"Our experience has made me think about all the families who haven't had a second chance with their loved one," says Josie. "I know that when I'm gone, donating is the least I can do and it will mean the world to those directly affected."
Today both Emily and Josie are doing well. Josie has become a passionate advocate, founding the Peel Region Gift of Life Association, an advocate group encouraging Peel residents to register to become organ and tissue donors.
With 1,500 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in Ontario and approximately 170 waiting in Peel, Regional Council has endorsed a campaign to urge residents to register for organ donation.
"We want everyone in Peel to live the highest quality of life possible and that cannot happen without community support," says Region of Peel Chair Emil Kolb. "Registering as an organ donor is easy to do and it may be the greatest gift you ever give."
The campaign will run from Feb. 24 – Mar. 7, 2014. Regional staff, residents and local businesses can check if they are registered and register through beadonor.ca/peelregion. Even if you have signed a donor card in the past, you still need to register; it is the only secure and guaranteed way to make your decision known. It takes two minutes, you have to be over 16 and have a health card.
Ontario's registration rate average is 24 per cent; just 14 per cent of people in Brampton have registered their consent to organ and tissue donation while 15 per cent of Mississauga residents have consented. The rate is a little higher in Caledon at 27 per cent.
Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating and supporting organ and tissue donation for transplantation across Ontario and improving the system so that more lives can be saved. For more information visit giftoflife.on.ca