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Competition period opens for this year's Sarah Beth Therien Memorial Scholarship

January 19, 2015

Are you a young person striving to make the world a safer place? Apply for the Sarah Beth Therien Memorial Scholarship, a one-time award of $2,000 recognizing safety leaders among Canada’s youth.

The Canada Safety Council and the family of Sarah Beth Therien created the memorial scholarship in 2013 to honour the memory of Sarah Beth Therien. Sarah Beth was a valued employee of the Canada Safety Council and a passionate advocate for children’s and traffic safety when she died of an unexpected heart arrhythmia on June 17, 2006. She was 32. Colleagues remember her as a kind and generous spirit who was always ready to help others.

Before her sudden illness, she had made her family aware of her desire to be an organ donor. But her condition was classified as a “cardiac death,” and under existing Canadian medical protocol she would not have been eligible to become an organ donor. At the time, the Canadian medical community only accepted organ donation after brain death, for example, from strokes, injury, or trauma. When it became clear that Sarah Beth would not recover, her parents, Emile and Beth Therien, lobbied strongly to have the wishes of their daughter honoured. After their heart wrenching decision to remove life support, Sarah Beth became the first Canadian in nearly four decades to donate her organs after cardiac death. The gift of her kidneys gave back active, productive life to two individuals, and her corneas restored full sight to two more. Sarah Beth’s death marked a new era of organ donation in Canada, and more than 1,000 transplantations from cardiac death donors have been performed since.

The competition for the Sarah Beth Therien Memorial Scholarship is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are full-time undergraduate students, or graduating high school students entering a recognized post-secondary program in September 2015. To apply, write us a short essay explaining how you improve safety in your community, and complete the application form. Click here for the full instructions and application form. Applications will be accepted from January 31 – June 15, 2015.

Last year’s recipient, Ellie Donohue-Miller of St. Catharines, ON, was recognized for her exceptional leadership in enhancing student safety. She founded a Student Sexual Violence Support Centre at Brock University, where she was finishing a degree in women’s and gender studies. Ellie established and delivered public education campaigns geared toward ending sexual violence. Her efforts resulted in the launch of a 24-hour texting crisis line for sexual assault survivors, regular outreach activities at a downtown St. Catharines bar, and student workshops on healthy relationships and consent.

About the Canada Safety Council

The Canada Safety Council is an independent, knowledge-based, charitable organization dedicated to the cause of safety. We provide national leadership in safety through information, education and collaboration. We are Canada’s voice and resource for safety.

For more information contact:
Lynn Lau
Media Coordinator
Canada Safety Council
Phone: 613-739-1535, x 226

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