April is Be A Donor Month

April 7, 2016   ·   0 Comments

A new flag has been raised at the Dufferin County Paramedic Station on Blind Line.  It reads “Be a Donor.”

The goal is to increase registrations online for organ and tissue donors in April which has been proclaimed “Be a Donor” month in Dufferin County.

“We’re trying to promote people having the conversation. It’s important for families and everybody to know what people’s wishes are,” says Dufferin County Paramedic Service Chief Tom Reid.

“We’ve seen so many patient stories about the gift of life that impacts positively and there are so many people that are in need.”

To date, there are 1600 people in Ontario waiting for transplants.  1 person dies every 3 days waiting for a transplant.  The “Be A Donor” campaign aims to drastically lower these statistics.

Headwaters Emergency Manager LeeAnn Daponte says the “Be A Donor” campaign is important because it emphasizes the need to have these conversations with your loved ones in advance.

“When patients are in the ER it is far too often a result of an unplanned illness or injury. Families are already stressed and have to make tough decisions. Knowing their loved ones wishes in advance can ensure they are respected in the unfortunate event their outcome will be poor.”

Mike Steele, an Orangeville resident, was very proud to be standing next to the flag pole when the “Be a Donor” flag was raised on Monday by local dignitaries, members of the Lions Club and our emergency services.

Mr. Steele says he was happy to be there with family and friends.  He received a new heart in November of 2009.

“I was one of the lucky ones,” he said.

Mr. Steele has spent some time in hospitals recovering from his transplant and for check-ups.  He has met others like him who have been given a second chance.

“I’ve seen people with second liver transplants, first kidney transplant,” he said.  “These are people with families and it’s important.

We have to keep them alive and we need more.”

Mr. Steele stresses it takes less than a minute to sign up to be a donor and that minute you spend online with your health card can save a life.

The website has all the information about registering to be an organ and tissue donor.

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