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Donna Krilow-Lorenz and Lori Noyes stand beside the organ and tissue donation memorial plaque at the Lloydminster Hospital, which was unveiled on Wednesday. Jessica Dempsey/Meridian Booster
An organ and tissue donation memorial plaque has been added to the outside of the Lloydminster Hospital.
The plaque was unveiled Wednesday and sits on the brickwork just beside the front doors.
“For us, that are recipients, it’s nice to let people know organ and tissue donation is successful in Canada, but also to recognize the living donors, and in particular the donor families,” said Donna Krilow-Lorenz, regional coordinator, Canadian Transplant Association.
Krilow-Lorenz had received a kidney transplant in the past, and said it was great to see the plaque up there.
“It just means everything,” she said. “(It’s) so important for people like myself, who are recipients. I know who my donor is, it was my brother, but many people who are recipients will never know who their donor was, and at least this tells them that person will be honoured every time someone walks into the Lloydminster Hospital.”
She noted this was the first action in Lloydminster to recognize organ and tissue donations.
“My understanding is, in Lloydminster there is nothing in the city that recognizes those people who have left the hospital, never to come back and to have been organ and tissue donors. So, it just seemed fitting to have that plaque at the hospital,” explained Krilow-Lorenz.
The plaque, which is situated at the front doors, could also act as a reminder to some people.
“They might just have a look at that and start the conversation at home,” added Krilow-Lorenz.
The annual Transplant Trot is the biggest fundraiser for the organization, and Krilow-Lorenz said until that event, some people may not realize how much organ and tissue donation really affects a lot of people around the city.
The first lap of the trot is a recognition walk for recipients, donors and donor families. She said many people are surprised by how big that group really is.
“There are many people who have received lifesaving organ transplants in Lloydminster that don’t come out into the public, so we don’t know how many people actually have been successfully transplanted in Lloydminster, but we know it’s not that small of a group,” she said.
Two years ago, Krilow-Lorenz saw a recognition plaque at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon, and she knew she wanted to bring one back for Lloydminster.
“I really felt our community could use one,” she said.
The CTA is also celebrating their 30th year, so Krilow-Lorenz thought it was a good time to have the plaque put up.
“We thought it was appropriate to do the plaque this year, also in recognition of a long-standing charity,” she said.
According to the Canadian Government’s website, over 4,500 people were waiting for organ transplants in 2014, 2356 organs were transplanted, and 278 people died waiting for a transplant.
While the population is starting to get older, the need for transplant donors is even more vital. The number of donors has risen in the past five years, but more still needs to be done.