Partners for Life

What started as friendship and a drive to make a difference as individuals has become something much greater for Canadians counting on blood, organ and tissue donation.

In 2008, Canadian Blood Services, in collaboration with the Canadian organ and tissue donation and transplantation (OTDT) community, including the Trillium Gift of Life Network in Ontario, began to look for ways to improve the organ and tissue donation system, and boost the number of donor registrants so the needs of patients could be better met. Many recommendations and successes have come of these consultations.

The partnership between Canadian Blood Services and the Trillium Gift of Life Network has continued to grow over the years. Dr. Graham Sher, CEO of Canadian Blood Services, and Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network, have long recognized the similarities between the missions of the two organizations. Both are dedicated to saving lives and making a difference. Recently, the two CEOs decided to take this dedication a step further by cross-supporting each other.

On Oct. 9, 2013, they launched a blood drive combined with an organ and tissue registry drive for employees and volunteers, as well as their friends and families. At Trillium’s head office in Toronto, employees could be seen getting their fingers poked to learn their blood type and signing up to give blood together as a new Partners for Life group with Canadian Blood Services.

In turn, this fall Canadian Blood Services employees in Central Ontario supported an online organ and tissue registration drive on the website and spread the word with their friends and families about the importance of registering consent for organ and tissue donation.

One organ donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of 75 others through donation. While some blood donors are considered a “rare type” because they are among only a small percentage of people with a specific blood type, to a patient awaiting an organ transplant, the rarest donor of all is an organ or tissue donor.

Visit your provincial organ and tissue registry to register to be an organ or tissue donor, or to learn more.