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Young Australians Share Their Stories to Save Lives

Young Australians Share Their Stories to Save Lives

The video stories of three young Australians were launched to help young people understand the urgent need to ask and know family members' organ and tissue donation wishes.

'New research commissioned by the Organ and Tissue Authority found that the majority of 18-29 year olds (84%) cite the chance to save a life as the key motivation to decide about becoming an organ and tissue donor," said Ms Yael Cass, Chief Executive Officer of the Organ and Tissue Authority.

'Although the majority (79%) say that religious or cultural beliefs would not be a barrier to deciding about organ and tissue donation, 40% of 18-29 year olds are concerned that their family would not want them to become an organ and tissue donor. One in two young adults mistakenly believes that doctors would not work as hard to save their lives if they had decided to become an organ donor.

To encourage more young adults to talk about organ and tissue donation, three video stories have been produced, featuring young Australians from the DonateLife Book of Life, a collection of more than 250 life-saving and life-changing stories from people affected by organ and tissue donation.

'One of the most powerful ways to engage young Australians on the subject of organ and tissue donation is the telling of personal stories by young people," said Ms Yael Cass, Chief Executive Officer of the Organ and Tissue Authority.

-Mitchell's sisters' makes a special plea to young Australians to talk about donation wishes with their families. Sisters Melanie, Chloe and Hayley share their story about teenage brother Mitchell, who became an organ donor after a sudden fatal car accident and saved the lives of four others.

"I know it is a difficult subject and one that most parents or kids don't want to discuss, but it is so important for young Australians to ask and know the wishes of their loved ones and friends. We urge people to have the discussion today – with your parents, your friends, your family and your kids," said Melanie.

-Jess' highlights the life-changing experience following her liver transplant. Just 20 years old, Jess has embraced life after years of illness and recently completed the Kokoda Trail. Jessica says, 'Organ and tissue donation is very important to talk about with your family so that you know the wishes of your loved ones for when they are not here, so they can give someone a second chance at life like I got."

-Kylie and Troy' share the story of 30-year-old Kylie's double lung transplant following years of a restricted life due to the debilitating effects of cystic fibrosis. Kylie says, 'In the end your family has the final say so if they know your wishes already it is going to be a lot easier on them in such a hard situation."

'These three video stories will help to motivate young adults to discover the facts about organ and tissue donation so that they can make an informed decision about whether to become an organ and tissue donor and discuss their wishes with their family," said Ms Cass.

DonateLife Week (19-26 February) is Australia's awareness week on organ and tissue donation.
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