to make a difference and save someone's life."
    Over 170 fire fighters and their spouses are expected at the meeting.
    "Dale addressing our delegates and family members during our convention
is a wonderful opportunity to educate more people about the importance of
organ donation," said Fred LeBlanc, President of the OPFFA. "Dale's story is
inspirational and he will bring a very real and dramatic perspective for our
members because he will relate directly to them as a fellow fire fighter. I am
excited about the partnership between the OPFFA and the TGLN and we hope the
new poster campaign will expand the number of donors across Ontario."
    Today in Ontario, 1743 patients are on the transplant waiting list. Of
those, 1085 are men, 629 are women and 29 of those patients are children.
    "Every 3 days someone who is on the organ donation waiting list dies,"
said Markel. "Sign your organ donation card and tell your family what your
organ donation wishes are. You can make a difference. The Ontario Professional
Fire Fighters Association is stepping up - now it's up to you."
    For more details about the Community Partnership Program or Trillium Gift
of Life Network please visit our website at www.giftoflife.on.ca or call
416.363.4001 or toll free 1-800-263-2833.

For further information:

For further information: Kari Cuss, Trillium Gift of Life Network, (416)
619-2300 (w), (416) 526-0564 (m), kcuss@giftoflife.on.ca

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