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February 1, 2012

Central Gippsland Health Service (CGHS) and the community will come together on February 22, in an awareness walk around Lake Guthridge to highlight the importance of organ donation.

Local residents are being asked to join in the CGHS DonateLife Awareness Walk which will run from 7:30-10:30am and will be followed by a sausage sizzle and drinks.

DonateLife is the Australian Government’s body behind the campaign to increase organ donation. According to DonateLife over 75 per cent of Australians are willing to become organ donors but 40 per cent of Australians do not know the wishes of their loved ones.

CGHS Senior Nurse of Organ and Tissue Donation Tracy McConnell-Henry this week enlisted the support of local MP Darren Chester for the event.

Mrs McConnell-Henry said recent figures highlighted that organ donation helps to save lives.

“More than 1000 Australian lives were saved or improved through organ transplants in 2011 as a result of 337 Australians whose organs were donated,” Mrs McConnell-Henry said.

“The figures are encouraging and an improvement on the previous year but there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Mrs McConnell-Henry said it was critical that anybody who wanted to donate their organs discussed it with their family before registering with DonateLife.”

“People can choose to donate their organs to help save lives but it’s critical that they discuss their plans with family members,” Mrs McConnell-Henry said.

Mr Chester, who recently registered as an organ donor, said more lives could be saved if Gippsland residents discussed organ donation with their families.

“It is an individual’s choice to try to save a life,” Mr Chester said.

“Every year we hear unfortunate stories of people of all ages waiting for a suitable organ to be donated so that they can survive and enjoy a renewed quality of life.

“Registering as an organ donor is a simple step people can take to help someone whose life hangs in the balance while they wait for vital organs.”

Anyone who wants further information about supporting the CGHS DonateLife Awareness Walk can contact Mrs McConnell-Henry at CGHS on 5143 8924 or via

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