Illustration of five medical professionals.

Image credit: Perioperative Interactive Education Team (PIE); All rights reserved, used with permission.

Have Your Say on Organ Donation

A new national survey could help the thousands of Canadians awaiting a much-needed transplant -- you can do your part to help.


Organ donation is a highly personal decision. Donors literally give pieces of themselves to other people. However, there is no doubt that recipients on transplant wait lists are hoping for someone to generously give them a second chance at health and life.

In Canada, 4,500 people are currently waiting for a transplant. In 2012, only 2,124 transplants were received; in the same year, 256 patients died waiting.

A single donor can save up to 8 lives.

Ongoing transplant research is expanding opportunities for patients in many areas, including increasing the number of organs available for transplantation and improving transplantation survival rates.

The kidney tops the list of organs that are needed. Did you know that it is possible to be a living kidney donor? Live kidney donation can greatly reduce wait times for patients, extending their lives and providing better quality of life than dialysis. A living donor may know the recipient personally, but may also be a generous stranger.

Learn more about the advantages of live kidney donation
Read more from the UHN Kidney Transplant Program
Animation courtesy of the Perioperative Interactive Education Team (PIE)

The Multi-Organ Transplant Program (MOT) at the University Health Network (UHN) has the largest kidney transplant program in Canada. Living donation is more common than you think, accounting for about half of all kidney transplants.

This week, it’s particularly important to join the conversation – the Canadian National Transplant Research Program is running a national survey to identify areas of high priority for transplant research and funding until the end of July 2015. It only takes about 10 minutes to complete, and you can access it online here.

All images and animation under copyright © 2015 by the University Health Network, all rights reserved. Used with permission. To license, please contact the Perioperative Interactive Education Team (PIE).

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Karyn Ho is a science animator and engineer who thrives at the interface between science, engineering, medicine, and art. She earned her MScBMC (biomedical communications) and PhD (chemical engineering and biomedical engineering) at the University of Toronto. Karyn is passionate about using cutting edge discoveries to create dynamic stories as a way of supporting innovation, collaboration, education, and informed decision making. By translating knowledge into narratives, her vision is to captivate people, spark their curiosity, and motivate them to share what they learned.