Not only that, but Garson residents can be proud of the fact that fully half of its residents have registered as donors, making it the first community in Canada to achieve such a high percentage, the BeADonor Gift of 8 Movement reported.
That fact will likely be discussed when a young medical student with a goal to raise awareness of the need for increased organ and tissue donations rolls into Sudbury this week.
That young man is Quinn Thomas, a second-year medical student from Montreal, Quebec, who has embarked on a four-month, solo trek of some 8,730 kilometres to bring attention to the need for more organ and tissue donations in Canada.
“I was shocked to realize that it would probably take me less time to bike across Canada than it would for a patient to receive a kidney transplant,” Thomas said in a press release, “which, in the best-case scenario, can take around 135 days for a living kidney donation or a national average wait of 1,258 days for a deceased kidney donor.
“Some Canadians have managed to survive 2,145 days until a match was found for them.”
Biking from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, the 21-year-old is inviting recipients to cycle with him as he leaves each town, helping people to visualize the life-saving impact that organ donation makes on their neighbours and community.
Thomas visits Tom Davies Square at 3 p.m. on Aug. 15.
“With all the talk and media attention about organ and tissue donor registration, we now have another young person, Quinn Thomas, ... promoting the movement and bringing the message,” said Richard St. Amour of Ontario’s BeADonor Gift of 8 Movement initiative, and a Sudbury resident.
“We can all do our part in making Quinn’s trek thru Ontario the safest, smoothest and most productive. I encourage all within our communities across our province to welcome and support Quinn. He cares enough to do this for us and all who endure, I say we can do all we can for him.”
Greater Sudbury, and Garson in particular, is doing its part. This region boasts the highest per capita percentage of registered organ and tissue donors in the Ontario and, in the case of Garson, the entire country.
Garson leads 179 Ontario communities with 50 per cent per capita registration, followed closely by Hanmer and Lively at 49 per cent, and Val Caron with 48 per cent.
Greater Sudbury as a whole sits in tenth position with 44 per cent registration.
Today, thousands of people are waiting for organs to receive a transplant. In 2010, there were 2,233 people waiting and the numbers have risen.
Ontarians are encouraged to register their intent to donate their organs and tissues on BeADonor.ca or SoyezUnDonneur.ca, the province’s online registry.
To follow his progress, read Quinn Thomas’ blog and find his travel dates, visit organdonationheroes.ca.