Welcome to #OutliveYourself!

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.

Cayse RuiterTo 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. Matthew Antolin

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:

BC: http://www.transplant.bc.ca/odr_process_main.htm

Ontario: Register online at https://beadonor.ca/cayse-ruiter (note: You’ll need your Ontario Health Card)

Quebec: http://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en/citizens/health-insurance/health-insurance-card/Pages/consent-organ-tissue-donation.aspx

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.

Saskatchewan: http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/organ-and-tissue-donor-information

Manitoba: http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/donor.html

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

Cheers,

Cayse Ruiter

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20 thoughts on “Welcome to #OutliveYourself!

  1. Matthew Antolin would have been right on the middle of getting the word out for registering to be an organ donor.

  2. My dear Cayse…..what a tremendous and wonderful tribute to your friend. Please be safe on your journey. I’m proud of you!
    Your step-grandmother ~~ Zita Simpson

  3. As one of the LVAD patients at Toronto General I truly appreciate your efforts. I was fortunate enough to meet Matt twice, and found him to be a neat young man.

    • Hi Pdit,

      My name is Stephen Antolin and I am helping to coordinate the blog and social media effort for Cayse while he is on his journey. Thank you so much for reaching out to Cayse and Outlive yourself and sharing your message of support.

      It is the strength and courage of individuals like yourself who are the inspiration for this movement, and whose life we work to improve each day.

      I know it is a very personal journey you were on, but I was wondering if you would have any interest in writing a piece (or if I wrote one about you) to share with the community and raise awareness about some of the challenges of being on the donor list. The choice is entirely yours and I respect your decision either way.

      Once again thank you so much for your show of support.

      • Hi Stephen, I don’t mind at all, but I would like to send it to you and let you choose what you would like to include. I have story prepared, as I often talk at awareness events locally, but would be open to you decided how much to include. I would prefer to email it to your directly rather than through the blog, that way you can choose.

  4. Will be cheering you on all the way, Cayse. I met Matt at TGH and understand completely your dedicating your ride to his memory. I hope to be able to be part of your cheering section as you come through Toronto. Keep well and enjoy your journey. Thank you.

  5. Hey Cayse I was wondering if you are passing through Calgary on your cross Canada bike ride. I am 6 years post double lung transplant and would love to get a group together to cheer you on.Keep up the great work..

    • Hi Shane,
      Thanks for reaching out to us, really appreciate your effort and energy to support the campaign. Would love to have you out with the campaign in any capacity that you can. Cayse is planning on riding through Calgary and should be there in about 10 days time. It is difficult to say the exact route because it is weather and health dependant. Keep tracking his journey and we will be sure touch base with me (if I forget to reach out to you) a couple of days before of his scheduled arrival.

      Thanks so much,
      Stephen Antolin

  6. Sorry I didn’t know how to write to you a support! it means so much to myself and my family. For the past 6 months my life has changed learning about transplants. We live in Guelph Ontario. December 2012 by complete fluke our son was diagnosed with end stages of kidney disease. From then it has been constant hospital visits and 2 surgeries attempting to set him with hemodialysis. (the more aggressive type) He is just 12 years old and was very athletic and now having such a hard time with regular daily activities. He attends hemodialysis 3x weekly with a ton of other tests on top of that with the added pressure of regular and frequent complications. I am currently being worked up to be a donor but it was felt perhaps a deceased donor would be quicker as he is in final stages and needs a kidney asap. The costs include emotional, work, school, and many financial strains that we are now relying on family for help as it is so overwhelming. Thank you so much for what you are doing. I hope you may be in the Toronto/kitchener/ or guelph at some point. We used to be avid bike riders and would love to see you and support.

    • HI Sandi.

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Thank you so much for sharing so candidly about the difficult journey that your son, yourself and your family are on.

      My brother Matthew was waiting for a heart transplant this past fall so I have some sense of the challenges that you face- but also know that I have no idea.

      Please no that the love and support of Cayse and the Outlive Yourself team is with you and your family. If there is anything that we can do- be it a meeting, company on the hospital visits etc.- please let us know and we will do everything that we can.

      All the best and all our love,
      Stephen Antolin and the Outlive Yourself Team

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