Over 1100 Rotary clubs across Australia are urging families to “have the chat” with their loved ones about organ and tissue donation and register their donation decisions during DonateLife Week, August 2-9.  'DonateLife' is my special project for the 2015-2016 Rotary Year - Rotarian Lynne Layng.
 

Rotary’s participation in DonateLife Week 2015 was prompted by the story of Jack Wilson, the grandson of one of the 21 Rotary district governors in Australia. Jack was born with nephrotic syndrome, a congenital kidney disease that resulted in lengthy periods of hospitalisation.
Jack who had a kidney transplant at age 21 months is to be the face of the campaign.

Initially, Jack had to return to hospital five days per week for four-hourly sessions of protein infusion, before moving on to 10 hours of home dialysis every night. From three days after his birth in mid-2013 Jack had a tube protruding from his body – no bath, no beach, no pool. Thanks to his transplant, Jack is now enjoying life as an outgoing, curious two-year-old.
 
“For Jack, a new kidney has meant a return to normal eating, boundless energy and no more lines (with their risk of infection),” says his mother, Tammy Wilson. “It’s such an incredible gift. We know that Jack will need more kidney transplants throughout his life, but for now we’re excited and hopeful for his future. Professor Jonathan Craig from Westmead Children’s Hospital Sydney says Australia is a world leader in organ and tissue transplants.
“But we depend entirely on the compassion of ordinary Australians who make a decision that enables us to change lives.”
 
As an organ and tissue donor, you can transform the lives of more than 10 people, but it’s important to go online and register your donation on the Australian Organ Donor Register and share your decision with those closest to you.
 
In the same way that we discuss what we want to happen in the event of our death, we also need to talk about whether we would like to become an organ and tissue donor. It’s a conversation we can have today that helps prepare our loved ones should they be offered the opportunity to proceed with organ and tissue donation.
 
DonateLife Week is Australia’s national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation and is led by the Organ and Tissue Authority. For more information visit     www.donatelife.gov.au
 
“This campaign reflects the theme for 2015/16 of RI president, Ravi Ravindran, Be a Gift to the World,” says District Governor Maurie Stack.
 
Rotary District 9650 is partnering with Australian Rotary Health in the Jack Wilson Kidney Research Program, a three-year PhD research project aimed at improving long-term outcomes for young children who are kidney transplant recipients. If any clubs are raising money for Australian Rotary Health and have no other project in mind, they are encouraged to consider the Jack Wilson Kidney Research Program.
 
Copy from Rotary Down Under
August 2015
 
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