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The gift of life: It’s in you to give

There is a tiny red heart in the bottom right corner of my drivers’ license: it has been there for years.

It communicates – in the event that I am unable to communicate for myself – that I wish to be an organ donor.

“Wish” may be the wrong word. Like most things related to the possibility of my untimely demise, it isn’t something I wish for at all, nor something I especially want to think about.

Still. I make sure the red heart is on each consecutive license issued to me, and I make sure my family know that it is there. Because should the circumstances arise that there are no more wishes to be made on behalf of my mortal self, then the last wish I’d have for this body that gets me through my days is that it be, if at all possible, some help to others, some means to offering them more days.

But did you know you can be an organ donor without any unhappy endings for anyone in the process?

I didn’t know much about living donors until this week, when the issue – and the urgency – of organ donation hit home within the UsedEverywhere family.

Harrison Aikman is six seven* years old. Brodie, social media producer for UsedRegina, is his dad. His aunt Jennifer is with the UsedEverywhere national office. Harry’s been on the UsedBlog before, out for a walk with his big brother.

But Harrison isn’t out for a walk these days. He’s in acute liver failure.

Jennifer flew to Edmonton this week to see if she could donate part of her liver to give Harrison a fighting chance at recovery and health. Turned out, she wasn’t a match. But Harrison’s mom is.

It’s major surgery, and there are risks for both parties. It’s got to be a week of huge emotions all round in the Aikman family.

But like Jenn said in an email, “He’s six seven* years old. He deserves a shot.”

Anyone interested in giving the Aikman family a helping hand through this time can click here to access the fundrazr page above.

We’re all pulling for Harrison here at UsedEverywhere. We’re relieved and hopeful that it looks like his mom will be able to offer this incredible gift; crossing our fingers – and all our organs – that both of them will recover swiftly and safely.

We’ll keep you updated on their story through our various community Twitter feeds throughout the country as things unfold.

And…because organ donation can be a bit of a roller coaster ride, no matter how good a match looks: if anyone in the Edmonton area has blood type O+ and is interested in being tested as a potential back-up match for this beautiful little boy, please email And thank you.

I’ve learned this week that there are more than 4000 Canadians waiting for transplants of all kinds: live donation of kidneys and of partial livers and lungs is now, amazingly, possible.

So that little red heart or red dot on your license? It matters. But it’s not the only way to give the gift of life to somebody like Harrison.

Please join us in getting the word out, for Harrison and the Aikmans, and for all the other people and their families out there in need of the biggest gift there is: a shot at life, at heading out for another walk.

*edited*: apparently Harrison is seven. Or has just turned seven. Hey, my aunts are always off by a year with MY age, too. 😉




Twitter: @bonstewart Life blog: Theory blog:

One Response to “The gift of life: It’s in you to give”

[…] Bonnie Stewart shared information on living organ donation, and working from home prompted her to write Care & Feeding of Networked Humans: A […]


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