Be a Donor

If you live in Ontario, recently you may have seen a commercial advertising a website, www.beadonor.ca. This website allows Ontario residents to register to be an organ donor online. The commercial may look sad, and a lot of the stuff that goes along with organ donation is. However, this new system is the opposite of sad. Sure, we still need many more improvements to the organ donation system, but this is a great step forward. For one, I’m glad anything having to do with organ donation is on television at all.

There’s a reason why I’m so passionate this issue. Almost exactly 13 years ago, my father received an organ transplant. In the months before the transplant, he went from being my energetic Dad to a frail figure in liver failure. I was 8-years-old, and I couldn’t understand why my formerly energetic Dad now didn’t have enough energy to fly a kite with me on a windy day.

For months before he went on the waiting list for a transplant, doctors simply couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. He was heading full speed for end stage liver failure, for an unknown reason. Finally, they diagnosed him with Alpha 1 Anti-Trypsan Deficiency. That wait was over, but then a new wait began.

This wait, though, was different. All I knew was that the key to my Dad’s health was in every person. I also knew that people were dying every day, taking the one thing that could save him with them, six feet under the ground. I was angry and I couldn’t understand why people wouldn’t do something as simple as sign their donor cards, an act that could save my Dad and the other people like him.

I’m not as angry anymore, but I still don’t understand. Signing your donor card can save several lives. Getting a donor card or declaring yourself a donor was never hard, but now it’s even easier.

At www.beadonor.ca, you will be asked to enter your health card number and your date of birth. It’s that simple, and it takes less than 5 minutes. A few minutes, and you get a chance to save a life and change the lives of countless others. Just remember to talk to your family. In Ontario, families have the ultimate power when it comes to whether you will become a donor or not when you pass away.

I’ll be forever thankful for the person who donated their liver to my Dad. I’ve got 13 years and counting more years with my Dad than I would have, and because of that he has seen me grow up. I owe everything I am and everything I have to that person and their family. They changed my life, and you could do the same for someone else. Please please please be a donor.

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