About Us

The Organ Project Mission

Our mission is simple: to save lives by ending the organ transplant wait list.

About Us

Founded in July 2016, The Organ Project is an initiative founded by Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and himself an organ recipient. After undergoing the harrowing experience of waiting for an organ to save his life and, ultimately being matched with an anonymous live donor after a public appeal, Eugene set out to solve this problem and end the wait list.

The Organ Project will work with the federal and provincial governments and organ transplantation agencies to make traditional registration easier, efficient and more accessible. The systems are cumbersome and need to be more user friendly. There are also several policy changes that need to be explored, and we will work with stakeholders across Canada to help identify real, practical solutions.

Additionally, The Organ Project will undertake campaigns to encourage a viral movement of organ donation awareness. We will create social media tools that are designed to be shared and discussed on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Organ Project will also launch campaigns on traditional media channels working with influencers in the sports and entertainment worlds to expand and target new audiences.

The awareness campaigns are meant to both encourage registration with a provincial agency, and to start conversations between family members. Ultimately, it is always left up to the family of a potential organ donor to make the final decision about organ donation. By having the conversation years in advance, it helps normalize organ donation and make it a natural part of the dying process.

The goal of the Organ Project is to save lives. While there are many aspects of the organ transplantation process in Canada that can be improved upon, the one thing that every single person in Canada can do is making sure there are enough donors.

The problem of the wait list is solvable- this isn’t like finding a cure for a disease. Practical policies and engaging awareness campaigns can and will save lives. We hope you join us in choosing to save a life.

 

“Through my experience, I’ve met many families who have endured years of heartache and broken hope, waiting for an organ to become available. As a caring and compassionate society, we can and must do better. I hope you join me in ending the organ transplant wait list; choose to save a life!”—Eugene Melnyk

Eugene Melnyk

Eugene Melnyk is well known throughout Canada and the world as a successful businessman and owner of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club.

Having achieved success in the pharmaceutical industry, business, hockey and horse racing; in May 2015, Eugene's life took on new purpose when he faced the battle of his life after receiving the devastating news that he was in dire need of a liver transplant.

Eugene was added to the transplant waitlist, but soon realized he was facing an uphill battle made even more difficult due to his rare blood type.

Eugene’s medical condition quickly deteriorated as he continued to wait for the call that a donor liver was available. Eugene was now literally fighting for his life.

Privately, a massive effort was underway amongst his family and closest friends to determine if any were compatible to be a live organ donor. Many were tested, but none were deemed eligible. Time was quickly running out for Eugene. He had, at best, weeks and perhaps only days to live.

Eugene’s situation could not be more urgent. With no other options left, Eugene’s family and close friends urged him to allow them to make a public plea to find a live donor.

Eugene’s public plea worked and in a matter of days a suitable live donor, who unselfishly chose to remain anonymous, was found. It saved his life and after a long recovery Eugene is re-energized and healthier than he has been in years. More importantly, his life has taken on a new purpose.

From that new purpose was born "The Organ Project" with the ambitious but achievable goal of eliminating organ waitlists including in Canada where 4,600 people wait desperately every day in the hopes of receiving a much needed life-saving organ.

Eugene is thankfully in a position now to help others. To save lives. To eliminate waitlists forever.