April 24 to 30 is organ donor and tissue awareness week across B.C. - Image Credit: Contributed

April 24 to 30 is organ donor and tissue awareness week across B.C. - Image Credit: Contributed

Organ donation: Thank-you Kelowna

We dedicate April to sharing stories and raising awareness about benefits of organ donation

To the editor:

On behalf of B.C. Transplant and the Okanagan Pre and Post Organ Transplant Support Group, we want to thank the residents of Kelowna for increasing the numbers of Registered Organ Donors by more than 7,684 in 2016.

I am a liver transplant recipient (2013) and now volunteer with B.C. Transplant to increase organ donor awareness in the Kelowna area. With our efforts, and B.C. Transplant partnerships with Service BC and ICBC, the number of organ donors registered in Kelowna went from 37,033 at the end of 2015 to 44,717 at the end of 2016.

Thank-you Kelowna. My thanks also to London Drugs – Kelowna who are great supporters of our efforts where we have a desk set up every third Thursday of the month to remind people to register their decision about organ donation.

But our work is never done. At the beginning of April, there were more than 639 people still waiting for an organ transplant in our province. Some of these 639 patients live in the Kelowna area.

April is Be a Donor month in Canada. We dedicate the month of April to sharing stories and raising awareness about the benefits of organ donation and the life-saving impact of transplantation. This year, B.C. Transplant will have a 48-hour registration blitz, to kick of National Organ and Tissue Awareness Week (April 24 to 30). The blitz will begin on Monday, April 24 and the goal is to reach 4,800 registrations for organ donation in 48 hours. Register your decision anytime at the B.C. Transplant website at www.transplant.bc.ca.

Give the Gift of Life and leave a legacy for those who follow.

Marilyn Byfield, Coordinator, Okanagan Pre and Post Organ Transplant Support Group