Following CTV’s broadcast of Canada AM: “Be A Donor” last Friday, May 25, Ontario’s organ and tissue donation and transplant agency Trillium Gift of Life Network (www.BeADonor.ca) experienced record traffic and a significant spike in online donor registration activity.
During the live two-hour special, aimed at generating awareness and calling to action, Canadian organ donation crusader Hélène Campbell appeared in her first one-on-one interview since receiving the gift of new lungs last month.
Also featured were several heart-felt stories of recipients, wait-list patients, donors and families, all inspiring Canadians to take action over the weekend.
With the far-reaching support of CANADA AM’s compelling “Be A Donor” program to nearly one million viewers*, the website saw 968 new online registrations on Friday alone – or nearly 20 times the daily average – and 274 new registrations over the weekend.
With a record swell in traffic to the site, a total of 2,318 Ontarians used www.BeADonor.ca on Friday to register as donor, check or update their donor status, setting a new one-day record.**
“We are very excited about the number of people who registered consent for organ and tissue donation, and we’re so grateful for the focus CANADA AM has brought to this very important cause,” said, Versha Prakash, V.P. of Operations for Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN). “However, we can and must do better. There are over 4,000 people in this country waiting for the gift of life and sadly every week five die waiting. Let’s work together to prevent these needless deaths through donor registration. In Ontario, please visit www.BeADonor.ca to register consent or to confirm that you are a registered donor.”
“Our aim in producing the special was to drive Canadians to register their consent, and we’re thrilled at the impact that resulted,” said Lis Travers, Vice-President and Executive Producer, CANADA AM. “We again thank Hélène for choosing CTV and CANADA AM as her first one-on-one post-op interview. We are proud to have helped her share her “lung story”, and the journeys of so many other Canadians.”
Joining Campbell on Friday’s special were Gerry Keller who has been waiting for seven years for a kidney; living donor and father Richard Ayuen and his son and recipient Matthew Ayuen; The Castillo family who made the decision to donate their 15-year-old son Manny’s organs saving five lives; and double lung transplant recipient and jazz singer Alex Pangman. Reaction from the CANADA AM studio audience, notes from viewers, participation in live chats, thousands of tweets and thousands of new registrants prove the show’s aim at awareness was a huge success.
Also hosting a press conference from her hospital last week, Campbell appeared Friday on CTV’s ELLEN following her CANADA AM interview. It was following her first appearance on ELLEN in February, 2012 that the agency recorded its previous record for online traffic.