Timmins is being called a role model when it comes to organ donor registration numbers. That comment comes from the President and CEO of the Trillium Gift of Life Network, Ronnie Gavsie. The city ranks 7th out of 170 communities, as 50 per cent of residents are registered to be a donor. That’s compared to Ontario as a whole, of which 30 per cent of residents have signed up to be an organ donor.

Gavsie is attributing those high numbers to the close knit community. She says sometimes transplant recipients or donor families could know each other. Either way, Gavsie says they know what each other is going through, and they share their stories and emotions, which is what causes people to take action.

Gavsie says the rest of Ontario should be following Timmins’ lead. She says the numbers in the city have gone up seven per cent from 2011. Timmins had 43 per cent of residents registered, and just five years later the city sits at 50 per cent.

Gavsie says it’s important to sign up to be an organ or tissue donor, as it will help to save lives. She says families are almost always willing to move forward and respect their loved ones’ wishes, when they know what those wishes are. She says when the families don’t know, the consent rate falls dramatically.

Gavsie also points out that the old donor cards that were carried in wallets are no longer applicable. In order to be an officially registered organ donor, you must sign up on the Be A Donor website, or by going to a Service Ontario location.