You could give the gift of life – by carrying a donor card

Anne Marie O'CONNOR

LIVES CHANGED BY ORGAN TRANSPLANTS THE IMPORTANCE of carrying organ donor cars will be highlighted by the Irish Kidney Association next week as they launch Organ Donor Awareness Week from March 27 until April 3.

There are currently more than 600 people in Ireland awaiting life-saving transplant operations and last year there were 154 deceased donor kidney transplants, 64 liver, 11 heart and 4 lung transplants.

Eighteen extra kidney transplants were conducted via living donors, making an overall total of 172 kidney transplants in Ireland in 2009, significantly higher than 2006, 2007 and 2008. The number of deceased donors in 2009 was 90.

The campaign, backed by RTÉ's Ryan Tybridy, will see volunteers selling forgetme-not emblems, brooches, magnetic car ribbons and organ donor keyrings, as well as forget-me-not flower seeds to raise money for support programmes of the Irish Kidney Association.

The Irish Kidney Association is the organisation charged with the promotion and distribution of the organ donor card in Ireland on behalf of all patient groups with an interest in organ donation who form the Irish Donor Network.

Information factfiles which accompany organ donor cards can be obtained (free of charge) from the Irish Kidney Association and are available nationwide from pharmacies, GP surgeries and Citizen Information Offices.

Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 1890 543639, texting the word 'DONOR' to 50050, or visiting www.ika.ie.

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