The week of April 19-24 is National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week (NOTDAW) in Canada, and The David Foster Foundation would like to encourage all Canadians to consider donation and then act on their decision. Please sign a card or register your wish as required in your province and then discuss it with their families and loved ones.

Today in Canada, there are more than 4,500 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and 2,000 waiting for a cornea. Thousands more are in need of life enhancing tissues. Every day and a half, someone on a wait list dies unnecessarily.

Increasing organ donation and transplantation rates does depend on donors, but it also depends on improving the way the current system works. The current OTDT system is fragmented and results in missed opportunities and inefficiencies.

On a national basis, organ donor rates have flat-lined for the last ten years. And among industrialized nations, Canada is in the bottom half of the pack in terms of organ donation.

Many enhancements have occurred in the past decade, but they have only resulted in incremental change. If we want to achieve quantum change, we have to work together to preserve the best of what exists, build inter-provincial collaboration, and position the system for improvement.

With the tremendously talented medical professionals we have in this country, and the homegrown expertise in many of our programs, a more integrated system would move Canada forward in improving outcomes for patients.

To learn how to become a donor in your province, please visit the relevant organization below:

British Columbia
BC Transplant

Alberta Organ and Tissue Donation Registry

Saskatchewan Transplant Program
306-766-6477 (Regina)
306-655-5054 (Saskatoon)

Transplant Manitoba Gift of Life

Trillium Gift of Life Network

Quebec Transplant

New Brunswick
New Brunswick Organ and Tissue Procurement Program

Nova Scotia
Legacy of Life

Prince Edward Island
PEI Coalition on Organ and Tissue Donation

Newfoundland and Labrador
Organ Procurement and Exchange of Newfoundland and Labrador