KHSC celebrates local “Advocate in Action” award recipient
Community member recognized for work on increasing organ and tissue donor registration awareness
In Kingston, over 47 per cent of the community has signed up to be an organ and tissue donor through the Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) which is an impressive feat when compared to the provincial average of 32 per cent. This support from our Kingston community is in large part due to the advocacy work of former KHSC patient Shillane Labbett and her involvement with the Kingston Transplant Advocate Association (TAA).
To recognize her efforts, Shillane was awarded an “Advocates in Action” award by the TGLN at our Hotel Dieu Hospital site. One of only three recipients in the province, this inaugural award is given to people in recognition of their efforts to build awareness around organ and tissue donation transplantation.
“It is an incredible honour to receive this award and recognition for the important work that myself and my colleagues do in the community to help raise awareness around organ and tissue donation,” says Labbet. “I can personally speak to the incredible gift of organ and tissue donation and am privileged to be able to help spread this message to our community.”
In 2005, following a life-long battle with cystic fibrosis, Shillane received a double-lung transplant.
“I was and continue to be so grateful to my donor and to their family,” Labett says. “This deep gratitude I feel for my donor is what first inspired me to become an advocate. Assisting others through their transplant journey gives me a sense of purpose and makes me happy to help. Being an advocate has given my life meaning, especially as I am no longer able to work full-time at a conventional job.”
Following the award presentation Labbett and her family, along with representatives from the Trillium Gift of Life Network, had the opportunity to tour the Organ and Tissue Donor Memorial Wall in the Davies 2 hallway at the Kingston General Hospital site as well as tour and meet members of the Critical Care department.
“Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Trillium Gift of Life Network are partners in supporting organ and tissue donation and it’s been incredible to have the opportunity to meet the team who makes it happen and see the ways that the hospital supports donors and their families,” says Ronnie Gervais, President and CEO of the Trillium Gift of Life Network. “Through the incredible work of the Kingston TAA and the hospital support I have no doubt we will continue to see registration numbers rise in Kingston.”
To learn more about organ and tissue donation, please visit www.beadonor.ca