The Kidney Foundation, Southern Alberta Branch, wants to remind Albertans that registering is one step in making your intent to donate your organs and tissues known. However, even with signing the back of your Alberta Health Card, your family/next-of-kin will be asked for consent in the event of your death. Therefore, it is very important to speak with your loved ones and let them know your desire to donate. It is a hard conversation to have but it will help them make an informed decision. Click here for a link to our “Let’s Talk About It” Brochure (a guide to discussing organ donation).
Why is organ donation important?
The need for organs outpaces supply. Since 1991, the waiting list for organ transplants has grown by 68%, while the donation rate has increased by a mere 6%. This means more than 4500 Canadians are on the waiting list, with 500 of those being from Alberta. Unfortunately, not everyone on the waiting list will survive long enough to receive a transplant. In 2010, a third of the people who died while waiting were waiting for a kidney.
Organ donation is important because it saves lives. And a cadaveric donor can benefit up to 80 recipients.
By doing the Kidney March you are helping raise awareness for organ donation!
Albertans are encouraged to do the most they can to raise awareness for organ donation. This goes beyond posting on Facebook – it means joining a movement. Last year, over 200 people took part in The Kidney Foundation’s annual Kidney March – a 3 day, 100 kilometer walk to raise funds and awareness for organ donation, as well as kidney disease. Walker, Justin LeRoux, a kidney patient himself, shares, “The walk is tough. I am going to try again this year but with (some of the side effects of the medication) I am not sure. Still I will try.” When asked why he pushes himself, he replies “because organ donation is important.”
To join Justin in the Kidney March in Calgary this September, Albertans can find out more information or register at www.kidneymarch.ca. By taking part in the Kidney March and sharing their wishes about organ donation, Albertans will be doing more than using Facebook to save lives, they will be doing the most they can do to save lives.