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Family grateful for gift of life

Increasing awareness about the urgent need for organ and tissue donation became a family effort this year for 87-year-old Honoria Groves.

Her great-granddaughter, Alexandria, had a life-saving liver transplant this summer when she was five months old.

Now that Honoria knows how important organ and tissue donation is, she and her family hope their story will inspire others to register their consent this holiday season.

“There are no words to describe our feelings of gratitude,” said Groves.

“We realize that without the liver transplant, we might not be enjoying Alexandria’s beautiful and healthy presence with us this Christmas.”

In a poem she wrote while waiting for the transplant surgery to be completed, Groves encourages others to participate in what she calls a very worthwhile endeavour:

The loss of one precious life

Causes agony and strife,

But it should mitigate the pain

By offering someone health again.

When it is possible to provide

Life for one who would have died.

—Honoria Groves

Alexandria received her donated liver at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto this summer after attempts when she was only a month old to repair a rare condition failed.

Robert Gold, Alexandria’s father, defines organ and tissue donation as: “Something that starts as a choice, becomes a gift–a gift that cannot be purchased—and ends as a miracle.”

Today, roughly 1,550 people in Ontario are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and thousands more wait for life-enhancing tissue.

One organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives and enhance as many as 75 others.

“There is nothing more extraordinary than giving the gift of life,” said Frank Markel, president and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network.

“We all have the power to save lives by registering our consent to organ and tissue donation,” he noted.

“There is no better time to talk about organ and tissue donation than when families are together during the holidays.”

You can register your consent to donate your organs and tissue by visiting your local ServiceOntario centre where you register or renew your health card.

You also can register by downloading and filling out a Gift of Life consent form from www.giftoflife.on.ca and mailing it to the address on the form.

Even if you’ve already signed your donor card, please also register your decision so this information is accessible when needed—and talk to your family about your decision.

For more details on Trillium Gift of Life Network, visit the above website or call toll-free 1-800-263-2833.

Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario.

It is responsible for planning, promoting, co-ordinating, and supporting organ and tissue donation across Ontario, as well as improving the system so more lives can be saved.

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