Welcome to Outlive Yourself and thank you for joining me on my journey across Canada to raise awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation.
To introduce myself briefly, my name is Cayse Ruiter. I am soon to be 26 years old (June 11th), was born and raised in the Ottawa-area, but have spent time over the past couple of years in Montreal, Toronto and travelling abroad.
I would describe myself as fun-loving, passionate, energetic and committed to affecting positive change in the lives of those around me. You might describe me as crazy given my plan to bike 8000+km across Canada. I promise you there is a good reason for this.
I actually spent the better part of the last year and a half contemplating biking across Canada- researching and reading about other peoples experiences all while plotting my own journey. Then, on December 16th, 2012, my good friend Matthew Antolin passed away at the age of 27 while waiting for a heart transplant.
Matt’s loss was obviously heartbreaking for me, his family and everyone in our friend group; however, in the wake of this unimaginable tragedy I also felt an overwhelming desire to do something–anything–to honour Matt’s memory and make a difference. And so I decided I would fulfill on my dream of biking across Canada, using my journey as a way of raising awareness about organ and tissue donation with the hope that it will inspire others (like yourself) to take similar actions.
If your wondering how you can support my journey the answer is simple and takes almost no time. Spend the 2 minutes it takes to sign up as an organ and tissue donor, you could save up to 8 lives and positively impact up to 75 others. And after you do that, spread the word—to family, friends and strangers. On Twitter and Facebook or over BBQ and Beers. Anywhere and everywhere, however you can. You may never know when someone you know and love is faced with a similar predicament. Let’s make sure stories like Matt’s never happen again!
Join me on this journey as we turn Outlive Yourself into a National Movement. Follow me here or on Twitter @OutliveCanada
For information about organ and tissue donation in your province follow the list and links below:
Ontario: Register online at https://beadonor.ca/cayse-ruiter (note: You’ll need your Ontario Health Card)
Alberta, Nunavut and Northwest Territories:
Alberta does not have an organ donor registry at this time, although you can make your wishes known by signing the back of your health card.
For more information, contact the H.O.P.E. (Human Organ Procurement and Exchange) Program:
• For Calgary and southern Alberta, call 403-944-8700
• For Edmonton and northern Alberta, as well as for Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, call 780-407-8411
Yukon: Yukon Health and Social Services offers information on becoming a donor on its website. For information on how to become an organ donor with the Yukon Organ Donor Program, call 1-867-667-5209 or 1-800-661-0408, local 5209.
Nova Scotia: http://www.legacyoflife.ns.ca/
New Brunswick: http://www.gnb.ca/0051/0217/organ/
Newfoundland and Labrador: In Newfoundland and Labrador, you can show you wish to be a donor by signing a donor card or indicating your decision on your driver’s license. For more information, contact the Department of Health and Community Services at 709-729-4984.
PEI: You can place a red sticker on your P.E.I. health card. The sticker is mailed to you with your health card renewal form.
You can have a red heart engraved on your driver’s license at the time of renewal. If you have already renewed your driver’s license, you can still go to the Ministry of Transportation offices and they will add it for free.
You can express your wish to donate organs and tissues in writing when preparing your health care directive.
NUMBER OF KM BIKED: 0