National Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness Week

The organization I work for has a twice per week e-newsletter to keep people informed about the goings on of the organization, including important events and suchlike. When I opened this Thursday’s e-newsletter, there was a familiar face right at the top:

Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness Week

You may recognize that beautiful redhead as Eva Markvoort, the woman featured in the documentary 65_redroses (which I blogged about recently) and as the woman featured on the poster for the Longest Game for Cystic Fibrosis:

Eva’s likeness, in this case, is part of the promotion of National Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness Week (April 18-24). So, in the spirit of promoting awareness, here are a few facts about organ donation (take from the BC Transplant website):

  • There is a chronic shortage of hearts, lungs, kidneys and livers for transplant in BC as the need far outweighs the number of organs available for transplant. There are more than 300 British Columbians currently awaiting organ transplants and hundreds more awaiting corneal transplants.
  • Some organs that could be available for transplant are lost because the decision of the loved one is not known by their family.
  • Many of those waiting for a solid organ transplant die while waiting for a suitable transplant.
  • Survival rates of transplant patients continue to improve, providing recipients with an extended and high quality of life.
  • Transplants are cost-effective. For those with kidney disease, the average cost of dialysis treatment is $50,000 a year. By comparison, the one-time cost of a kidney transplant in BC is approximately $20,000, with an additional yearly cost of about $6,000 for anti-rejection medications.
  • Since 1968, when the first kidney transplant was performed in BC, more than 4,700 transplants have been performed in BC.
  • 1999 was the first year where more living donor kidney transplants were performed than deceased donor kidney transplants.

You can register as an organ donor at transplant.bc.ca and you can like them on Facebook .