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Organ Donation ambassador turns 16, consents to joining the registry


Last week, Kaidyn Blair, who received a lifesaving liver transplant shortly after his first birthday, gave consent to becoming an organ donor on his 16th birthday, while applying for his health card. A few close friends joined him in line to show support.


by Sylene Argent

Last Wednesday, Essex resident Kaidyn Blair turned 16-years old. He took time away from his celebration to stop by the Service Ontario office and consent to becoming an organ donor, while he applied for his health card.

  What is significant about this gesture is that Blair was born with Biliary Atresia. He was fortunate to receive a lifesaving liver transplant shortly after his first birthday.

  Blair shares his story in and around the community to encourage people to register to be a donor. Over the past few years, his advocacy work has help to increase the number of Essex area individuals on the Organ Donation Registry from 18 percent to 45 percent.

  April 27 is designated as Kaidyn Blair Organ Donation Awareness Day in Essex in recognition of Blair’s effort. This is the anniversary date of his lifesaving transplant.

  Currently, Essex is ranked 55 out of 170 Ontario community in regards to percentage of eligible individuals who have registered to be a donor. In Essex, there are 9,310 health card holders, while there are 4,203 registered donors. Ontario’s average is 32 percent.

  According to beadonor.ca, an organ donor can save up to eight lives. The website adds that currently, in Ontario, there are over 1,500 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Every three days, someone will die because they did not get their transplant in time. Anyone over the age of 16 can register to be a donor, if they so choose.

  The Trillium Gift of Life Network’s 2018 campaign Donor Nation encourages Ontarians to register to be a donor, Paula Schmidt said, who is the Regional Coordinator of the not-for-profit agency that manages organ donations in Ontario. Canadians, she said, are known to be nice citizens and great people, so at the end of life, why not donate the gift of life to someone in need.  

  Log onto beadonor.ca for more information or to sign up to become an organ donor.

  In addition to spreading word about his story to encourage others to register to be a donor, Blair has also earned many medals at the Canadian and World Transplant Games over the past several years.



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