Signing up to donate your organs only takes a minute of your time and saves lives – something Eurobodalla Renal Support Group’s Brad Rossiter OAM knows only too well.
He is calling on the public to show its support for Donate Life Week by getting involved in the Turn Your Front Light On For Organ Donation campaign.
“It’s all about raising awareness of organ and tissue registration,” says Brad.
“Registering as a donor is a very good thing to do and it saves people’s lives, such as mine.”
Brad has had Type 1 diabetes since he was five years old.
Tragically, during the course of his life he has had to have both legs amputated and became legally blind.
He began dialysis in 2000, but seven years later received a kidney and pancreas transplant, which meant he no longer had to have dialysis.
The former butcher said the organ donation has been life-changing for him.
“It’s given me my life back, and it’s given me the opportunity to watch our son grow up,” says Brad.
“Dialysis was not good and I didn’t handle it well at all.
“The transplant gave me new strengths … it’s really made me know I’m lucky to be alive.”
When asked about the need for donors, Brad says he did not think there would ever be enough of them to help all the people waiting for a transplant.
According to the Australian Government’s Organ and Tissue Authority, around 1800 people are on a waiting list for a transplant and more than 12,000 people are on dialysis – many who may need a kidney transplant.
In 2020, a total of 1270 lives were saved in Australia through an organ transplant due to 463 deceased organ donors and their families.
When asked what he says to people to encourage them to donate, Brad has a simple answer.
“If one of your family members needed an organ transplant, would you become a donor?” he says.
“From my experience, most people would say yes they would – quick give me the form.”
It is easy to join the Turn Your Front Light On For Organ Donation campaign.
Between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Friday, 30 July, just turn on the front light of your home, take a photo from outside and post it to the Eurobodalla Renal Support Group & Organ Donor Awareness Facebook page.
You can also visit the page for more information on the campaign.
You must register if you want to become an organ donor. You can easily do this by signing up online.
Donate Life Week is running this week until Sunday, 1 August.