Organ donation awareness at Tonight's Toronto Blue Jays game

    Last year 14 year old patient was on waiting list, this year he is double
    lung recipient

    TORONTO, April 17 /CNW/ - Fourteen year old Brandon Gibson, who threw out
the first pitch at last year's Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Night with
the Toronto Blue Jays, is attending tonight's game as a double lung transplant
recipient. He is hoping to raise awareness leading up to National Organ and
Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW), which runs from April 22-29.
    "I'm so grateful to be here," said Gibson. "My new lungs mean I can come
to games and even play baseball without having to worry about anything. I want
to thank my donor family so much for giving me a chance to be a kid again. And
I want to remind people as we head into this week to raise awareness for organ
and tissue donation, that there are lots of people like me."
    Today in Ontario, 1748 patients are on the transplant waiting list. Of
those, 1086 are men, 632 are women and 30 patients are children.
    "More Ontarians need to see faces like Brandon's," said Frank Markel,
President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network. "He is the face of hope.
There are still too many people waiting for an organ transplant that will save
their life. We hope tonight's game will make people think about organ and
tissue donation, and speak to their families about their wishes. Every single
person in this ballpark and in this province has the power to save a life -
just like someone saved Brandon's - what are you waiting for?"
    Tonight's Blue Jays Game will include a Public Service Announcement by
Trillium Gift of Life Network, Green Ribbons on employees and 2 organ donation
recipients attending in the TD Canada Trust Comfort Zone.
    "Please just take a minute to tell your family what your organ donation
wishes are," said Gibson. "Your decision can make a difference. It did for me
- it saved my life."
    Every 3 days someone dies waiting for an organ transplant. One organ
donor can save up to 8 lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 others through
tissue donation.
    "This coming week, NOTDAW is about getting the information that you need
to educate yourself and your family about organ and tissue donation. Please
take the time to be aware and to make a decision. Sign your donor card and
speak to your family," said Markel.
    The Blue Jays are playing the Boston Red Sox tonight, game time is
    National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW) begins next
Monday and runs until the 29th of April.
    For more details on National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week
events, or for local waiting list numbers please go to 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, w.
(416)619-2300, c. (416) 526-0564, e.

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