Donations for living

A BUNBURY student has proven that words have the power to save lives, winning the 2017 Writing for Life competition with his piece ‘I Wonder If’ inspired by his personal experiences.

For Henry Openshaw sadly nothing can bring back his father who passed away three years ago but his lasting legacy of organ donation is something the teenager is proud of.

The 13-year-old helped to launched the 2018 Writing for Life competition together with Federal Minister Ken Wyatt and Forrest MP Nola Marino at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School last Tuesday.

“Knowing that four people are alive because of him, I’m definitely proud of that,” he said.

“I think these things are really important, it just spreads awareness, which is the most important thing.”

The nation-wide competition encourages young writers to raise awareness of lifesaving organ donation and to increase organ donor registration, coinciding with DonateLife Week with this years theme ‘What are you waiting for?’

Mr Wyatt said WA high school students were being asked to ‘step into the mind’ of someone who was waiting and wishing for a second chance at life.

“The decision to become an organ donor is one of the most selfless acts – giving the gift of life is an invaluable gift for the recipient, as well as their family and their community,” he said.

In 2017, the generous donation of 510 deceased organ donors and their families, and 273 living donors, saved and improved the lives of 1,675 Australians.

Ms Marino said country high schools had a strong track record of participation in Writing for Life.

“The competition inspires young people to think about the lifesaving and life changing ramifications of organ and tissue donation, which is crucial in our quest to continue raising the number of people registered as donors,” she said.

Bunbury organ recipient Jason Ringrose spoke to students at the launch and spoke about how he was still alive thanks to an organ donor.

“I often think about the person who donated their liver and saved my life – I will forever be thankful to them,” he said.

For more information visit donatelife.gov.au.

Source: Bunbury Mail.