It’s national organ and tissue donation week and Global News is working alongside LiveOn.ca to encourage 48,000 people to register as donors within 48 hours. The clock has started and across the country Canadians of all ages are signing up.
READ MORE: #48in48: Tell us your stories
On Friday we asked to hear from readers whose lives have been touched by organ donation. You reached out to us with an overwhelming number of emotional personal recollections and shared with us how you or a loved one have been affected. Here are some of the stories you shared:
Note: Some stories may be edited for length, grammar or clarity.
“I just lost my Dad on Friday evening. We told organ donation to take what they could. They harvested his bones & tendons, skin & eyes. My Dad is going to be able to help over 50 people. Even tho the past week has been the worst, with every negative there is a positive. Or in this case, over 50 positives” –Amy Bowie
“I was diagnosed with a rare liver disease (PSC) when I was 9 years old and needed a transplant by the age of 23. Once my 20s hit my health declined quickly and could barely get out bed for 2 years. There was a lot of pain involved and my other organs started to shut down by the end. I was air ambulanced to Edmonton on July 1st and a liver became available Nov. 19th 2008. It was the best day of my life and couldn’t have gone through everything I did if it wasn’t for my family and my donor who gave me a second chance at life. Organ donation is so important and 6 years later I am doing awesome and lucky to have the life I have!!” –Krystal Graham
“My son passed away 19 years ago and we opted to do organ donation. Six people, including a heart recipient, received organs because of that decision. Knowing others were helped brought comfort to me at a time when little could.” –Marge Smith
“As one of Alberta’s first non-genetically related donors please allow me to congratulate Global on their sponsorship of this program. Twenty years ago there was no national registry for organ donors. Today the paired exchange program has seen over 30 people benefit from the wonders of modern medicine. Thanks to Global’s efforts in BC last year 4 different people received their gift of life and recently celebrated their 1st year kidney anniversary!” –Brian
“My Dad was born with Cystic Fibrosis. A few years ago he got an infection that he just couldn’t get rid of and continued to get worse. In December of 2013 he was listed on the transplant list for a double lung transplant. January 5 2014 we got the call that there were lungs for him. He went into surgery that day. The surgery was successful but there were complications and he ended up in a coma. Once waking up he faced many issues such as learning to walk again, and really bad stomache issues. Now over a year later is doing amazing in his recovery and plans to walk a marathon this summer in memory of his donor…He’s my hero” –Jessica
“I donated a kidney to my older brother. Proudest day of my life! 10 years later he leads a normal healthy life…he has a beautiful wife and was able to add two little boys into our family through adoption… the gift of life!” –Carla
“My brother and I suffer from a rare kidney disorder known as Alport Syndrome. It usually leads to complete kidney failure in men and did so with both of us. My brother had to undergo hemodialysis treatments for 11 years as a result of Alport’s. He had an unsuccessful kidney transplant in January 2010 from a deceased donor and another (successful!) transplant from a deceased donor in 2014 (June 21) after being declared virtually impossible to tissue match. I had a successful transplant on March 29, 2010 from my older sister who came forward as a living donor. We all live and support each other on Salt Spring Island.” –Michael Levy
To register to become an organ donor or verify your registration, go to LiveOn.ca.
Be sure to use the hashtag #48in48 on social media to spread the message.