The 100 Mile House Lions Club is inviting the community to think of others during the time of COVID-19 and sign up to become an organ donor this spring.
It can be hard right now to see more than a few days into the future due to the virus wreaking havoc on the global economy, healthcare systems and our very way of life. However, when this virus is contained and normalcy returns, there will still be a range of health problems and conditions that we can help combat. One of them is by simply becoming an organ donor.
The president of the 100 Mile House Lions Club is Val Clemont, who has been a member of the club for four of the five years she’s lived in 100 Mile House. Clemont said she never had any intentions to step into a leadership role and that she intended to just be a “good little member” but said that the club really got her going, so it’s been difficult to shut off.
Clemont said that, prior to COVID-19, she and the club had planned a campaign for the spring to get people to sign up to be organ donors. While their plans have changed due to COVID-19, Clemont said she still wanted to run the campaign as the process of signing up is simple. According to her, you just need to go online to register.transplant.bc.ca fill out some forms and the deed is done.
Personally, Clemont said she was really inspired by the stories of two living donors from the 100 Mile Area, Agnes Werth and Val Nickless who both gave healthy kidneys to someone else. Her own cousin has had to have two kidney transplants and she has some dear friends in 100 Mile House who found out that one of them needed a double lung transplant and was lucky enough to receive one.
“The key for most people to recognize is that they have this opportunity in this very difficult time to save somebody’s life,” Clemont said. “Because all of us are sitting at home, it’s a perfect opportunity because it’s all done electronically, it’s not a big deal.”
Focusing on a campaign to recruit organ donors, Clemont said, is both inspiring and fills people with hope she said while taking their minds off the virus. Besides, April is usually Organ Donating Awareness Month and Clemont hopes this will help the BC Transplant Society get some new donors onto its books.
Starting this Friday, April 24 until Mother’s Day on May 10 the 100 Mile Lion’s Club is inviting as many community members who are able to register to do so online, Clemont said. Even if you have a health condition, like Clemon’s own diabetes, you may well be eligible to donate as she said it’s remarkable how many people are able to qualify to be a donor. The main qualifications are being in good physical and mental health, be above the age of 18 and be willing to donate.
“If we could get a 100 to 200 people signed up, the club would be over the moon. This is a huge service project for us and we haven’t been able to do anything since the virus. Everything has been cancelled that we had planned but this, however, we’re classifying this as a service project because that’s what our motto is, we serve,” Clemont said. “If there’s a need there’s a Lion.”
If anyone wishes to reach out to Clemont or has questions about the process, she invites them to give her a call at 1-250-572-1967 or by contacting the 100 Mile Lions Club on Facebook.