Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

It’s time to consider giving the gift of life

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Would you like to be an organ donor?

For some reason that sentence scares people. It’s something most people don’t even want to think about. For others it’s something they don’t think about — they just don’t care. Then there is the small percentage of the population that doesn’t think twice about it. They are more than willing to give their organs after death so someone else can live.

Last April, a new website was launched by Transplant Manitoba at signupforlife.ca. It’s a website where people can register their wishes to become organ donors. All you need is your Manitoba Health Card and a few minutes of your time to register. It’s an easier and much better way to make peoples wishes known. The blue card we used to sign, and some people still have, is no longer necessary. This website makes it easy to access patients wishes.

Unfortunately, the number of people who have signed up since the launch of the website is less than 7,000. Considering the number of people who call Manitoba home that is disappointing.

So many people are waiting — and in some cases dying — for life-saving organs. It is truly heart-breaking.

I realize most people don’t really understand what life is like for a person waiting for that life-saving organ and what they go through on a daily basis. But I do. I am waiting for a kidney, and have been for 15 years. Receiving one will return my life to normal and give me back the little luxuries we all take for granted.

Every day I struggle with the affects of my kidney disease and I cope with being on the machine that keeps me alive. Without a machine, I wouldn’t be here for my husband and children. I pray that my matching donor will come along soon.

The fact is that you are five to six times more likely to need an organ in your lifetime than you will be needed as a donor.

I think it’s time that everyone should think about how they would feel if someone they loved needed a life-saving organ. It could be your parent, your spouse, your child or even you. Wouldn’t you want their lives to be saved? Wouldn’t you want a second chance at life?

The Sign up For Life website’s slogan is Be a Hero and I really feel that everyone that signs up is a true hero. I cannot express how thankful I am for these amazing people giving such a great gift. After all, it is the gift of life.

Jennifer Laferriere is a community correspondent for Garden City. She can be contacted at jenniferlaferriere@hotmail.com.

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