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Science is amazing
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Science is amazing

Today, April 7, is Green Shirt Day, an organ-donation initiative named in honour of Logan Boulet. When the defenceman for the Humboldt Broncos hockey team succumbed to his injuries after a horrific bus crash four years ago, his parents agreed to donate his organs.

Their generosity of spirit in the time of unimaginable grief inspired a Canada-wide reaction now called the Logan Boulet Effect. About 150,000 people registered to become organ donors in the weeks following his death.

Through Green Shirt Day, hIs parents, Tony and Bernadine Boulet, continue to be tireless advocates for organ donation; my colleague Dan Lett wrote about their dedication last month.

Toby and Bernadine Boulet agreed to donate thier son Logan’s organs. (Jamin Heller / Free Press files)

It’s a sad fact that although a majority of Canadians say they are in favour of organ donation, only a fraction actually sign up to the official registry (it takes about two minutes to do so with your medical card at signupforlife.ca). Last year more than 200 people died waiting for organs; Manitoba has the unhappy distinction of having one of the country’s highest number of patients with kidney failure.

I’ll admit to being a bit of a bore when it comes to the topic of organ donation. I did a lot of research before I donated a kidney almost three years ago (you can read about it here) and I love to talk about it, because I think it’s a goddamn medical miracle that more people should participate in, whether they do so when they’re still living or after they’ve died.

Think about this: a doctor detached my left kidney, pulled it out of a small incision in my abdomen and put it into a stranger, where it immediately started making urine. That person no longer required dialysis and I was drinking beer on a patio six days later. Science is amazing.

Three years later, I have no ill effects and the scars (it’s a laparoscopic procedure) are all but invisible. It’s the best thing I will ever do with my life — and if they’re not too withered and worn-out by the time I die, you’re welcome to the rest of my parts too. (I also think we should have an opt-out system for organ donation — I wrote an editorial about it back in 2019 — but that’s a lecture for another time).

I promise I’ll be back to writing about arts and entertainment next week, but in the meantime, if you have any questions about the organ donation process, feel free to ask me at jill.wilson@winnipegfreepress.com. And sign up today!

Jill Wilson

Jill Wilson

Jill Wilson

What’s up this week

• The Winnipeg Baroque Festival is a collaboration among three local choral groups: Canzona, Polycoro and Dead of Winter. The fest sees each choir performing individual shows and then teaming up for a three-choir finale of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion, accompanied by Vancouver’s Pacific Baroque Orchestra, on April 15. This week sees Canzona doing the music of England on Friday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m.; Polycoro performing Italian early music on Saturday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m.; and Dead of Winter taking on German baroque compositions on Sunday, April 10, at 3 p.m. All concerts are at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church; tickets are at deadofwinter.ca.

• He’s not 18 anymore: Alice Cooper has been making music for more than 50 years and the shock rocker, 74, isn’t slowing down. The School’s Out singer brings his latest tour to the concert bowl at Canada Life Centre on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $50 to $137 at Ticketmaster.

Alice Cooper is bringing his latest tour to Winnipeg. (Eduardo Verdugo / Associated Press files)

 

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• Winnipeg photographer Colin Corneau’s exhibition Faith & Rituals opens today at the Gas Station Theatre, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Corneau spent the past four years photographing ceremonies and moments of reflection and joy in different faith communities. The show runs through May 2022 as part of the Flash Photography Festival. Admission is free and open during theatre hours (ring bell for admission).

• I’ll be hosting a virtual Q&A — in collaboration with McNally Robinson Booksellers and the Winnipeg Folk Festival — with Martha Wainwright on Monday, April 11, at 7 p.m. The celebrated singer-songwriter has just released her memoir, Stories I Might Regret Telling You, and she’ll be playing a few songs in addition to taking audience questions. Sign up online. (In other not-so-good Wainwright news, Martha’s brother Rufus’s Centennial Concert Hall show, slated for April 15, has been cancelled.)

 

Recommended:

TV: I’m only two episodes in, but so far I’m hooked on Dopesick, the Disney Plus miniseries about the opioid crisis, specifically the rise of OxyContin and the swath of death and destruction it left in its wake. It’s an eye-opening look at the way Perdue Pharma’s Sackler family hoodwinked the FDA into giving the drug a “less addictive” label and family doctors into prescribing it at ever-increasing dosages. Michael Keaton is lovely as a caring doc who just wants to help his patients in a Virginia mining county with their pain.

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North Graffiti marks eight years together with debut album Modern Relics

Reviews of this week’s CD releases

A tenor forged in a metal fire

Joni Mitchell, the Weeknd pick up Grammys

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Film fest really ties the rooms together

'Canada's Drag Race' rules reality CSA categories

What to stream in April: 'The Baby,' 'Slow Horses'

Baichwal film to open Hot Docs festival

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Singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright recalls rifts with parents, exes and more in new memoir

From postal systems to chat rooms and beyond, how we talk can shape how we change the world

Synthetic biology’s past, present and future explored in timely new account

Five political books shortlisted for $25K prize

Stachniak’s historical fiction mulls motherhood, betrayal, exploitation and more

Determining destiny pondered on ice

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