Province wants people to give them their hearts

by Morinville News Staff

The Government of Alberta chose Valentine’s Day to remind Albertans of the importance of becoming an organ donor.

The NDP government says provincial donor rates have increased substantially over the past three years with more than 330,000 Albertans already registered with the Alberta Organ and Tissue Donation Registry.

Despite the increase in donors, there are currently 600 Albertans of all ages waiting for an organ transplant in Alberta. Thousands more are waiting for tissue transplants.

To encourage Albertan’s to sign up, the government shared the story of Darren and Michelle Reynes. Darren received a kidney from Michelle in a living donor transplant in 2004, and a pancreas from a deceased donor in 2008. The couple have been together for 19 years and have two children.

Darren Reynes said his wife never had any doubts about donating. “Whatever it took to get me healthy again,” he said. “She’s said she’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said the couple has each other today thanks to organ donation. “Throughout Alberta, there are families with loved ones waiting for a new heart, kidney or other organ. Becoming a donor and talking to your family about your choice only takes a few minutes and can mean a new lease on life for another person.”

The province says organ donors can save up to eight lives by joining the donor registry, and that donors saved 380 lives in 2015, an 11 per cent increase over the 342 transplants done in 2014.

Albertans can call 1-844-815-3315 for more information about organ donation.

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