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Justeene urges Townsville to donate

Published:  29 July 2019

It has been three years since Justeene Ketchup was given a second chance at life after receiving a kidney from an organ donor.

Justeene said she was compelled to share her story to raise awareness of organ donation, with Queensland lagging for registered donors.

“Organ donation changed my life and gave me a second chance,” she said.

“Before my donation I could barely walk 100 metres and couldn’t climb a flight of stairs now you just can’t stop me.

“It is just so sad that so many people still don’t know what a major difference they can make to someone just like me by taking a couple of minutes to register online.”

Donation Specialist Nurse Meagan Baldwin said the penny was starting to drop for North Queenslanders but there was still more ground to make up.

“In Townsville we saw 2064 new registrations last year, an increase of 26 per cent the year before,” she said.

“Despite this, barely more than one-in-four (28 per cent) of Queenslanders have registered compared to one-in-three nationally.

“Registering counts; families proceed with organ donation nine out of 10 times if their loved one had registered and informed their family they wanted to save lives.

Justeene said her message to the community was simple.

“I wouldn’t be here if someone hadn’t made the decision to be an organ donor,” she said.

“That person’s decision saved my life and I hope others will do the same.”

DonateLife Week is held from 28 July to 4 August and is an annual campaign aimed at encouraging more Australians to register to be an organ and tissue donor.

To register as a donor visit www.donatelife.gov.au all you need is your Medicare card number.

Contact: Public Affairs 4433 1016 | 0409 265 298

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