A Monday-morning flag-raising was held at the Northumberland County building to hoist high the Be A Donor flag that will fly through April 7.
Warden John Logel was accompanied at the event by Warkworth resident David Mitchell, whose life was saved by a heart transplant in 2015.
Mitchell made a presentation at the March county council meeting to share his story and, more importantly, advocate for April to be proclaimed as Be A Donor Month.
Through organ and tissue donations, he said, one donor can potentially save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 people. Though 85% of Ontarians support organ donation, however, only 33% have taken the time to register.
Another hurdle is that Ontario law allow a family member to override a loved one's wish to be a donor.
“So even though your loved one may have checked that box or gone on-line to register, when the time comes at the hospital, your family members may override that decision. A lot of times, it's a lack of information, or the loved one has not communicated their wish to the family. So we encourage you to talk about it, tell your family about your wish to be a donor,” Mitchell urged.
Overall, Cobourg and Port Hope can each boast a 48% rate of registered potential organ donors.
“That's a good number,” Mitchell said.
“Personally, I would like to see it over 50%, and that's my goal. I see no reason why Northumberland cannot be above 50% at least.”
Mitchell's presentation spurred council to make the proclamation, and now the flag is a visible sign of their commitment.
County councillors urge everyone to show their support by registering at BeADonor.ca.