Transplant Manitoba, Tissue Bank Manitoba express gratitude for those who have signed up for life

September 20, 2022 – As part of efforts to mark World Gratitude Day, Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life and Tissue Bank Manitoba are thanking those who have joined the province’s organ and tissue donor registry while encouraging others to sign up.

“We in the donation community thank and applaud every Manitoban who has made the effort to let their family know about their decision to be a donor and registered that decision using the registry,” said Dr. Owen Mooney, medical director, Gift of Life program. “We know how valuable these conversations are in helping guide families to honour final wishes during an incredibly difficult time.”

World Gratitude Day is celebrated on Sept. 21. In the lead up to the day, Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life and Tissue Bank Manitoba staff will be showing their hearts in a social media campaign to thank those who have registered and inspire others to have important conversations with loved ones and register the intent to donate using Manitoba’s online organ and tissue donor registry,

“Registering your intent to be a donor signals that organ and tissue donation is important to you and allows you to express your final wish to help others in need,” said Dr. Mooney, adding registering also means decisions are securely recorded and readily available to the team to share with family. “Dealing with acute loss and grief is difficult enough. Compound that by having to make an important decision that will forever have a profound and lasting effect on an individual and their loved ones, the decision weighs even greater.”

Manitoba’s organ and tissue donor registry has been providing 10 years of online service and tens of thousands of Manitobans have registered. However, many still rely on a paper donor card leaving their donation decisions hidden away in wallets, purses or drawers.

To support Manitobans in making their choice known, the province simplified the donor registration process in 2019 by moving it entirely online and eliminating paper donor cards. The province’s two gift of life agencies, Transplant Manitoba and Tissue Bank Manitoba, thank all Manitobans who have carried cards for so many years and are encouraging them to make the switch and be card free.

Shared Health’s Director of Health Services-Provincially Coordinated Health Services Alissa Leforte says replenishing hope is something that takes considerable thought and selfless sacrifice.

“Manitobans are known for their generosity and humanity,” she said. “In honour of World Gratitude Day, I would like to acknowledge and thank Manitobans who have registered their intent to be donors. In addition to your registration, your ongoing advocacy to promote kindness will continue to make a difference.”

The registry currently holds more than 62,000 registrations, with more than 3,000 new registrations recorded this year. To mark 10 years of online service, a goal has been set to add 10,000 new registrations by the end of 2022. Registering online takes two minutes and requires three pieces of information – name, birthdate and nine-digit Manitoba Health card number.