Nine public buses across Northern NSW will once again be promoting organ and tissue donation this DonateLife Week, in a bid to prompt locals to register on the Australian Organ Donor Register.
Local nurse, Camilla Jenal is excited to be the face of this year’s campaign, after receiving a live-saving heart transplant in 2012.
After becoming so unwell with heart failure due to an autoimmune disease, Camilla required the assistance of a mechanical pump to keep her heart working. This bought Camilla precious time until she received the call that saved her life.
Camilla hopes that the campaign will encourage locals to head to the DonateLife website to register, and prompt conversations about organ and tissue donation with their family and friends.
“I think a lot of people do find it difficult (to talk about organ donation), but it’s just so important. It’s just one of those chats, if you can have it, it makes all the difference,” Camilla said.
“Now it’s really easy, it takes one minute to go to the donatelife website with your Medicare card, become a donor and tell your family and your loved ones that you’ve done it.
“I’ve always been a donor, but I ended up being a recipient.
“Now I’m a carer for my mum, she’s 96, and I’ve gone back to nursing, I’ve been able to see my children grow up.”
The bus artwork asks people to join the Great Registration Race, which is the theme for this year’s DonateLife Week.
DonateLife are racing towards 100,000 registrations, following a drop in new registrations last year as a result of the pandemic.
Australia recorded a 16 per cent decrease in the number of new donor registrations compared with 2019, partly due to the cancellation of awareness-raising events across the country.
With only 1 in 3 Aussies currently registered, and 1,800 Australians waiting for a life-saving transplant, it’s never been more important to register.
With many people still under the assumption that you can register as a donor via the NSW driver’s license, it’s crucial that people head to donatelife.gov.au and check if they’re registered. It only takes one minute with their Medicare card.
Buses participating in the campaign are located across the Tweed region, Lismore area and Grafton, and will officially launch on Monday 26 July to kick-start DonateLife Week, which runs from 25 July – 1 August 2021.