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Canadian Blood Services Celebrates National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week
We honour and commemorate the heroes who helped save or improve the lives of so many Canadians

Apr. 23, 2012 (Toronto, ON) – Sue Thompson has no words to express the depth of her gratitude to two heart donors and their families. Her son Robbie is alive today thanks to those donors.

Robbie Thompson and his mom, Sue Thompson celebrating
his 14th birthday.

This week, Canadian Blood Services celebrates National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week. From Apr. 23-28, we honour and commemorate organ and tissue donors and their families who helped save or improve the lives of many more Canadians.

“Organ and tissue transplantation saves lives, gives hope to patients with end stage organ failure and provides others with renewed lives,” says Kim Young, Executive Director, Organs and Tissues. “By making your decision and registering or documenting your wishes to be and organ and/or tissue donor your family will never be required to make this decision on your behalf.”

In partnership with several organ and tissue donation and transplantation organizations and patient/advocacy groups across the country, Canadian Blood Services is highlighting this issue through the stories of a 2-time heart recipient and a tissue donor.

There are now about 4,300 Canadians waiting for a life-saving organ and more than 2,000 waiting for cornea transplants. These numbers don’t reflect those who never even make it to a waiting list. One organ donor can help save the lives of up to eight people. A single tissue donor can help improve or enhance the lives of as many as 100 patients.

Canadian Blood Services is encouraging Canadians to talk to their family and loved ones about their wishes and sign up or register as an organ and tissue donor. Visit for more information about living donation or to learn how to register your consent in your province. See and hear the stories of Robbie and Sue Thompson and Denice Klavano or visit Canadian Blood Services’ YouTube channel 18882DONATE.


Denice Klavano, mother of tissue donor “I think that the one gift out of this terrible tragedy is to know that in a way, his eyes still see the world, although through someone else’s lens.”

Sue Thompson, mother of heart recipient Robbie “When Robbie was on the transplant ward after his second transplant, and he was walking around, he’d meet up with other kids, and we realized there were several families, several children there that had received organs the same night that Robbie had. There was this incredible feeling that this one donor had saved all these children’s lives.”

Dr. Sam Shemie, pediatric intensive care physician in Montreal and medical director of donation at Canadian Blood Services

“Transplantation is fantastic. It is heroic, it is amazing, it is wonderful… People use the word miracle, they mean different things. Whether it’s a religious event, a spiritual event or it’s just the coinciding of lots of effort from a lot of people.”

About Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the supply of blood and blood products in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec. Canadian Blood Services also oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, and provides national leadership for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Canadian Blood Services operates 43 permanent collection sites and more than 20,000 donor clinics annually. The provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system.

To book an appointment or for more information, visit us at or call 1 888 2 DONATE.

Follow us on Twitter @itsinyoutogive, visit our official Facebook page and see our YouTube channel.

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Janet Wong
Canadian Blood Services
Tel: 416-313-4410
Cell: 416-420-0199

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