Trillium Gift of Life Network honours Father's Day

    Reminds Ontarians to sign donor cards and speak to families as 1085 men
    on waiting list

    TORONTO, June 13 /CNW/ - Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) is
honouring Father's Day by reminding families that this occasion is an
opportune time to sign their donor cards and speak to their families about
their wishes.
    "As you are heading out for a game of catch with your dad, wrapping up a
gift or driving home to family, please take a moment to think about another
kind of gift, the gift of life," said Frank Markel, President and CEO of TGLN.
"Right now in Ontario there are 1085 men on the organ donation waiting list.
Every one of these men could be a friend, an uncle, or even a father or
grandfather, and every one of these men continues to wait for the gift that
will save his life."
    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.
    "Before my surgery the thought of ever being a father was unthinkable.
Today, because of my heart transplant, I am celebrating my first Father's
Day," said 33 year-old Eddie Sabat from Woodbridge, Ontario. "My daughter was
born just a few days ago - she is amazing. Without my transplant my wife and I
would never have known the joy of having children and I am so thankful. I want
to remind people, on this special day, that there are lots of dad's like me
out there - please, take a moment, sign your donor card and speak to your
family today - I'm living proof that you can save lives."
    Everyone is a potential organ and tissue donor. The oldest Canadian organ
donor to date was over 90 years of age while the oldest tissue donor was 102.
Ultimately the ability to become an organ and tissue donor depends on several
factors including the health of the organs and tissue at the time of death.
    Even if you have signed a donor card or are registered as a donor,
doctors will still ask your family before recovering organs or tissue.
    "You can express your wishes to become an organ and tissue donor by
signing a donor card and talking to your loved ones," said Markel. "It's
critical to share your decision with your family, as they will be asked for
final consent to donate your organs after your death. Discuss your intentions
with them this Father's Day and give them a copy of your signed donor card so
they can understand, support and respect your wishes in the future."

    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. Sign your donor card. Talk to your
family about your wishes.
    For more details on Trillium Gift of Life Network please visit our
website at or call 416.363.4001 or toll free

    Quotes from other fathers across the province:


    "This Father's Day I want to thank my own Dad for all his help while I
was waiting for my kidney transplant," said 37 year-old Michel Babin from
Sudbury. "Getting a kidney changed my life, and the lives of all my family. We
are all so grateful. This Father's Day I want to remind people to talk to
their families about organ donation and to sign their donor cards. You can see
from myself and my family that you can make an incredible difference. Someone
saved my life. You can save someone's else's."

    Thunder Bay

    "Dialysis restricts me and my family from doing many things like taking
vacation and visiting," said Rick Prestige from Thunder Bay. "Being on
dialysis 3 times a week for 4.5 hours per visit is very restricting for
everyday things that people take for granted. After being on dialysis I do not
always feel well therefore I cannot do many things that I would like to do.
There are so many of us waiting for transplants that I would like to say that
if everyone signed their donor cards and made their family and friends aware
of their wishes, many people would indeed receive the Gift of Life. Please
remember to sign your donor card and don't forget to tell your friends and
family about your wishes this Father's Day."


    "I often say to my son and daughter that the darkest day I have today is
better than any day before my kidney transplant," said Earle McCormick of
Waterloo. "This Father's Day my kids have a dad who can actively participate
in everything they do. I go to their soccer games. I go to their rugby games.
The transplant saved my life and it's so important that every person signs
their donor card and speaks to their family about their organ donation wishes.
People need to know that they have the ability to save real lives."


    "I probably would have never become a father if I hadn't been given a
second chance at life," said Dennis Segatto a kidney transplant recipient from
Windsor. "I married my wife Niva 4 years after my transplant and our daughter
Bianca was born 2 years after that. My daughter has just completed her degree
in Honours Psychology with Thesis from the University of Windsor and I am
proud to be here and able to attend her graduation. Sign your donor card and
tell your family about your wishes today - you can save a life, just as
someone saved mine."


    "My wife gave birth to twins just days after my heart and lung
transplant," said James Luff from Ottawa. "I can't imagine what my family's
life would be like had I not received that gift of life. I'm just so grateful
and happy to be around to see all of my children grow up. But there are so
many other people still waiting. Please - sign your donor card and speak to
your family about your organ donation wishes today. You can save a father's
life. A life like mine."

For further information:

For further information: Kari Cuss, Public Affairs and Communications,
Trillium Gift of Life Network, (416) 619-2300 (direct line)

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