This week, public buses across the Northern Rivers will be helping to promote ‘The Great Registration Race’ to increase organ and tissue donation.
Lismore nurse Camilla Jenal is excited to be the face of this year’s campaign for DonateLife week. Ms Jenal received a life-saving heart transplant in 2012.
After becoming seriously unwell with heart failure due to an autoimmune disease, Ms Jenal required the assistance of a mechanical pump to keep her heart working. This bought precious time until she received the call that saved her life.
Camilla hopes that the campaign will encourage locals to head to the DonateLife website to register, and prompt conversations about organ and tissue donation with their family and friends.
The bus artwork asks people to join the Great Registration Race, which is the theme for this year’s DonateLife Week. DonateLife are racing towards 100,000 registrations, following a drop in new registrations last year as a result of the COVID pandemic.
Australia recorded a 16% decrease in the number of new donor registrations compared with 2019, partly due to the cancellation of awareness-raising events across the country.
With only one in three Australians currently registered, and 1,800 people waiting for a life-saving transplant, it’s never been more important to register.
Nurse Rebecca Tate knows all too well how important it is to register and chat to your family about your organ and tissue donation wishes. Sadly, Rebecca’s husband, James passed away in January 2017 from a sudden unexpected cardiac arrest.
James had registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register and Rebecca knew it was always her husband’s wish to help others if given the chance, after he was gone. Through her grief, Rebecca was able to find some comfort knowing James became a hero through the gift of life.
Local school teacher, Brett Holland received a life-saving heart transplant last year and is forever grateful for the precious gift of life that he received from someone he will never meet.
Brett was unexpectedly diagnosed with a genetic condition after a very short illness, resulting in Brett relying on a mechanical heart to help keep him alive while waiting for a new heart. With hours to live, Brett received a heart transplant from a selfless donor and now encourages everyone to register as an organ donor.
With less than half of the NSW population registered, the NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service urges people to take a minute out of their day to join the register and save a life.
Let your loved ones know
Donation Specialist Nurse, Mary Campbell, asks people to also make their wishes known to their loved ones, just as Rebecca’s husband did. Families play a crucial role in the donation process because they are asked to confirm whether their loved one wanted to be a donor.
‘Registration is so important because it leaves families in no doubt of their loved one’s wish to be an organ and tissue donor,’ said Ms Campbell.
With many people still under the assumption that you can register as a donor via the NSW driver’s licence, it’s important for people to head to donatelife.gov.au and check if they’re registered. It only takes one minute with their Medicare card.
Remember to check
With many people still under the assumption that you can register as a donor via the NSW driver’s licence, it’s crucial that people head to donatelife.gov.au and check if they’re registered. It only takes one minute with their Medicare card.
Buses participating in the donor registration campaign are located across the Tweed region, Lismore area and Grafton, and will officially launch today to kick-start DonateLife Week, which runs from 25 July – 1 August 2021.