Canada is the #1 Hockey Nation in the World. We have 13 Olympic Gold medals. Trailing behind us is the Soviet Union at 7 and the USA at 4. It will be many years before any other Nation gets even close.
But when it comes to Organ Donation, Canada is in the bottom third of developed countries. Spain leads the pack with 36 donors per million people. Canada’s donor rate is only 18 per million, the USA is way out in front of us at 26 per million.
We can and must do better.
I was inspired, like so many others, to become an Organ Donor by Logan Boulet of the Humboldt Broncos. Boulet of Lethbridge, AB was one of 16 killed in a collision between a semi and the team bus. Logan was on life support with no chance of survival. His family honored his wishes to donate his organs. Logan turned 21 just weeks before the tragic accident and made a decision to become an organ donor and told his dad it was because of Ric.
Logan was inspired to become an organ donor by his trainer Ric Suggitt. Ric, or Sluggo as he was affectionately known, was the Rubgy Coach at the University of Lethbridge. Sluggo trained Logan to become the fittest player on the Humboldt Broncos team. Ric died in 2017 devastating the community of Lethbridge and the athletes he trained. Sluggo was an organ donor. In the back of Logan’s locker, he had a picture of Sluggo taped up beside a picture of his family. The words “work hard” were written beside Sluggo’s picture.
Logan’s organs directly saved the lives of 6 people. Logan’s example and leadership will save the lives of thousands. Organ donor numbers spiked across the country in the weeks following the tragedy in what is now dubbed “The Logan Boulet Effect”.
Urge to Join
I immediately felt the urge to join. Prior to signing my organ donor card, I paused to consider why I hadn’t done so already. In this reflection I discovered two reasons:
- A completely irrational fear of my organs being harvested prematurely to save the life of someone more important. Each province has legislation to govern the process. I consider myself to be a pretty smart guy but for some reason, this ridiculous belief was lurking in my psyche.
- I didn’t want to face my own death.
A Goal for Canada
Let’s improve our standings on the world stage of Organ Donation. Let’s keep the Boulet Effect going.
Logan wore the #27 for the Humboldt Broncos. As a Nation, we can edge out the USA and get to 27 donors per million.
Unlike the commitment, effort and hard work that it will take to keep our Olympic hockey medal count above the USA, passing their 26 donors per million will take little effort.
No matter which great Province you live in, becoming an Organ Donar is Easy.
Photo by Lars Plougmann