Cycling to Raise Awareness about Organ Donation

Medical student Quinn Thomas recently biked accross Canada to raise awareness for organ donation!

Photo courtesy of CBC News

Read the article in full below!

A 21-year-old medical student from Montreal is cycling across P.E.I. to raise awareness about organ and tissue donations.

Recently Quinn Thomas finished an 84–day cross–Canada bike ride, but couldn’t come to the Island because he wasn’t allowed to bike across the bridge.

This week he has come back on P.E.I. to finish off his tour.

Thomas said, as a medical student, he recognizes the importance of organ donation.

“It really does touch all fields of medicine, be it family medicine, surgery,” said Thomas.

“I thought it was a minor contribution that I could make and, of course, I don’t like asking people for money. Should they want to share the gift of life that’s well enough for me. It was something that tied into really well with my values.”

Here are six facts about organ and tissue transplants that Thomas has been relaying during his trip:

  • There are six organs that can be transplanted: heart, kidney, pancreas, lung, intestines, liver.
  • There are five body tissues that can be transplanted: cornea, skin, bone marrow, heart valve, connective tissue.
  • The majority of organ donation recipients are patients in need of a kidney.
  • One person’s donation has the potential to save the lives of eight patients.
  • Only 14 per cent of Canadians have registered to be donors, even though opinion surveys indicate 85 per cent of Canadians believe donations are worthwhile.
  • It takes 135 days — and sometimes longer — for an eligible kidney donation patient to receive an organ transplant. Thomas plans to finish his cross-country tour in less than 100 days.

A recent survey on organ donation has Health P.E.I. thinking about moving towards an opt-out program of organ donation.

Under the current system, a person has to indicate on their driver’s licence or heath card if they want to be an organ donor in the event of their death.

A recent Corporate Research Associates survey found the majority of people in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland would support changing the rules, so that someone would have to indicate they do not want to donate organs.

It would mean you would be an organ donor unless you indicate you’re not interested.

Any person 16 years of age or over who understands the nature and consequences of donation can consent to be an organ or tissue donor. A person can also specify which organs or tissues they wish to donate.

Thomas hopes his tour will encourage more Canadians to donate organs and tissue.

He will be biking P.E.I. for the next 10 days.

 

Did you enjoy this article? Show your support to Quinn by liking his Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/OrganDonationHeroes

<3<3 Steph

 

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