Today, Thursday, Apr. 7, 2022, is Green Shirt Day, recognized in honour of Logan Boulet, one of 16 hockey players who died in the Humboldt Bronco’s bus accident in 2018, who saved the lives of six other people through organ donation.
Part of Organ Donation Month, Green Shirt Day is celebrated by members of the local Transplant Advocate Association (TAA), who, the organization said, have received the best gift ever, in the form of one or more life-saving organs.
According to a release from the organization, currently, 90 per cent of Canadians say they support organ and tissue donation, yet only 32 per cent are registered to become organ donors. A registered charity, part of the TAA’s mission is to help increase that percentage of registered donors. The group consists of organ recipients, their care partners, family members, and organ donors, who all strive to increase awareness about the need and registration process for organ donation and provide support and encouragement to those who are currently on the transplant journey – whether that be pre- or post-transplant.
One member of the local TAA, Pete Murdock, was happily in attendance at the flag raising in Confederation Park, surrounded by his smiling and green-shirt-clad family. Murdock is a double lung transplant recipient who has experienced the life-changing — and life-saving — benefits organ transplants can offer. His transplant took place in March 2021, and has allowed him to return to a more active life. Like many of those with the TTA, Murdock’s story is one that highlights the importance of organ donation; without organ donors, the benefits of organ transplant cannot be realized for those in need of a life-saving transplant.
The TAA, which works closely with the Trillium Gift of Life Network, encompasses a wide geographical region including the counties of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, Peterborough, Lanark, Leeds & Grenville, Hastings & Prince Edward, and Northumberland. President Paul Benoit, explained that the group is very active during April, when proclamations, flag-raising ceremonies and light displays are evident throughout the regions they serve, however, they host monthly coffee and chats and other social and fundraising events and awareness events throughout their region, year-round.
“We also welcome any opportunities to engage with people in high schools and post-secondary education, with health professionals, employee groups and the general public, whether it be through educational displays, information booths, media interviews, or public speaking opportunities,” he said.
While activities have been limited to mostly virtual meetings over the past two years, the group looks forward to resuming activities in person in the coming months.
Earlier today the group held a flag-raising ceremony at Kingston City Hall. Mayor Bryan Paterson was presented with a Logan Boulet green shirt, and City Hall will be lit up in green tonight, in honour of the day.
Learn more about TAA on their website.