News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

April 25, 2022

Province Recognizes Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week by Lighting the Legislative Building with Sign Up for Life Logo

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Call to Action Supports Transplant Manitoba's Gift of Life Goal of Registering 10,000 New Organ and Tissue Donors in 2022: Gordon

The Manitoba government is supporting the efforts of Manitoba’s two human tissue gift agencies to sign up 10,000 new organ and tissue donors online in 2022 by lighting the Legislative Building with the Sign Up for Life logo today and tomorrow, Health Minister Audrey Gordon announced today. 

“Organ and tissue donation helps people live healthier, more productive lives and can save the life of someone living with end-stage organ failure,” said Gordon. “If you know you would like to be a donor, registering online at Sign Up for Life takes the burden of that decision off your family and ensures your intent is known and respected.” 

The minister noted the goal of 10,000 new donors is in recognition of 10 years of online service to Manitobans through and encouraged Manitobans to consider registering and sharing their final decision with loved ones. 

“A donation of an organ or tissue is the greatest gift one can make,” said Labour, Consumer Protection and Government Services Minister Reg Helwer, whose daughter has had two kidney transplants made possible by living donors. “By registering with Sign Up for Life, Manitobans make it much more possible for others to get new chances at life. This is what National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week is all about.” 

To support Manitobans in making their choice known, the province simplified the donor registration process in 2019 by moving it entirely online and eliminating paper donor cards. Since launching in 2012, online registration has steadily increased with more than 7,000 Manitobans signing up on the secure site in 2021. Currently, the registry holds more than 60,000 donation decisions. 

“I am always amazed by a family’s ability to engage with our team during the worst time of their lives,” said Dr. Owen Mooney, medical director of the Gift of Life program. “When families know their loved one wishes to be a donor, more than 90 per cent of families support that choice. To see families honour that decision and choose to walk the journey to donation to offer a wonderful second chance for a complete stranger is remarkable.” 

Gordon noted the new Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Transplant Wellness Centre, which officially opened during National Organ and Tissue Donation Week 2021, is improving care for people living with organ failure and people living with a transplant, and supporting those wanting to be a living kidney donor. The Transplant Wellness Centre also supports kidney transplant research. Funding for the new centre was a partnership between the HSC Foundation and Manitoba government. 

Supporting the ability of all Manitobans to offer life-saving and life-enhancing gifts to those in need is also a focus for Tissue Bank Manitoba (TBM), which supports the vital role of tissue donation in spinal, orthopedic, neuro, sports medicine, plastics and ear, nose and throat surgeries. 

“The Sign Up for Life registry is an incredible tool that is helping to enhance many lives,” said Andrew Deck, interim director of TBM, adding TBM is very proud to be part of the registry’s 10-year anniversary. “In that time, donations from Manitobans have improved the lives thousands of people, not only here in Manitoba but around the world. Just one person’s donation of tissue can help up to 100 different people.” 

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week runs April 24 to 30 this year to raise awareness about the need for more donors and encourage Canadians to register their decision and talk to loved ones about organ donation. 

More information about becoming an organ or tissue donor is available at

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