Patients appeal to public for organ donations

Mary Giavedoni wants a new liver for Christmas. The single mother is in the end stages of liver disease and — unable to find a match among her family and friends — is hoping someone out there will help.
Two people appeal to the public in hope of finding live organ transplants. 1:53

Mary Giavedoni wants a new liver for Christmas. The single mother is in the end stages of liver disease and — unable to find a match among her family and friends — is hoping someone out there will help.

"I have a single boy at home who has no one if something were to happen to me," said Giavedoni.

"That’s why I'm here because it’s getting to be desperate for me and I'm looking for anyone who can come forward just to be tested."

Giavedoni and 29-year-old Anthony Socci, who needs a kidney transplant, both appealed to the public for help on Thursday. Both are blood type O-positive.

The Gift of Life Network, which manages organ donations in this province, says the average wait time for a heart or a liver this year was about six months. But waiting for a new kidney could be three or four years.

Socci has a rare disease that attacks his heart and kidneys. For almost every day over the last two years he has spent more than three hours connected to a dialysis machine.

"I don't think I'll make it five years doing this every day," he told CBC News. "I'm having trouble and can't do anything except what doing now which is trying to find a donor who's willing to save my life."

There are 4,000 people in Ontario waiting for an organ transplant. Some die while waiting for a donor.

Gift of Life only focuses on organ donors who've died. There is no system to track anyone who wants to be a live organ donor.  

Giavedoni and Socci hope they will find someone on their own.

From a report by the CBC's Michelle Cheung

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