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 26 years old, born and raised in the Ottawa area, and am in the middle of a 8000+km solo-bike trip across Canada to raise awareness for the cause of organ and tissue donation.
You might be asking yourself what would compel me to do something so crazy?
My inspiration is simple. I was moved to act after having seen my good friend Matthew Antolin pass away while waiting for a heart-transplant. A tragedy as heartbreaking as it was avoidable.
Truth is, while 80% of Canadians support the idea of organ donation only around 20% are registered donors. In Ontario alone 1500 people await life-saving transplants, with one of them dying every three days, just like Matthew did.
Having experienced this tragedy firsthand, I wanted to do everything in my power to ensure that it wouldn’t happen again. And so I started Outlive Yourself and decided to bike across the Canada from Tofino, B.C. to St. John’s Nfld. It was my way of honouring Matthew’s spirit and memory and raising awareness about the important cause of organ and tissue donation. I hope that it inspires you to take similar actions.
Matthew Antolin spent nearly 5 months waiting for a life-saving heart transplant. Unfortunately, he was one of the many Canadians whose wait for an organ transplant tragically takes too long. He passed away in Toronto, ON on December 16th, 2012 at the age of 27.
Matthew’s story is not unlike the thousands of other Canadians- sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, cousins & friends- who still hope for that life-saving organ transplant. Those who love and are loved by many. Those who wait anxiously for a call that they fear might never come.
We do have the power to change this, however, by giving as generously in death as we do in life. I ask you to spend the two minutes It takes to sign-up as an organ and tissue donor. Your decision could save up to 8 lives and positively impact 75 others. After you register encourage family, friends and strangers to do the same. You never know when you, or someone you know, could be in need of an organ or tissue donation.
Let’s create waves of change together and make sure tragedies like Matthew’s never happen again!