Medicine Hat resident — a double-lung transplant recipient — reminds Albertans to commit to organ donating

 

 

Terry Sawchuk says his double-lung transplant in Edmonton back in March 2011 saved his life.

After suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis – a disease that causes scaring in the lungs so severe it makes it nearly impossible for patients to breathe – Sawchuk says he wanted “to turn a negative into a positive” by telling people his donated lungs saved his life.

“This illness was like being underwater – I was not able to breathe,” said Sawchuk who set up a handful of small booths around different locations in Medicine Hat for his personal campaign to get people to commit to organ donation.

Sawchuk says he originally wanted to get 60 people to commit before he turns 60-years-old on today, but the Medicine Hat resident has already doubled that number through his very own Facebook page.

After hitting his goal, Sawchuk now says he wants multiples of 60 commitments before his birthday next week.

The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (“TLA”) applauds Sawchuk for his dedicated work.

“Every day has been a blessing since my surgery,”  said Sawchuk.

“It is such a pleasure to wake up every morning.”

New legislation will soon allow Albertans to commit to donating their organs and tissues when renewing their driver’s  licences or other pieces of identification.

They will also soon be able to commit to organ donation online.

This new change – advocated by TLA – will be an important step to addressing a significant shortage in available organs in Alberta by eliminating barriers for those
who want to commit to organ donation.

In the meantime, TLA is encouraging those who want to make this life-saving commitment to discuss it with their families and to sign the back of their Alberta Personal Health Care Card.

For more info on organ donating, check out www.ab.lung.ca and www.AlbertaDonatesLife.com.

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