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April Marks Be a Donor Month

April celebrates organ and tissue donation and raises awareness about becoming a donor. The need for organ transplant is great. In 2014, 4500 Canadians were waiting for a life-saving or life-improving transplant. Unfortunately, 278 died because the needed organ didn’t arrive in time. Transplantable organs include kidney, liver, heart, pancreas and small bowel. In some cases, a person can receive a combination of organs, such as a kidney and pancreas or heart and lungs.

Currently in Manitoba there are about 200 people waiting for a kidney and another 20 people waiting for a heart, lung or liver transplant.

Transplant Manitoba consists of five dynamic teams dedicated to caring for individuals before and after transplant, and includes the Gift of Life, the program responsible for coordinating and supporting organ donation in the province. In 2016, Transplant Manitoba performed 57 kidney transplants. Other organ transplants are done outside of the province.

Did you know there are two types of organ donation? Living donation is when someone donates an organ (a kidney or part of a lung or liver) to a loved one. Deceased donation happens after death. One deceased organ donor can save up to eight lives. Tissues such as corneas (eyes), skin, bone and heart values can also be donated.

If you wish to be an organ and tissue donor, here are three simple things you can do:

1. Learn more about organ and tissue donation by visiting Sign Up for Life and think about what you would like to do.

2. Decide what is a good choice for you and talk to your family. It is important for them to know what you would like to do if you are ever in a situation where you could be a donor.

3. Act and take two minutes to go online. If you decide you wish to declare your intent, register by going to Sign Up for Life.

Boissevain resident Jessica Stobbe received her 2nd kidney transplant in February from her brother, Andrew Helwer.  Her first kidney was given by her mother, Aynsley Helwer in 2010.  Both her transplants were done through Transplant Manitoba.




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