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Getting the message out in any and all ways

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I feel so lucky to be able to write an article in The Times every month. I get the opportunity to inform everyone about organ donation and share my experiences as a dialysis patient. And it’s nice to know that people are actually reading it.

I received an email from Kim Babij, a reporter from Shaw TV, telling me that she was interested in talking to me after seeing my article in the paper.

Of course, I was extremely excited to do a television interview. I’m not totally comfortable in front of the camera, but, I will take every opportunity to tell my story — every chance to promote the Sign Up for Life website.

Kim and her cameraman came out to our house. My daughter Karlie stayed home from school that day to help me and to be part of the interview. After we were both interviewed, I hooked up to my dialysis machine so I could be interviewed while doing a treatment.

Hearing my story is one thing, but it definitely gives more of an impact seeing me connected to the machine that keeps me alive. (It was Kim’s request to interview me while dialyzing).
The interview was over and they were just about to leave when Rick, my fiance, came home. I love when my family gets to be a part of what I am doing since they are such a huge part of my life. They have been through it all with me.

The only one missing was our daughter Kristie. She was stuck at work.

Kim was really great. She made us feel totally comfortable. I try to just ignore the camera and focus on why I am doing this. This is all to show people the importance of organ donation.
The interview aired the next day on Go Winnipeg. It turned out really well. Go Winnipeg did an amazing job promoting the Sign Up website. They reminded everyone to go to the website and register and to forget about the old blue cards (which are still available at insurance outlets).

I’ve also had quite a few people tell me that they read my articles. I had one man email me telling me how his daughter gave a kidney to her brother and that they are both doing great.
What an amazing thing to do — giving up a kidney to save your own brother’s life. A person who does that is definitely a loving, caring person. I was really happy to hear from this man and that he took time to read my article and share his story with me.

I would really like to hear from more readers.

Since people are reading my articles, I really hope that I am influencing people to go to signupforlife.ca and become an organ donor.

If you would like to see my video on Shaw please visit the WinnipegShawTV YouTube channel and watch Sign Up For Life.

Thank you to The Times for letting me do this and thank you to everyone who is an organ donor. You really are heroes.

Jennifer Laferriere is a community correspondent for Garden City.

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