Standing up for Canberra

Organ Donation Awareness Ride gets underway

Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, attended the send off for David Gough today as he began his Organ Donation Awareness Ride 2012 to raise awareness of organ donation.

Ms Brodtmann, who is a strong advocate for organ and tissue donation having been a director of the Gift of Life board and founder of the Parliamentary Friends of Organ and Tissue Donation, paid tribute to Mr Gough’s efforts and wished him well on his journey, which will take him through more than 100 cities and towns in NSW, Victoria, SA and NT.

“David’s ride is to honour the memory of his daughter, Melody Gough, who died as a result of a motor vehicle accident in 2009. Her wish to become an organ donor saved the lives of three other people.

“I wish David a safe journey and hope that his courage will persuade more people to discuss the important issue of organ donation with their loved ones,” said Ms Brodtmann.

Ms Brodtmann said it was important to discuss organ donation with your family, because in Canberra the family of every potential donor is asked to confirm their loved one’s donation wishes before a donation can proceed.

“Last year more than 76 people benefited from the generosity of eight multi-organ donors and 47 tissue donors and their families in Canberra.

“The generosity of these families in the ACT has meant more than 50 people have received the gift of sight through the donation of eye tissue, while 26 people have received life-saving organ transplants.”

Mr Gough’s ride coincides with DonateLife Week (19 February to 26 February), the largest public awareness campaign in Australia promoting organ and tissue donation.

“Australia is a world leader for successful transplant outcomes, yet we have one of the lowest donation rates in the developed world.

“So make sure your family knows your wishes when it comes to organ donation – and if you want to become a donor, register your decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register,” Ms Brodtmann said.