TELL Foundation - 12 Organ transplant recipients to take on the Cape Town Cycle Tour!
Photo Cred: TELL

Given that in South Africa, August is National Organ Donation Awareness Month, as well as Women’s Month, Love Life Gift Life has formulated a combined campaign in celebration of these two things.

Love Life; Gift Life (LLGL) was founded in April 2016 by four friends who have all been fortunate enough to receive lung transplants. Shaylene Perry, Alice Vogt, Fawn Rogers and Siobhan Scallan are all passionate about organ donation and want to heighten the level of organ donor awareness among the general South African population.

LLGL aims to share the stories of real people, putting a face to organ donation in South Africa.

ALSO READ: South African campaign going viral globally for all the right reasons

This includes the stories of transplant recipients and those waiting for a transplant, the stories of donors and their families, as well as the stories of the incredible team of medical practitioners who are making transplant possible in this country.

By attaching faces to the stories, LLGL hopes to add a personal element to transplant, which will resonate with the public.

In particular, the hope is to connect with potential donors and their families, by giving them a chance to see how important and life-changing saying “Yes” to organ donation can be.

#ORGust Campaign

For the month of August, LLGL has decided to share the stories of the unsung heroes of transplant – specifically, stories of the women making a real impact in organ transplantation in South Africa.

These are the stories of nurses, transplant coordinators, surgeons, doctors, psychologists, specialists, physiotherapists, academics and activists – a team of incredible women who are all working tirelessly towards making a difference in transplantation in South Africa.

LLGL believes that while it is extremely important to celebrate the lives of recipients and to honour the donors and their families, too often, the healthcare professionals involved in transplant do not get recognition for the essential part that they play.

No transplant patient would be here today, if it were not for the extensive team of people, so often behind the scenes, making miracles happen.

LLGL hopes to shine a light on these inspirational women this month – who are making a world of difference to the lives of people every single day.

Organ Donor

In addition to giving recognition to prominent women in the field of transplantation, LLGL has created a way for all South Africans to show their support for Organ Donation Awareness Month.

Organ donation and transplantation is represented internationally with a symbolic green ribbon, and so, for the month of August, LLGL is encouraging everyone to add this ribbon to their Facebook profile image to show their support for organ donation.

We are all well aware of the reach social media has and after our successful #Save7Lives campaign went viral, we are optimistic that this campaign will also have a great impact within the online community.

Organ Donation in SA – The Current Situation

Currently thousands of people in South Africa are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and this list only continues to grow.

With less than 1% of South Africa’s population registered as organ donors, the situation is dire.

In 2015, there were a total of 363 solid organ transplants, and 152 cornea transplants throughout all the transplant centres in South Africa.  However, many of these donations are from living donors, and there were in fact fewer than 80 cadaver donors during the year.

The reality of these figures is that not all the people on the waiting list will receive an organ in time, and many will die waiting. This may seem at odds with the number of deaths reported daily in South Africa, but many potential donors go unrecognised by medical staff or, donor families may deny consent if not aware of their loved one’s wishes, especially if they have been misinformed about organ donation.

A donor’s family ultimately has the final say regarding organ donation, so it is imperative that the public make their next-of-kin aware of their wishes to be an organ donor.

By showing their support with the green ribbon, people are not only creating awareness for the cause but will undoubtedly give much needed hope to the thousands of disheartened patients awaiting a life-saving transplant.

To show YOUR support please follow the link HERE and add a green ribbon to your profile.

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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