A NEW Gold Coast charity is launching their life-saving message this month, with an event to raise funds and awareness for organ donation.
Save Lives Donate Organs (SLDO) was established by a group of Gold Coast friends to increase awareness and, ultimately, the rate of organ donation in Australia.
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This Saturday the charity is hosting its first fundraising event at the SkyPoint Observation Deck at Q1 in Surfers Paradise.
SLDO president, Brett Bullock, had the idea to start the charity after suffering chronic renal failure in his early 20’s and undergoing a kidney transplant.
Now a registered charity in Queensland, SLDO is getting the message out around the Gold Coast and the state about the importance of organ donation, and aims to increase awareness of the issue nationally.
“There are a lot of people on the Gold Coast, including young people, living with disease, and living on the wait list for transplant surgery,” said Mr Bullock.
“Registered donors are needed to save the lives of these people, and we aim to make more Australians aware of this fact.
“Many Australians don’t realise what is involved in becoming a registered organ donor. They think it’s something they tick on the back of their driver’s licence, but that hasn’t been the case for several years – since 2005 in Queensland.
“That’s one of the reasons why the rate of organ donors per capita in Australia is extremely low compared to the rest of the developed world.”
Registering as an organ and tissue donor in Australia is an opt-in system, requiring an individual to not only complete a registration online, by phone or in person at a Medicare Service Centre, but also to make their close family and friends aware of their decision to become an organ donor.
“It is the next of kin that have the final decision on whether an individual’s organs will be donated, and it can be a stressful and emotional decision, so it’s most important to have the chat that saves lives with those around you, and make your intentions clear,” said Mr Bullock.
Their message is hitting home with younger generations, and several high profile ambassadors have already joined the SLDO cause, including Queensland Reds and Wallabies Rugby stars James Slipper and Rob Simmons, and Olympic swimmer, Megan Nay.
On Friday, the SLDO Committee met with TV Presenter, David Koch, who is also Chairman of the Organ and Tissue Authority Advisory Council, the national authority on organ and tissue donation and transplants, and shares SLDO’s message of increasing awareness of this important issue.
SLDO’s Twilight Cocktail Launch will be held on Saturday 23rd August at the SkyPoint Observation Deck at Q1 in Surfers Paradise from 4pm to 10pm. Tickets are $100 and are available now, with ticket information on the SLDO website sldo.com.au