Trillium Gift of Life Network

Trillium Gift of Life Network

April 17, 2008 19:15 ET

Organ Donation Awareness at Blue Jays Game

Patient on lung waiting list hoping to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation in Ontario

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 17, 2008) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via Marketwire.

Thirteen-year-old Ian Smyth, who has Broncholitis Obliterans and has been waiting for a lung transplant for four months threw the first pitch at the Toronto Blue Jays Game on April 17, 2008 in recognition of National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW).

"I'm so excited! " said Ian. "It means a lot to me that I can help raise awareness for organ and tissue donation."

Today in Ontario, 1665 patients are on the waiting list for an organ transplant.

"NOTDAW is entirely focused on making Ontarians aware of great people like Ian " said Frank Markel, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network. "Ian is a prime example of someone on the waiting list. People like him are the reason that we are asking every Ontarian to talk to their family about their wishes. By doing this simple thing you could save a life."

"One organ donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 others through tissue donation. NOTDAW is about getting the information that you need to educate yourself and your family about organ and tissue donation. Please take the time to be aware and to make a decision. Register to be an organ and tissue donor and talk to your family," said Markel.

Today, you can register your wishes at an OHIP office when you renew your health card. If you have the red and white card or have recently renewed your card and did not register your wishes, you can go to the Trillium Gift of Life Network website (www.giftoflife.on.ca) and download an "Organ and Tissue Donor Registration" form, fill it out and mail it in to the address on the form.

NOTDAW runs from April 20-27.

"Organ donation is very close to my heart. Four of my family members have received kidney transplants. It is devastating to learn that someone you love needs a transplant. But, there is something that every one of us can do to help - talk to your family about organ donation wishes today. This could be one of the most important conversations your family will have," said David Eckstein, Blue Jays shortstop.

For more details on National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week events, or for more information on Trillium Gift of Life Network go to www.giftoflife.on.ca or call 416.363.4001 or toll free
1-800-263-2833.

Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario and is responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating and supporting organ and tissue donation across Ontario and improving the system so that more lives can be saved.

Contact Information

  • Trillium Gift of Life Network
    Carrie Hoto
    Media Relations Adviser
    (416) 619-2299 (direct line) or (416) 735-0099 (cell)