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Tuesday, March 28, 2006 -- For Immediate Release-
Mandatory declaration for organ donation debated as Kidney Health Day kicks off
While legislators debate a private member's bill dealing with the
issue of organ donation inside the Ontario Legislature on Thursday,
March 30th, Kidney Health Day will kick off outside in hopes that
The debate comes on Kidney Health Day at Queen's Park, an event aimed at increasing awareness of kidney disease and the need for more kidney donors in the province among MPPs and government staff. Volunteers and staff will be available throughout the day, promoting the importance of keeping kidneys healthy, offering a free Blood Pressure Screening Clinic, and providing information about the work of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.
Kidney disease is a growing public health concern in the province.
An estimated 800,000 Ontarians have kidney disease or are at risk,
particularly people with high blood pressure, diabetes or heart
"Kidney disease can strike anyone," said kidney patient Wayne Sampson, who was born with one kidney and was on peritoneal dialysis before receiving a transplant from his daughter last year. "There isn't a day that passes that I don't appreciate my new gift of life and I can only wish that all those who are waiting for a transplant could someday have the same experience."
"It is important for everyone to realize that it is not only a hereditary disease but can be brought on by other conditions. High blood pressure and diabetes are just two things that can lead to kidney failure and it's important to educate as many people as possible, through every means possible and perhaps save some from reaching a critical point."
"The incidence of kidney disease in Ontario has risen enormously
in the past twenty years and unfortunately we expect to see the
number of cases double in the next decade," says Janet Bick,
Director of Government and Professional Relations for The Kidney
Foundation of Canada. "A combination
"The good news is that early detection and management of kidney disease can prevent or delay progress, improve patient outcomes and save health care costs," says Bick. "And increasing the number of organs available for transplantation will save the lives of many more Ontarians."
March is Kidney Health Month across Canada with volunteer canvassers from the Kidney Foundation going door-to-door to raise funds to assist in research, treatment and support for people with kidney disease.
Established in 1964, The Kidney Foundation of Canada has awarded more than $73 million to support kidney-related research, helping millions of Canadians suffering from kidney failure and related disorders such as high blood pressure, kidney stones, diabetes and urinary tract infections.
For more information, visit www.kidney.on.ca
- ENDS -
By the numbers
Of the 4,054 Canadians on the waiting list for a transplant (as of December 2004) 2,872 were awaiting a kidney transplant.
Over 1,300 Ontarians are waiting for a kidney transplant, some as long as ten years.
It is estimated that 2 million Canadians have chronic kidney disease or are at risk - most don't know it because the symptoms are silent.
Each day, an average of 14 Canadians learns that their kidneys have failed.
Iain McLaren, Communications Coordinator
Trish Reynolds, Communications Manager
Pamela Logan, Communications Manager