April 26, 2022 | Ottawa, ON | Health Canada
This week is National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week—a week to raise awareness about the critical need for more donors across the country. It is also a time to celebrate the lives of those who have received lifesaving transplants, and recognize those who have donated to save others, such as Humboldt Broncos player Logan Boulet, whose parents honoured his wishes to become an organ donor, by donating his organs following the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash in April 2018. Logan’s decision saved six lives.
Green Shirt Day, which is now celebrated annually on April 7th, honors, and recognizes all the victims and families of that fatal crash and asks Canadians to follow in Logan’s footsteps by becoming organ and tissue donors.
While Green Shirt Day and Logan’s donation sparked a rise in organ and tissue donations known as the Logan Effect, in 2020, over 4,400 Canadians were waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and many more waited for tissue transplants. Of that number, 276 Canadians died while on the wait list. Despite significant progress, we are still unable to meet the needs of all patients waiting for an organ and there remains an urgent need for more organ donors in Canada.
Together, with provinces and territories, Canadian Blood Services, patients, families, clinicians, and researchers – Health Canada is working to improve the organ donation and transplantation system through the Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative (the Collaborative).
To achieve this common objective, the Collaborative is developing recommendations and concrete actions that contribute to transformative changes in the organ donation and transplantation system. Health Canada is also providing funding for initiatives like the Pan-Canadian Organ Donation and Transplantation (ODT) Data and Performance Reporting System Project to support improvements in ODT access, care, and outcomes for Canadians. This will result in better patient outcomes and an increase in the number and quality of successful transplantations across the country.
We know that organ donation is a deeply personal decision. If you want to donate your organs, it is important to discuss this decision with your family and loved ones to ensure your wishes are known. We also know that waiting for, or living with, a lifesaving organ transplant can cause anxiety, depression and guilt. If you or someone you know needs support, the Wellness Together Canada portal is available 24/7 and offers free online mental health and substance use services, including confidential counselling sessions.
Today, and every day this week, we encourage you to think about making the choice to become a living donor and make a difference in the life of someone. When you give an organ, you give so much more – you give hope and the most precious gift of more time. Register as an organ donor today.
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, P.C., M.P.
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health