Eric Taylor kicked off his school year by registering, but it wasn’t for classes.
He became an organ donor at the University of Ottawa campus on Tuesday.
“It’s something I always kind of wanted to do but never imagined myself doing until I was older, but I figured since it’s all set up here, I might as well,” said Taylor, 19.
For the first time, the school held an organ registration drive during its fall orientation session.
Taylor, a first year theatre student from Thamesville, signed up to donate all of his organs.
“I know it’ll be helpful and I know if I was in the situation that I needed some (organs) it would be nice to have them, so I want to help,” said Taylor.
A short time earlier, double lung transplant recipient Helene Campbell of Barrhaven stopped by to promote the Be A Donor initiative, something she’ll continue to do as she recovers.
“I’ve received this gift of life. It’s near and dear to my heart, literally and figuratively. So absolutely, if I have a voice and I have the oomph to make it happen, then why not?,” said Campbell, wearing a RecycleMe.org T-shirt from the Trillium Gift of Life Network.
“It’s a cause I’d like to support as long as I live.”
Campbell is writing a book and hopes to be on the uOttawa campus come January for communications or general arts.
Recruiting peers to support the cause is key, she said.
“I really think, start with students because they grow up with that mindset already of change and then they have kids later on and it changes everything around it,” said Campbell.
Having Campbell participate helps to reach a large number of students, said law professor Jennifer Chandler.
But there’s more work to do.
“We’d love to encourage people to register and to speak to their families, which is also very important and also to just spread the word to sensitize people to the importance of this issue and the number of lives that can really be helped and saved through the willingness to donate,” said Chandler.
Registering could save up to eight lives and enhance as many as 75 more.
To register, visit beadonor.ca
The school’s Loeb chair and research consortium in organ and tissue donation is the first academic research chair of its kind in the world.