Thousands of Manitobans sign up to be organ donors following Humboldt tragedy
Transplant Manitoba says their online registry saw over 4,500 people sign up this week
Since the Humboldt Broncos' bus crash Transplant Manitoba says 4,587 people have signed up to be organ donors online, and they're crediting Logan Boulet for much of that response.
Just weeks before the crash the Humboldt Bronco's player signed up to be an organ donor in Saskatchewan. His family went public with their decision to honour his wish after he was taken off life support in the days after the crash.
"He made a courageous decision as a young man as soon as he turned 21, he made the decision to talk to his family about it … and then he went and actually registered that intention to donate," said Dr. Faisal Siddiqui, a physician with Transplant Manitoba.
In comparison, during the same week in March and February, there were 51 and 78 registrations respectively.
The online registry was launched in 2012 and was meant to replace the blue donor cards that Manitobans used to keep in their wallets.
Siddiqui said many Manitobans still have their donor cards, but says they should also sign up online and make their wishes known to their families, because the card may not always be available when it's needed.
"People still use them, if you had one in your wallet years ago, keep it there, but go online also," he said.
More than 4,600 Canadians are currently waiting for a transplant. In Manitoba, there are over 200 people waiting for a kidney and another 30 waiting for a heart, lung or liver transplant.
"You are six times more likely to need an organ transplant, than to actually fit the strict criteria to be an organ donor," said Siddiqui.
"If you're willing to accept one, you're probably willing to donate one as well."
'Give gift of life to others': Mother of donor
Jodie Shepit made the decision to donate her daughter Jazmyn's organs in 2014. Since hearing the news of Boulet's family doing the same she's been reminded of how important it is to help others.
She said she knew her daughters wishes beforehand and encourages others to have that conversation before a tragedy happens.
"Have it now, have it at your dinner table, be aware, so that you don't have to have it when tragedy strikes," she said.
Blood donations up across the country, but still room for Manitobans to give
Canada's blood bank has also seen a spike in donations across the country since the tragedy in Saskatchewan.
"In Manitoba specifically, we've seen a small increase in blood donation over the last week, but there is still plenty of opportunity to donate blood," he said.
Choi said next week alone there's 300 empty appointments in Winnipeg.
- A previous version of this story stated that 4,600 Manitobans are awaiting a transplant. In fact, that number reflects the number of people in need of a transplant nationwide.Apr 19, 2018 6:48 PM CT