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Push on for organ donations

A torch run to promote registering for organ and tissue donations will be stopping in Fort Frances next week.

As part of the Step By Step Campaign’s “Register Now: Ontario Student Torch of Life Relay Tour,” which will start in Kenora on Friday and end in Toronto on June 19, runner Khaled Khatib is expected to carry the “Torch of Life” here next Tuesday (March 7). He’s expected to leave the Super 8 Motel at 11 a.m. and arrive at the Civic Centre by 11:30 a.m.

Council agreed at Monday night’s meeting to have a representative or representatives at the Civic Centre to meet the torchbearer, and Step By Step founder and CEO George Marcello, and pose for a photo op.

At its Jan. 23 meeting, council also passed a resolution stating it understands the importance of organ and tissue donation in Ontario and across Canada, endorsed Step By Step and the torch relay, and encouraged organ, tissue, and bone marrow donations.

Step By Step’s goal is to register more than one million Ontarians to the newly-created Online Organ and Tissue Registry with Service Ontario and the Bone Marrow Registry with One Match.

The public can register for organ and tissue donation through Service Ontario at

They can register stem cell and bone marrow donations through Canadian Blood Services at

Marcello founded Step By Step after receiving a life-saving liver transplant in 1995, has devoted his life trying to help those in need of organ and tissue donations.

According to Step By Step, your decision to register now one day could save up to eight lives and improve as many as 75 more.

If you are 16 years of age or older, and have a valid Ontario health number, you can register your consent online to become an organ and tissue donor.

By registering your consent, information about your donation decision will be available and accessible should it ever be required.

When you register your consent to donate organs and tissue, your decision is recorded in a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care database.

In the event of your death or imminent death, when all life-saving efforts have failed, your donation decision will be disclosed for the purpose of sharing this information with your family so they can honour your wishes.

You need to register even if you have signed a donor card. A signed donor card is not recorded in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s database and may not be available when needed.

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