Newswise — TORONTO, September 8, 2022 – UHN’s Ajmera Transplant Centre and The Centre for Living Organ Donation announce today the launch of a new campaign, Great Actions Leave a Mark, www.greatactions.ca. The campaign showcases through artistic photos and video, the stories and scars (the mark) from 39 living organ donors and transplant recipients across Canada.
The campaign, a first of its kind in Canada, aims to highlight the beautiful gift of life that is given when a kidney or liver donor donates their organ to save the life of another, and encourages more Canadians to get involved.
The striking artistic photos in black and white for the exception of a green scarf (green is the colour that represents organ and tissue donation), will help to boost reach through online and social media channels, and raise awareness to living organ donation.
Initiatives close to the Toronto General Hospital, home to the Ajmera Transplant Centre, will also promote public awareness:
- The hospital will have a Great Actions Leave a Mark flag at the Elizabeth Street entrance to promote conversations among patients and staff;
- Great Actions Leave a Mark campaign photos of living donors and recipients will be displayed at one of the busiest subway stations in Toronto and the closest to Toronto General Hospital, Queens Park subway station, at the South East entrance. They will remain there for four weeks;
- The Statement Media Video Truck will be driving around Hospital Row showcasing campaign video clips on Monday, September 12.
This innovative campaign is done in collaboration with YE Agency, BC Transplant and Canadian Blood Services. It will allow people to see the impact of living organ donation, and learn more about how to become a living donor. It will also provide hope for many on the organ waitlist that more living donors will come forward to help address the organ shortage.
The campaign will be unveiled during Living Donation Week, an annual awareness week featuring free events and activities focused on raising awareness, improving access and equity in living organ donation, profiling the work of Team Transplant, and celebrating our incredible living donors and transplant recipients. Living Donation Week was launched by the Centre for Living Organ Donation in 2020 and is celebrated annually across Canada, starting the Sunday after Labour Day. #LDW2022 will run from September 11-17. For more information, visit www.livingdonationweek.ca
About Living Organ Donation
Living organ donation offers a shorter pathway to transplant with less wait time and better health outcomes for those who need a liver or kidney. Yet many people are not aware of this option.
In 2021, 595 living organ donors - 502 living kidney and 93 living liver donors - stepped forward in Canada to donate and save someone’s life.1 Each of these people’s lives were saved because of the incredible gift of life a donor provided. However, the number of organs available for those on the transplant waitlist still falls short.
To date, there are almost 3,500 people in Canada waiting for a kidney or liver transplant.1 Last year, a total of 652 Canadians were removed from the organ transplant wait list. Of these, 38% died while waiting.1
- Source: Canadian Institute for Health Information. Summary Statistics on Organ Transplants, Wait-Lists and Donors, 2021. Ottawa, ON: CIHI; 2022.
"Behind every scar is a beautiful story that represents a powerful human to human connection. I am beyond grateful to be a part of this campaign that celebrates the incredible journey of each living donor and organ recipient." - Stephanie Dyriw, Co-Founder of YE Agency, and living liver donor to her 4-year-old son.
“Living organ donors have a profound impact on the lives of transplant recipients. Our transplant program is proud to promote these inspiring stories. And yet, so much more is needed to increase awareness and the number of organs available for transplant. This campaign is a beautiful and impactful way to help address this issue.” - Dr. Atul Humar, director of the Ajmera Transplant Centre.
Visual Assets for Media
Photo Galleries. Credit: YE Agency.
- Participant Candice Coghlan – kidney transplant recipient - https://photos.app.goo.gl/rKKKhHmT2ZQem69cA
- Participant Stephanie Dyriw – living liver donor - https://photos.app.goo.gl/qRbdez1z3dxTzLSBA
- Participant Jennen Johnson – kidney transplant recipient - https://photos.app.goo.gl/TqwSZ3Ur4ohxd66k7
- Participant Afsana Lallani – liver transplant recipient - https://photos.app.goo.gl/kn7AqC3nrq5SKybv7
- Participants Vivienne and Justin Poy, mother and son – living kidney donor and kidney transplant recipient – https://photos.app.goo.gl/g9nzJQPp499AsLNC6
Video Galleries. Credit: YE Agency.
- Participant Afsana Lallani – liver transplant recipient - https://photos.app.goo.gl/rzgGoJVQSZSDVufG8
- Participant Stephanie Dyriw – living liver donor – https://photos.app.goo.gl/ABwia8BHdZwFni3W8
- Participant Candice Coghlan – kidney transplant recipient -
Video Gallery. Credit: Chris Smith.
- Participants Vivienne and Justin Poy, mother and son – living kidney donor and kidney transplant recipient – https://photos.app.goo.gl/uRtZSrZHiGPhCFnz9
About the Ajmera Transplant Centre at UHN
The Ajmera Transplant Centre is the largest transplant program in Canada, and a global reference in world-class patient care, research and innovation. It performs over 600 transplant surgeries every year, including lung, heart, liver, kidney, pancreas and small bowel transplantation. Our team of doctors, surgeons, nurses and allied health professionals cares for the sickest of the sick. Patients with the most complex and advanced organ damage are referred here from across the country because we have the life-saving expertise they need. The Centre provides lifelong care for more than 6,000 transplant recipients living in more than 550 communities across Canada. For more information, visit: UHNtransplant.ca.