Marni Hastings of Ladysmith encourages people to Be a Living Legacy and register for organ donation during Organ Donor Month in September.

Marni Hastings of Ladysmith encourages people to Be a Living Legacy and register for organ donation during Organ Donor Month in September.

September is Organ Donor Month in town

Ladysmith's Marni Hastings introduced her Be a Living Legacy project to encourage local residents to sign up as organ donors.

Going through the Landmark Self Expression and Leadership Program, Ladysmith’s Marni Hastings had to come up with a project to complete by the end of the program on Sept. 18.

She thought about things that were important to her and what she would like to accomplish. World peace was the first thing that came to mind, but it seemed like a lofty goal that would be difficult to accomplish in a short timeframe. Then she read a news article about an organ donated by an Israeli boy’s family saving the life of a Palestinian child, and she was inspired to do something related to organ donation.

“I thought if we’re crossing traditionally enemy lines with organ donations, that’s a beginning,” she said. “It’s not the end goal of world peace, but we’re all human and all have the same organs. “

So, as part of the program, Hastings created the project Be a Living Legacy to increase awareness of organ donation and registration.

Last October, Hastings took the first Landmark program, called Landmark Forum, in Victoria. She then took the Advanced Level course in Vancouver and also took some series in between.

In June, she started the Landmark Self Expression and Leadership Program (SELP).

“It just sounded like a lot of fun and a real challenge to create a project,” she said. “I had no idea what it would entail. The purpose of Landmark education is to let go of the past so it’s not ruling our future and see possibility where none exists and create something out of nothing … It’s about empowerment, integrity and leadership.”

Hastings had known about Landmark for a number of years but didn’t start the program until she was inspired by a friend who had gone through the program.

“A friend of mine, who was an amazing woman to being with, I saw her transform into a totally amazing woman,” she said. “She was just living life large.”

Once Hastings decided to create the Be a Living Legacy project, she thought about how she could get the word out, and she decided to approach Ladysmith Mayor Rob Hutchins.

Hastings made a presentation to Ladysmith council on Aug. 19, and during that meeting, council proclaimed September as Organ Donor Month in Ladysmith.

The town’s goal is to reach or exceed 5,000 registrants by the end of September, according to Hastings.

Hastings came up with the name Be a Living Legacy because she thought it would inspire people to take action now, in the moment.

“One of [BC Transplant’s] campaigns was ‘live life, pass it on’ — to me, it felt like that was something in the future instead of ‘be this now, do this now,’” she said. ‘We’ve all heard the expression ‘be in the moment,’ but sometimes it takes something profound to bring that home. There isn’t another moment.”

As part of Be a Living Legacy project, Hastings has been putting BC Transplant posters up at local businesses to raise awareness.

People can register themselves and their children quickly and easily online at www.transplant.bc.ca or by completing the Organ Donor Registration Card found in local businesses displaying the BC Transplant poster.

As a reminder to register, a notice will also be included in the next utility billing newsletter.

Those who think they are registered because they have a sticker on their driver’s licence may not actually be registered, as the decal no longer applies, explained Hastings. This can be confirmed by entering your Care Card number at www.transplant.bc.ca.

Living donation is another chance to save a life and Be a Living Legacy. More information about living kidney donation can be found by contacting the transplant program at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver at 604-806-9027 or contacting Vancouver General Hospital at 604-875-5182.

As of June, there are 876,126 people registered on B.C.’s Organ Donor Registry. There are 527 people waiting for organ transplants, with the majority (409) waiting for a kidney.