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Let the games begin

The World Transplant Games, an Olympic sanctioned event, is a $4m advertisement for Organ and Tissue Donation and it starts today.

It brings together recipients, living donors and Donor Families representing deceased donors from around the world.

Recognising Donor Heroes 🙏and the selflessness of those families who chose to donate the gift of life when a loved one’s journey ends is the most important part of the games for me.

As a recipient, I have already received the greatest gift and I now take any opportunity to raise awareness for the importance of #nextofkinconsent in The Organ Donation Process. (Including participating in the games)

There will be 1500 stories of recipients, donors and families that will be generated by participating in the games and every single one deserves to be told.

In Australia our next of kin consent rates are falling across Australia, despite millions being spent to encourage registration of intent to be a donor.

We need more families to talk about what they would say if ever asked to give the gift of life if a loved one's journey came to a premature end. Then hope and pray they never get asked.

Waiting until you, or a loved one, are in a hospital on life support and never coming home is difficult place for families to make the decision. 46 out of 100 families or (599) last year faced this decision and said no. Had just half of them said yes about 1000 lives would have been saved or improved through transplants.

Australia must put a greater focus on communicating the role our Next Of Kin Consent in saving lives through organ donation. Whether you are a registered donor or not your family will be asked to give consent to your organs being donated if your journey ends in a hospital on life support.

If one message comes from the $4m plus spent to make these games happen, I hope it is families should talk about organ donation and what they would say if ever asked - the pray they never do.

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