Gift of Life

'The gift of life is a gift of giving a normal lifestyle' - Organ recipient, Yvonne Bali

Happy New Year. I trust you had a relaxing break over Christmas and are refreshed and ready to take on 2014. Chris and I had a chance to catch up with family and friends - and each other - and enjoy some time at my second favourite place in the world, the south coast. 

Turning into a new year allows us to reflect on what we've achieved in the last 12 months, and map out our aims for the next. So as you get underway with your resolutions for 2014 - be they losing a few kilos, getting more exercise or taking the time to smell the roses - I encourage you to also consider having a conversation with your family about giving the gift of life. 

The majority of Australians are generally willing to become organ and tissue donors. 

And as at June 2013, 64 percent of families gave consent for organ and tissue donation to proceed. What helps a family's decision is knowing the wishes of their loved one. Unfortunately, 47 percent of Australians still do not know or are not sure of the views of their family members. So, if you fall into that 47 percent, please add a discussion on your organ and tissue donation intentions to your 2014 resolution list. Because Australia is a world leader in successful transplants, and one donor can transform the lives of 10 or more people. For further information visit donatelife.gov.au and while you are there read the moving stories of hope.

And please join me and thousands of other Canberrans for the DonateLifeWeek walk around Lake Burley Griffin on 26 February. To register visit giftoflife.asn.au I look forward to seeing you there.

Published in the Canberra Chronicle, January, 2014

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