Thursday, December 9, 2010


(c) 2010 Trillium Gift of Life Network
I wrote recently about the fact that I'd been asked to be photographed for the 2011 Trillium Gift of Life Network calendar. (I'm "Miss March".)  Well, here's some shameless self-promotion: they also put me on one of their posters.  The green card I'm holding contains their new slogan, which exhorts health care professionals to speak with families about end-of-life patients being screened as possible organ and tissue donors and to call TGLN to make the connection between possible organ and tissue donors and patients in urgent need of a transplant.  I've been volunteering with TGLN for six years now and I'm really passionate about organ and tissue donation.  It's the only way after our own lives are over that we can continue to make a positive physical difference here on earth.  Most of us never have the chance in our lifetimes to save a life, to be a hero.  Unless we're a firefighter, a paramedic or other health care professional, a lifeguard or a volunteer on a suicide prevention hotline, for whom heroism is daily life, our opportunity to make this kind of difference in an unknown person's life is very limited.

Ivaan was a donor.  He'd made this decision of his own accord and I admire him tremendously for it.  He always said he wasn't a courageous sort of person, but he's my hero.  He knew it would make a huge positive difference to some unknown other families.  He was right.  It did.

If you're thinking you want to make this kind of difference, there are three things you need to do:

(1) Talk to your family about it, and tell them expressly what your wishes are.  You may not be conscious at the end of your life, so they need to know.  They don't have to agree with your decision, but they need to know.

(2)  Register your consent.  You can download the form from the Trillium Gift of Life website, - - fill it out, sign it and send it in.  You can't apply online, but you can get the blank forms online.

(3) It's nice to carry a wallet card, but it's even better to go to the Health Card renewal place (ServiceOntario), tell them you want to register your consent to be a donor, and they will arrange to have your consent entered in the Ministry of Health database AND indicated on your Health Card.

And now, Poster Girl had better swivel herself around on the piano bench and get some practising done.  I'll bet my piano teacher wants to know why I appear to have turned my back on music.

If you're in a health care facility in 2011 and you see me smiling down at you from a poster, smile back.  And consider registering your consent to be a donor.  Please.  Thank you from Ivaan and from me.

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