Canada is the worst in the world for organ donors per capita, says the organizer of an effort to “fix the travesty.”
“There are more than 4,000 people on the waiting lists for organ and tissue donations in Canada, and it’s crazy because it’s something we can change,” said George Marcello, founder of the Step-by-Step Organ Transplant Association.
Last year, 147 Canadians died while waiting for organs, said Marcello, who suspects our low donor rate is not because Canadians don’t care, it’s that we aren’t aware of the problem.
“The single most important thing you can do is talk to your family,” he said.
Marcello was in Edmonton yesterday to join a group of local students who braved the freezing temperatures to carry the “Torch of Life” through the city to shed light on the need for more organ donors. The event is part of an eight month Canadian relay.
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach lit the torch on the legislature steps, and 12 students passed the torch among each other as they ran in a pack through downtown to the Victoria School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
Grade 11 student and torch bearer Victoria Brochu, 16, said running in the relay spurred her to tell her parents that she wants to donate her organs and tissues should anything happen to her.
“That’s just fantastic,” said Marcello, when informed of Brochu’s decision. “That’s exactly why we do this...”
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