The public response to the appeal on behalf of Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators hockey team, for a liver donor has been a heart-warming demonstration of the generosity of our community. Fortunately, a donor was found and the transplant was performed in time to save his life. But is it fair that he received a donation when many others are waiting, and dying, on the waitlist for a transplant? This is one of the common themes in the commentary in the news over the past few days.
Some call him a hero, but Imad Zammar says that if his mom, Freida Zammar, is present, she is quick to correct them and say, "he's not a hero -- he did what you are supposed to do -- for family." Maybe, but not everyone saves their older brother's life by giving him a kidney. And that is exactly what Zammar did.
There are 136 cases of measles in Quebec. The disease is spreading fast considering that this outbreak was allegedly caused by a single returnee from a Disney vacation where the outbreak started. Like a run away freight train, measles will jump person to person and eventually make it here. Is my son who had a heart transplant and can't be vaccinated protected? I sure hope so. If you don't want to vaccinate, don't. But when measles is out there, an airborne illness that is so easily spread, please keep your child home. Don't make choices for my child too.
The chance to save lives is simple--become an organ donor. The chance that someone from a particular ethnic group will receive an organ, like Canada's aboriginal and South Asian populations, is a little more complicated. We're a diverse country, but does our donor pool match that diversity? In Ontario's predominantly caucasian communities, up to 50 per cent of residents are registered. But in more diverse areas like the GTA, the registration rate is around 14 per cent.
Rehtaeh Parsons will live on in the lives of others thanks to the organ donations made after her death. I received a letter from an organ recipient. This unnamed person found out this year they needed a new heart. Their family and friends were scared because they almost died. Then the words hit me, the recipient is "only 17 years old." Rehtaeh's age.
When my dad passed away it was by far the worst day of my life. All the anti-rejection drugs that were keeping his heart pumping were slowly deteriorating his other organs. We knew this day would eventually come, but none of us really wanted to accept it. Really, how can anyone be prepared to lose their parent?