Donna Krilow-Lorenz, Lloydminster regional coordinator of the Canadian Transplant Association, pictured at the microphone during the Transplant Trot in January, will be at City Hall on Monday at 9:30 a.m. for a flag raising and proclamation of National Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness Week, Canada Wide April 22-28. The ceremony will be officiated by Mayor Gerald Aalbers. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
The impact of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy is helping to fill a local publicity gap about National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW).
The Lloydminster region of the Canadian Transplant Association will rely on the increase in organ donor registrations following the 16 members of the Broncos who were killed when their team bus collided with a transport truck on April 6 to promote the cause.
NOTDAW takes place April 22-29 and will be marked locally by a proclamation and the raising of a green flag by Mayor Gerald Aalbers at City Hall on Monday at 9.30 a.m.
No other local activities are planned for the week other than a recognition banner across 50 Avenue downtown and a neon sign on 51 Ave.
“We will not be having a picnic in the park this year, mostly due to the lack of volunteers and organizers,” said regional CTA coordinator Donna Krilow-Lorenz.
“I really feel this is the year that the tragedy that happened with the Humboldt Broncos—it’s in the forefront of people’s minds.”
Krilow-Lorenz said in the three-day period immediately after the Humboldt accident, the number of people who registered their intent to donate organs on Alberta’s online donor registry jumped to 7,600.
She said usually in a three-day period they would have around 1,100 people signing their intent.
Numbers aren’t available for Saskatchewan since there’s no online registration, but residents in that province can register to be donors by placing a red dot on their health care cards.
The Broncos’ Logan Boulet from Lethbridge was hailed as a hero at his funeral last weekend for previously registering to donate his organs that helped save six lives.
“It just shows that unfortunately when a tragedy occurs it comes to the forefront of people’s minds and those that have talked about it wanted to do it for a long time—it just prompts action,” said Krilow-Lorenz.
“For a little while it’s an easier thing to talk about.”
NOTDAW is also supported by Canadian Blood Services that saw a dramatic spike in the number of blood donations across Canada following the Humboldt bus crash that injured many others.
“It’s just all part and parcel of the whole situation,” said Krilow-Lorenz.
More organ donation awareness will be promoted in the region with the running of the seventh annual Second Chance Trail Ride for horse and wagons travelling along the Iron Horse Trail from Lindbergh to Elk Point on May 12.
The event raises funds to assist individuals going through the transplant recipient process.
Further afield, the Transplant Games for people who are donors or recipients such as Krilow-Lorenz to compete in athletic competitions will be held at the University of British Columbian July 2-17.
“Those events both bring awareness to celebrate the lives of we recipients—always give thanks to the donors,” said Krilow-Lorenz, who has competed before.
“We also need to remind people that even if you do go online and register your intent or put a little red dot on your Saskatchewan Health Care card you really do have to speak to your family.”
She says it is your family members or your loved one with you at the end of your life who will ultimately make that decision on your behalf.