On Friday 1 September, Australians are urged to show their team spirit by wearing their favourite sporting club’s jersey in support of Jersey Day 2017, established to honour the memory of 13-year-old organ donor Nathan Gremmo.
The Minister responsible for the Organ and Tissue Authority, Ken Wyatt AM, said the initiative provides an important opportunity for Australia’s legions of sporting fans to sign on to the Australian Organ Donor Register.
“Nathan saved the lives of six Australians and became an organ donor hero, after tragically losing his life in a car accident in 2015,” Minister Wyatt said.
“Jersey Day is a day to salute his selfless act of giving and to recognise the generosity of his family whose decision to donate his organs gave the gift of life to so many.
“What better way to do this than wearing your favourite sporting jersey to work or school this Friday, and registering as an organ and tissue donor on the Australian Organ Donor Register.”
Now in its third year, the annual awareness campaign has been bolstered by the recent announcements of the Organ and Tissue Authority’s partnerships with the NRL, the AFL and the FFA.
“Nathan was an avid NRL fan and the league will be lending special support to Jersey Day with events across all clubs,” Minister Wyatt said.
“Together with all of our sporting partners, we are asking Australians to help end the uncertainty for around 1,400 people and their families who are waiting for the gift of a life-saving transplant.
“As shown by the incredible generosity of the Gremmo family, we can all make a difference simply by registering our donation decision and discussing it with our loved ones.”
Research shows nine in ten families will agree to organ donation when their deceased loved one is a registered donor.
Last year, a record 1,713 Australians received transplants, thanks to the generosity of 503 deceased and 267 living organ donors and their families.
Registering as an organ donor can now be done almost instantly, on a mobile phone, tablet or computer. Since the simplified registration process was introduced in July, more than 28,000 people have registered using the online process, plus a further 14,000 through other channels.
“Registrations through the new online process are now double the number coming through other websites and written applications but we still have only about one-third of Australians on the organ donor register,” said Minister Wyatt.
“So I encourage everyone to not only pull on their jerseys this Friday, but to go online and sign up to save lives, too.”
For information on Jersey Day, go to the Jersey Day website.
To register as an organ donor, go to the DonateLife website.