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Letter to the editor: Organ donors deserve gratitude

Volunteer and two-time recipient praises those who offer the ultimate gift of extended life
20200210 organ donation cooler
Thunder Bay's regional hospital was recently recognized for its high organ and tissue donor conversion rate. (Photo courtesy Trillium Gift of Life Network.)

To the editor:

Once again the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) has received an award thanks in large part to the support of the donor patients.

I am in no way undermining the hard work  of the organ transplant committee at the Regional, of which I am a volunteer member, for their efforts in promoting organ and tissue donation.

As reported recently, the Trillium Gift of Life Network, the provincial government department which promotes organ and tissue donation, awarded the Regional for going over the target of a 63 per cent conversion rate set by the Trillium Gift of Life Network.

This award is because of the unselfish act of organ and tissue donation by persons who have actually followed through with their end of life decision.

As one who has received, not once but twice - in October 1996 and June 2010 - that gift of extended life, I know how those 32 recipients are feeling and how thankful they are to those donors they probably will never meet or know by name.

It is a fact that over 90 per cent of people questioned believe in organ and tissue donation, but just over 30 per cent actually follow through with the absolute gift.

I would like to extend my congratulations to all those professional members of the Regional’s organ and tissue donation team that locally leads the effort to afford others the joy of an extended life.

To learn more about how we can increase the number of donors that will provide over 1,600 waiting on the transplant list for an opportunity  at an extended life please visit

Gary Cooper

Thunder Bay