Jim Lowes, a living kidney donor who was inspired by Humboldt Broncos bus crash victim Logan Boulet, is photographed at his home in Burlington, Ont., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Green Shirt Day, April 7, was started after the crash that killed 16 people and coincides with the anniversary of Logan Boulet’s death. Boulet’s family donated his organs after the crash. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

Jim Lowes, a living kidney donor who was inspired by Humboldt Broncos bus crash victim Logan Boulet, is photographed at his home in Burlington, Ont., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Green Shirt Day, April 7, was started after the crash that killed 16 people and coincides with the anniversary of Logan Boulet’s death. Boulet’s family donated his organs after the crash. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

QUINN’S QUIPS: Take two minutes and give the gift of life

April 7 is Green Shirt Day in Canada, celebrating organ donor awareness

Most people, if you ask them about organ donation, will tell you they think it’s a good idea—who needs their organs once they are gone?

BC Transplant tells a different story. Only a quarter of people who support organ donation have actually signed up for the organ donor registry in British Columbia.

There are more than 1.5 million people in B.C. that have registered their organ donation decision. Nearly 5,500 British Columbians are alive because of organ transplants; 451 of them just in 2020, during a global pandemic.

April 7 has come to be known as Green Shirt Day in Canada, named after Humboldt Bronco hockey player Logan Boulet, who died in a tragic bus crash in April 2018. Boulet became an organ donor on April 7, 2018, and his gift of life inspired thousands of Canadians to register as organ donors. More than 100,000, in fact. This became known as “the Logan Boulet Effect” and his parents have continued their son’s message every year.

After the story came out about Boulet, 21, donating organs and saving six people’s lives even as his was over, people began wearing green shirts to honour the Broncos, whose jerseys were green and gold.

“Green Shirt Day shows that there is always hope, even in the most tragic situations,” according to BC Transplant.

Green is also the colour of organ donor awareness and April has always been Organ and Tissue Donation Month in B.C., so the relationship is symbiotic.

READ: ‘Take two minutes’: Surrey lung recipient encourages organ donation, as he’s done

Those of you who have read Quinn’s Quips over the years will know that my late father was a heart transplant recipient. He lived for six and a half years with his “new” heart, and made the most of it. He and a friend helped found Heart Transplant Home Society, which offers housing close to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver for heart transplant recipients from elsewhere in B.C.

We remember Dad’s donor family every April, thanking them privately for the gift they gave us at a tragic time for them.

My immediate family all signed the organ donor registry more than 20 years ago, as we were learning about organ donation while my father waited for the call. We have all at one time or another volunteered or advocated for organ donation, and I have written numerous stories about people who have experienced it from both sides.

I remember asking my Dad after he had recovered from surgery, and when we were writing thank you letters to his donor family—we do not know who they are, we wrote the letters anonymously—how he felt having someone else’s heart beating in his chest.

He told me that it wasn’t someone else’s heart it was his; for someone in a moment of generosity had given it to him as a gift, and he was grateful.

It takes two minutes to give that gift of life. Go online at taketwominutes.ca. If you haven’t already, please take the time.

Susie Quinn is the Alberni Valley News editor. She is also a registered organ donor.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A trailer with fire damage is taped off by the Port Alberni Fire Department at the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Fire knocked down at Wintergreen Apartments trailer

City is concerned about zoning, building code and fire code infractions surrounding the trailers

File photo of Gord Johns during World Oceans Day.
Courtenay-Alberni MP outlines priorities for federal budget

Universal pharmacare, affordable housing and Pacific wild salmon are some of the… Continue reading

Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Lukas Jirousek pokes the puck away from Grizzlies forward Henri Schreifels during a game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BCHL: Career night for Castagna can’t lift Alberni Valley Bulldogs past Victoria

Back-and-forth affair between Bulldogs and Grizzlies ends 7-5 for visiting team

Logging Camp Nine on Great Central Lake overlooks a large forest fire across the lake in this historical photo from May 1943. Camp Nine was bustling, with residences for logging camp staff, a rail line and rail cars visible. This is one of 24,000 photos contained in the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives, available for public viewing at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN12220 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)
LOOK BACK: Great Central Lake’s sawmill

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Vally Museum

Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ goalie Luke Pearson stopped all 22 shots the Cowichan Capitals sent his way to collect a 5–0 shutout in B.C. Hockey League action, Saturday, April 10, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BCHL: Pearson earns shutout in Bulldogs’ win over Cowichan Capitals

Alberni Valley will face Victoria Grizzlies Sunday, April 11 at 3 p.m.

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
Vancouver Island team helps make $368 million three-tonne cocaine seizure

12 members from 19 Wing Comox involved in Op Caribbe

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO Conservation and Protection Officers seized this 30 foot vessel, fishing gear and equipment as well as Chinook salmon, salmon roe, rock fish and ling cod after an investigation on Sept. 11. A judge in Campbell River on February hit the owner and his accomplices with significant fines, a ban on holding fishing licences and loss of equpment, including the boat’s motor and trolling motor. RCMP photo
Washington State trio’s fisheries violations the worst veteran officer has seen in 20 years

Judge bans three men from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read