About Us

The Organ Project

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Founded in 2016 by Eugene Melnyk, the Owner and Chairman of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, The Organ Project is a not for profit organization focused on ending the organ transplant waiting list. Working closely with our charity, the TOP Foundation, we are committed to changing the current environment so that, in the near future, nobody in Canada will die while waiting for an organ transplant.

To say that Eugene Melnyk is passionate about our purpose is an understatement. In 2015, Mr. Melnyk experienced first-hand what it is like to wait, day after day, for an organ to be available for transplant. Diagnosed with liver failure in late 2014, Mr. Melnyk waited months for a liver from a deceased donor to become available. Given his rare blood type, a match was unlikely to come in time. At the urging of his young daughters, Eugene made a public plea for a living donor. His life was saved on May 19th, 2015by an anonymous donor. Eugene will be forever grateful.

Right now, there are 4.500 Canadians waiting, like Eugene did, for a life-saving organ transplant. Sadly, 260 of those people will die this year because an organ won’t come in time. They will die in a country with access to transplant surgical procedures that are proven to be highly effective, with some of the best surgeons and health care facilities in the world. Those 260 people – that’s one every 33 hours - will die because not enough organs are available for transplant. We hope to change that, and we hope you will help us.

For years, advocates have been asking Canadians to register as organ donors. Yet, deceased donor registration rates in Canada still fall below those of other countries like Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom. More importantly, the stagnant supply of organs in Canada falls well below the growing demand caused by organ failure. A significant majority of people support organ donation, yet few are registered. We need action – we need to convince Canadians to stop putting it off and register.

We are doing a few things to try to inspire people to register – now! We are strong believers in YOUTH. We believe that youth have the passion and the cultural connection to help us inspire action. If we educate youth on what it really means to be an organ donor, they are empowered to both ACT and ADVOCATE. We are thrilled to have been a part of WE Day in Ottawa in November 2017 and we look forward to extending our reach to other WE Days in 2018.

We are also thrilled to join in partnership with the University of Toronto Transplant Initiative (UTTI) and support them as they deliver their High School Outreach Program, delivering in class sessions on transplantation for youth in Toronto. Our goal is to work with UTTI and take that curriculum and make it available to youth across Canada.

Beyond youth, we are strong believers in the power of competition. Let’s find a way to appeal to that uniquely Canadian sense of generous competition and get people registered as organ donors. We appeal to large organizations and institutions to inspire their constituents to register. Inform your workforce, your student base on what it really means to leave your organs after you die, then challenge another organization to see who can get the most registrations in a month, we’d love to help you do that.

Finally, beyond working to increase the number of organs available through registration, we aim to make more organs available by helping with living donor outreach. A longer term goal for us, we know that the system can be disconnected and, at times, overwhelmed. Living donor rates in Canada are declining and that is of great concern to us. We are working to help consolidate the incredible knowledge that currently exists across Canada and share it with people in search of the tools and information necessary to make a plea for a living donor. We are a small but mighty group of individuals, all passionate about saving lives and ending the wait. We work hard not to duplicate the good work of our partners in the transplant community but we hope to disrupt the status-quo. We hope you will help us.

Mission

The Organ Project’s mission is to end the organ transplant waiting list. 

This is truly a solvable problem. It’s about education, registration, and donation. It only takes 2 minutes to register and that could be the difference in saving someone’s life.

The Organ Project is
Challenging the status quo

Working with the Canadian Transplant Research Program (CNTRP) to research ways to use Social Media to effectively encourage organ donor registration

Working with WE.org to educate and empower youth to better understand organ donation so they are empowered to act.

 

Challenging employers and institutions to create new and unique ways to inspire their constituents to register.  

Register as an organ donor – it may be the simplest and most generous thing you ever do

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