REAL MOMENTUM BUILDING FOR ORGAN DONATION AWARENESS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 13, 2012
COBOURG – Northumberland – Quinte West MPP Rob Milligan was delighted to welcome organ donation activist George Marcello and his “Torch of Life” Campaign to Cobourg at noon hour today. MPP Milligan was joined by Mayor Gil Brocanier in front of Victoria Hall.
“For many years, George Marcello has been working, tirelessly, to raise public awareness of the importance of organ donation. A recipient of a liver transplant, himself, George Marcello recognizes that, in all likelihood, he wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for the selfless and generous decision by an organ donor”, said Milligan.
“On behalf of all the residents of Northumberland - Quinte West who have benefitted from organ donation in the past or who will benefit in the future, I want to commend George Marcello and all the volunteers on the Torch of Life campaign for their inspirational efforts to demonstrate that signing up on the organ donation registry is, literally, a life-saving decision”, said MPP Milligan.
Mr. Milligan also issued a challenge to all other MPP’s, saying “Northumberland-Quinte West will be, without a doubt, leading the charge on registered organ donors” and challenging other MPP’s to try to have higher rates.
The Torch of Life Campaign is a 108 day, 75 city walk across Ontario to raise awareness of the importance of organ donations and bone marrow transplants. The campaign began in Kenora on March 2nd and will end in Toronto on June 19th. Previous stops included Brighton and Trenton. George Marcello founded the “Step by Step Organ Transplant Association” and, over the past fifteen years, Mr. Marcello has led eight organ donation awareness campaigns – and taken over fifty million steps – that have criss-crossed Canada and the United States.
“Just over one week ago, I introduced a Private Member’s Bill which, if passed, would complement the work being done by Torch of Life volunteers, like George Marcello. The Bill would increase awareness of the donor registry, known as the Trillium Gift of Life Registry, but would also ensure that the wishes of every donor are respected after their death”, Milligan said.
Full details on Bill 58, known as the Organ or Tissue Donation Statute Law Amendment Act, 2012, can be found at: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&;Intranet=&BillID=2603
“I believe that Mr. Milligan’s bill will increase the number of organ donations, bringing us that much closer to our goal of reaching one million Ontarians” said George Marcello. “That would make Ontario a leader in organ donations. We could literally double the rate of lives saved.”, Mr. Marcello added.
“I was glad to hear him put out a challenge to the other MPP’s,” Mr. Marcello added, “from here on in, every MPP we meet we’ll be issuing that challenge. That’s what every MPP should be doing, is finding ways to get more registrations.”
“Over two million Ontarians have signed up on the organ donation registry, representing over one fifth of all the eligible adults in the province”, said Milligan. “With over 1500 of our fellow Ontarians on the organ transplant waiting list, every new name on donor registry represents the potential to save up to eight lives. Signing up as a donor could be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.”
“George Marcello and I encourage all adults to consider signing up. You can find complete information at www.beadonor.ca or visit the “Torch of Life” website at www.torchoflife.com and watch videos of some very extraordinary transplant recipients”, said Milligan.