FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswickers are encouraged to sign up to save a life this holiday season by registering their intent to be an organ and tissue donor.

One organ donor can save the life of eight recipients; one tissue donor can enrich the lives of 75 recipients; and an ocular donor can restore sight for two people.

“Registering to become an organ donor is an important conversation to have with family, particularly this time of year, when time with family is paramount,” said Health Minister Ted Flemming. “Many New Brunswickers are waiting to hear that compatible organs or tissue have been found that could not only help to restore their quality of life, but potentially save it.”

Anyone is eligible to register as an organ donor, regardless of age or health.

“To be involved with organ donation gave our family a lot of peace, knowing that we were able to ease someone’s suffering and add to their quality of life,” said Shawn Stairs, whose daughter, Laura, died in 2016. Her donation improved the lives of five people.

Registering the intent to donate is an important step towards saving a life. It is equally important for donors to have a conversation with loved ones about the matter. As of October, 45 per cent of New Brunswick residents had registered as donors.

The process is simple and confidential, and registering may result in someone waiting for an organ transplant being able to celebrate the holidays with his or her family next year. Those wishing to become donors must indicate their desire by checking the appropriate box on their Medicare Change Request, Replacement and/or Renewal form, available online or by calling 1-888-762-8600.

More information about the New Brunswick Organ and Tissue Donation Program is available online.