The Kidney Foundation of Canada applauds recent government announcement to improve organ donation

    MONTREAL, Aug. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC)
applauds the federal, provincial and territorial ministries of health for
their decision, announced yesterday, to create an integrated national system
to improve organ donation and transplantation in Canada under the expanded
mandate of the Canadian Blood Services (CBS).
    "We believe that the changes underway have the potential to greatly
benefit Canadians, particularly the growing community of kidney patients in
need of a life-saving transplant," noted Paul Shay, the Foundation's National
Executive Director. "Representatives of The Kidney Foundation were active
collaborators with the Canadian Council of Donation and Transplantation during
its five-year term; and we trust that the history of this relationship will
continue as the Council merges with CBS. We have, in fact, been invited to -
and will attend - the Canadian Blood Service's national stakeholder
consultation meeting in September 2008. It bodes well."
    The Kidney Foundation of Canada is particularly pleased that one of the
immediate priorities will be the development of national information systems
which will make it easier for living organ donors and transplant recipients to
find each other. "The prioritizing of a registry for living donor paired
exchange transplants is specifically significant to our community,'' remarked
Sean Lawson, Chair of the Foundation's National Organ Donation Committee who
successfully donated a kidney 15 years ago to his brother Matthew. Almost 75%
of the over 4,000 Canadians on the waiting list for a transplant in December
2006 were in need of a kidney.
    The Kidney Foundation not only applauds this recent government
announcement, it also recognizes the value of CDDT's past work which helped
identify barriers to living donation. "The need for living donors has never
been greater, yet people who help save the life of another incur significant
financial expenses during the assessment phase and following organ donation,"
observed Beryl Ferguson, National Program Director for the Foundation. In
2006, a pilot program was initiated in BC, jointly launched by the BC Branch
of the Kidney Foundation and BC Transplant, to help address this issue and
reimburse donors for expenses related to their gift of life such as travel,
accommodation and loss of income. In 2008, both Ontario and Manitoba
implemented similar provincial programs. "It is our hope that living donor
expense programs will become available in every province with a view to
ensuring equity and uniformity of benefits across the country," said Ferguson.

    For more information on organ donation or on the living organ donor
expense reimbursement programs available, visit The Kidney Foundation of
Canada's website at

    The Kidney Foundation of Canada is the national volunteer organization
    committed to reducing the burden of kidney disease through funding and
    stimulating innovative research; providing education and support;
    promoting access to high quality healthcare, and increasing public
    awareness and commitment to advancing kidney health and organ donation.

For further information:

For further information: Irene Aguzzi, Manager, National Public Affairs,
(514) 369-4806, ext. 227

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Kidney Foundation of Canada

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