With the holiday season behind us and the new year in full swing, it is a good time to reflect and perhaps set goals for ourselves. Rather than the usual “get fit”, “eat less” or “take more time for me” goals, why not bring in the new year by giving the gift of life? Consider donating blood or placing yourself on an organ donor list.

Here are some compelling statistics. In Canada, 52% of people say they or a family member have needed blood or blood products at some point in their lives. Half of all Canadians are fit to donate blood, but only 1 in 60 Canadians gave blood last year.

Our country also needs organ and tissue donors, but not enough Canadians have made plans to donate. As our population ages, the need for organ and tissue donations will increase. Canada’s organ donation rates are also lower than many countries, including the United States.

Loved ones are always asked before donation happens, so it is important that they know your wishes. If you decide to become an organ and tissue donor, discuss it with your family and friends. If you have questions about how donation affects your religious or spiritual practice, speak with your spiritual leader.

More information can be found by searching Blood, Organ and Tissue Donation on the Government of Canada website.

Best regards for a healthy and safe New Year.

The Orchard Health Team

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