Over 400 people participated in a fun run aimed at increasing awareness for organ and tissue transplant awareness this weekend in New Brunswick.
The Transplant Trot originally started in Moncton over a decade ago. Fredericton came on board just a few years later but this year Saint John became the newest city to host it.
“It’s all about the idea of making awareness to the cause of transplant donation,” said John Acheson, who helped organize and also serve as the MC of the Fredericton run. “This is a great way to emphasize that through an event like this and promote it a little bit more and make people aware.”
Many taking part in the run do so because they know first-hand how desperate the need for more organ donors is.
“At any one time there’s always about 4,500 people waiting on the transplant list in Canada,” said Kristen Wheaton, Canadian Transplant Association’s regional director. “And about a couple hundred of those will die waiting. There’s just not enough organs out there.”
Wheaton encourages everyone to talk to their family about becoming an organ donor.
“We would love to see people register on their medicare card in New Brunswick to be an organ donor,” she said. “If your family know that’s your wishes it can really bring them comfort in a time of tragedy.”
Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside agrees with the need for more people to become donors, however he thinks the process is backwards.
Organ and Tissue Donation flag raised at Fredericton City Hall Jeremy Keefe
Organ and Tissue Donation flag raised at Fredericton City Hall
“I know the system we have on drivers’ licences now says check off if you want to be a donor,” said Woodside at a flag raising ceremony at city hall. “I think you should have to check off if you don’t and I think that leaves a lot more opportunity.”
Woodside says he will bring the idea to city council on Monday night and if there’s support for it the next step will be to propose it to the province.