Target young Quebecers to raise awareness about organ donation

Targeting young Quebecers to raise awareness about organ donation< /p> UPDATE DAY

An organization that educates young Quebecers and their families on the importance of organ donation believes that it is better to educate them in order to encourage discussions around this cause that is still little discussed in Quebec.  

“Big changes come through education and youth,” launched Lucie Dumont, president and founder of Chain of Life, in an interview with the QMI Agency.

This former English teacher decided to open the dialogue on organ donation by creating a program based on learning English and offered in several high schools in the province.

Founded in 2007, Chain of Life thus sheds light on the various links in the chain of donation and transplantation, from the donor to the recipient, without forgetting the medical teams and the role of the donor's family.

According to Ms. Dumont, bringing this discussion into a school context helps to better equip young people aged 15 to 17 and their families to donate.

“Donor families need to be helped to make the best decision at the most tragic time in their lives. When the discussion has taken place, 98% of the families will say yes”, she indicated.

This program, which arouses many interest in the rest of Canada and even in France, has already proven itself. A young student, who had taken the courses, had succeeded in convincing her parents of the importance of giving.

“Unfortunately, two weeks later she died in an accident. She saved four lives, and if she hadn't followed Chain of Life, there would have been no donations,” said Ms. Dumont.

The founder hopes to one day see a law that will support a school-based education program, which she says would be more effective than changing the laws regarding consent to organ donation.

“Informed consent takes the time that the society educates its population to make this decision,” she argued.

The chance for a second life

Thierry Houillon is well aware of the importance of organ donation. Suffering from inoperable stage 4 liver cancer, the liver transplant he received in 2013 saved his life.

“It really jumped out at us the importance of donating 'organs, because in my husband's case, it was that or palliative care,” said his wife, host and producer Isabelle Maréchal.

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Godfather and godmother of Chain of Life, they were seduced by the idea of ​​transmitting this message through young people and hope to take the cause even further.

“By donating the organ of their loved one, [ families] are given hope of life. It won't hide all the suffering, but it's a balm on the pain, “illustrated Mr. Houillon.

Climbing mountains for organ donation

Several donors living organisms, families of donors, recipients and doctors will simultaneously climb 16 mountains in Quebec and seven others in the United States, France and Nepal this weekend as part of World Organ Donation Day and the transplant.

It is possible to make a donation to encourage them on the chainedevie.org website.

Figures on organ donation in Quebec

  • Only 1.4% of the population can become a potential donor
  • Out of 724 potential donors, only 144 Quebecers made a donation in 2021
  • In 2021, 409 people were transplanted in Quebec
  • In Quebec, 75 people made a living donation in 2021