June 18th, 2024

April 7 focus evolves beyond organ donation


By Lethbridge Herald on April 7, 2022.

Logan Boulet's sacrifice has inspired thousands of Canadians to sign their organ donor cards.
By Justin Seward
Lethbridge Herald
Green Shirt Day is in its fourth year today in honour of the Logan Boulet Effect.
The day recognizes Logan Boulet, a Lethbridge product, who decided in 2018 to register his organ and tissues, just weeks before the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash that took his and 15 other people’s lives on April 6, 2018.
Logan’s father, Toby, talked about the community impact of Green Shirt Day and organ and tissue donation awareness.
“The community of Lethbridge has been outstanding,” said Toby. “They support what we are doing 100 per cent. We never had any real backlash and don’t expect there would be some backlash or don’t expect that to happen. Organ transplantation and organ tissue donor awareness is a non-partisan issue that’s been in the provincial governments and federal governments in Canada — over and over again it’s non-partisan. So, really it doesn’t matter what your political stripe is or where you’re at in your life, people believe in organ transplant.”
Toby says unfortunately there are only 32-33 per cent of Canadians that have actually registered to be organ donors.
“But 90 per cent say they would donate their organs or if it came to that situation,” he said. “So that’s why we are very strong advocates for organ and tissue donor registration in Canada and particularly in Alberta, is that there’s a gap between what people say and what they actually do.”
Alberta UCP MLA RJ Sigurdson recently tabled his bill under the Human Tissue and Organ Donation Act in hopes of changing along with Alberta organ donation groups to mandatory referral.
“That’s a big step for Alberta to go to mandatory referral,” said Toby.
Boulet further explained mandatory referral is if someone is brain injured and is on a ventilator and in a position to donate organs, that doctors — if the bill passes — must refer that patient on to an organ transplant section.
“So what that means is that it’s called a missed donor opportunity,” he said. “Alberta has too many missed donor opportunities. This change will in fact help address the fact they’ve kept back on the missed donor opportunities — that’s a big deal. And for us to be four years on the path now — it’s coming to the fourth anniversary of Logan’s passing on April 7 — that that’s one of our major things we pushed for is have a conversation with your family. Let them know what’s going on when you register and be inspired.”
After Boulet’s passing, his heart, liver, lungs, both kidneys and corneas were donated and either improved or saved six lives.
Lethbridge’s Shelley Hamilton was a kidney donor to her husband in 2012 and participates in Green Shirt Day after seeing the Boulet family turning something bad into some good.
“I think what that family did was amazing,” she said. “They took a horrible tragedy and they’ve made something good of it. As good as they could with what they had and I think that’s pretty bloody amazing that they could take what they went through and do something good with a really bad situation.”
Hamilton promotes the day by doing press, getting out her green shirt and getting people to buy a green shirt to raise money.
“If they need help, I help them because they were so good to us,” said Hamilton.
On being a donor she said, “The emotional was hard just because you don’t really realize how it’s going to affect you until after. It’s a lot more emotional than people would realize.”
Boulet’s story inspired 150,000 Canadians to register as organ and tissue donors.
A Green Shirt Day family skate will be hosted at the ATB Centre from 4:30-6 p.m.
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