David Foster Foundation speaks out in support of National Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness Week | April 22 to 28, 2018

April 9, 2018, Victoria, BC – Less than 20% of Canadians are registered as organ donors, while close to 90% support registering— two statistics that have not changed for the past five years, and the gap between the two numbers is alarming for the head of the David Foster Foundation.

Canada’s National Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness Week takes place from April 22 to 28, 2018. The David Foster Foundation – whose role is to support the non-medical expenses of Canadian families with children undergoing life-saving pediatric organ transplants and promotes organ donor awareness and registration – is using this time to ask Canadians to explain why they support the selfless act, but don’t take the simple steps to register their names as organ donors.

“As a foundation with more than three decades of supporting families and championing registration across Canada, we’re using this one-week period to highlight the problem of the organ donor registration gap in our country,” says Michael Ravenhill, CEO of the David Foster Foundation. “From our website and social media channels to our major commuter billboard campaign, we’re asking Canadians, ‘Why is there such a big gap between people that support organ donation and people that are registered?’”

Throughout this month, motorists across five Canadian cities – Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal – will see the prominent call to action displayed on 160+ OUTFRONT Media Canada (a national partner of the David Foster Foundation) digital billboards along major, high-profile roadways and boulevards. With statements that show the disparity in the numbers, Canadians will be encouraged to learn more about the critical role that organ donation plays from coast-to-coast. The messaging will be matched on the David Foster Foundation’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, all supported by celebrity friends of the foundation.

Most of the concerns that Canadians have, from receiving care in the hospital to being too old to be a donor are unsubstantiated in the medical community.

Canadian organ donation facts, questions, answers:

  • There are more than 4,600 Canadians waiting for life-saving transplants. However, each year there are only 18 donors per million people in Canada.
  • One organ and tissue donor can save the lives of up to eight people and improve the quality of life for up to 75 people.
  • On average, 230 Canadians die each year waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and 1,600 are added to the waitlist 
  • Who can become a donor?
    • All individuals can indicate their intent to donate (persons under 18 years of age must have parent’s or guardian’s consent). Medical suitability for donation is determined at the time of death.
  • Are there age limits for donors?
    • There are no age limitations on who can donate. The deciding factor on whether a person can donate is the person’s physical condition, not the person’s age. Newborns, as well as senior citizens, have been organ donors. Persons younger than 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian’s consent.
  • What can be donated? 
    • Organs: heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver, and intestines 
    • Tissue: cornea, skin, bone, heart valves, and connective tissue 
  • If I sign a donor card or register online, will it affect the quality of medical care I receive at the hospital? Will the doctors withhold treatment or not attempt to save my life?
    • No.  Every effort is made to save your life before donation is considered. Medical professionals will do everything they can to save your life. The doctors who work to save your life are not the same doctors involved with organ donation. It is only after every attempt has been made to save your life that donation will be considered. In fact, from a medical standpoint, patients must receive the most aggressive life-saving care in order to be potential organ donors
  • How can I guarantee my organs will be used after my passing?
    • There is no guarantee your organs will be used however, the best way to make sure the doctors will consider your organ donation is to talk with your family and friends and make your wishes known.  Even if you are a registered organ donor, your family can refuse the donation if they feel that it is something they have never heard you speak about.  Make sure your decision to donate is known to those who love you most.

For more information, visit www.davidfosterfoundation.com.

About the David Foster Foundation 

David Foster is a proud Canadian, Recipient of the Order of Canada, Officer of the Order of Canada, 50-time nominee and 16-time Grammy Award winner (including three for Producer of the Year), three-time Oscar nominee, Golden Globe winner, seven-time Juno Award winner, Emmy Award winner and has the distinguished honour to have his star on both the Canadian and Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is the man behind the biggest hits, with more than half a billion records sold. In 2015, the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria recognized Foster as their Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year. 

Foster launched the David Foster Foundation in his hometown of Victoria in 1986. Across Canada, the David Foster Foundation financially supports families for all non-medical expenses while their children are undergoing lifesaving organ transplants. Thanks to its annual fundraising efforts and the generous support of national partners like TELUS, WestJet, Aird & Berlis, LLP, Honda Canada Foundation, OUTFRONT Media Canada, and Schnitzer families receive support for expenses incurred when travelling away from their homes to be with their child during transplant. 

Jim & Sandi Treliving, TELUS, The Slaight Family Foundation, Newton Glassman Foundation in partnership with Catalyst Capital Group Inc., Tan Sri Dr. Francis Yeoh, and the GAIN Group of Companies are the Foundation’s $1 million Life Legacy members.  

The Foundation also promotes organ donor awareness and registration in both Canada and the United States. For more information, visit www.davidfosterfoundation.com.