Care to donate? How to become an organ donor
‘It begins with a health questionnaire, followed by a simple cheek swab. And it's that easy' - Miranda McLeod
After hearing first hand stories on Now or Never, we hope that more people will think about registering to be a donor or giving blood.
Miranda McLeod's five-year-old son Tanner is waiting for a stem cell match so he doesn't have to go for blood transfusions every three weeks. "Registering with OneMatch takes approximately ten minutes," she said.
"It begins with a health questionnaire, followed by a simple cheek swab. And it's that easy."
Tracy Payne of Vancouver was gardening when, out of the blue, she had a massive heart attack. She waited seven months before she received a heart transplant. "Your life can change in a heartbeat and mine did. I almost lost my life," she said.
"I feel honoured to be able to have a new lease on life."
When Calgary MP Len Webber introduced Bill C-316 in the House of Commons two years ago, his goal was to ask Canadians if they want to become organ donors on their tax returns. "We need to do more to find those critical matches to save more lives," he urged.
The easiest way to find information about organ and tissue registration is by using this Canada-wide tool. No matter where you are in the country, it will direct you to your provincial donation registry.
Here are some quick facts from Canadian Blood Services:
- Approximately 4,500 Canadians await a lifesaving organ transplant.
- Each year, more than 250 Canadians die waiting.
- One organ donor can save eight lives and provide tissue for up to 75 patients.
- According to public opinion polls, more than 90 percent of Canadians support organ and tissue donation but only 20 percent have registered their decision.
- You are six times more likely to need a transplant than to become an organ donor.
- Age doesn't matter: Canada's oldest organ donor was over 90.
- Donation will only be considered after every effort has been made to save your life.
- It takes two minutes to register your decision on organ donation