April 7, 2019 will be the first anniversary of Logan Boulet's death, and is recognized as Green Shirt Day. Photo: Government of Saskatchewan
On Sunday, April 7, communities across Canada will recognize Green Shirt Day. The day is in honour of the late Humboldt Broncos player, Logan Boulet, and to spread awareness about organ donation.
Sunday will be the first anniversary of Boulet’s passing, following the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash. He had shared his wishes to become an organ donor with family prior to the accident, and his life-giving donation saved six lives. It’s estimated that following his donation, 100,000 Canadians registered as organ donors, in what’s come to be known as the “Logan Boulet Effect”.
The Canadian Transplant Association says that Canada has a poor organ donation rate. According to them, more than 1,600 Canadians are added to organ wait lists yearly. Ninety per cent of Canadians support organ and tissue donation but less than 20% have made plans to donate. Lloydminster’s regional coordinator for the CTA, Donna Krilow-Lorenz, thinks the topic of organ donation may be tough for some to approach.
“It’s life and death, and so it’s not an easy thing to talk about. But the fact is, we do have the science, we have the technology, to save people’s lives,” says Krilow-Lorenz, adding that not everyone will be able to donate when the time comes.
“What we need is a pool of donors. Not everybody who wants to be a donor will be at life’s end, depending on the circumstances of how they’ve died and one’s health at the time. We just need a pool of donors so doctors can do their jobs and save lives.”
Recently, Nova Scotia passed presumptive organ donor legislation. This makes everyone a presumed organ donor unless they decided to opt-out. Krilow-Lorenz says it’s the first of its kind in North America. Krilow-Lorenz says these kind of changes are coming due to more awareness around how organ donation can save lives. She says that the idea behind this is to not let good organ and tissue go to waste.
“The whole goal in that, which would be just remarkable that, if in Canada, we have no such thing as a waitlist. Anybody who falls ill will very soon get their organ or tissue and go on with their life.”
Since the day falls on a Sunday, it’s encouraged that people also wear green to show their support at work or school on Monday, April 8.