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How Albertans can become living organ donors

You can register online at MyHealth.Alberta.ca to be an organ donor in Alberta. Screengrab

CALGARY – A number of high profile stories from Ontario have highlighted the difference living donors can make for patients waiting for an organ transplant.

In Alberta, there are more than 700 patients currently waiting for an organ transplant, and sadly, not everyone will receive an organ in time.

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Most often transplants come from deceased donors, who can register their intent to donate in Alberta online, or at any Alberta registry branch. Over 120,000 Albertans have signed up since the registry was launched in April, 2014.

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It’s also possible to become a living donor for patients in need of a kidney, liver, a lung or part of a lung, part of the pancreas or part of the intestines. Most often, living donors choose to donate to a friend or family member, but sometimes people will choose to donate to someone they’ve never met.

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“This has been something new in the last few years,” said Dr. Lee Anne Tibbles, Medical Director of the Southern Alberta Transplant Program. “People have come forward out of the goodness of their hearts to give a kidney to someone in need.”

If you would like more information on how to become a living donor, you can contact one of Alberta’s transplant programs.

For living kidney donor services, call the Southern Alberta Transplant Program at 403-944-4635.

For information on living kidney, liver or lung donation, call the Northern Alberta Transplant Services Living Donor Program at 780-407-8698.

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