Book encourages people to donate
AMONG the treasures on the shelves of Lismore Library is a new kind of book.
The Book of Life, which was launched at the Library last week, has been put started by organ donation organisation DonateLife and is designed to receive stories as much as it is to tell them.
The book aims to encourage people to choose, when they die, to "donate" their life to someone else and also to explain the impact those who donate organs have had.
"Having the Book of Life displayed in the Lismore Library will help raise community awareness for people to discuss their donation wishes with family and friends close to them," DonateLife said in a statement.
"The personal stories included in the book have paid tribute to the generosity of organ and tissue donors and their families and have helped acknowledge the second chance of life by recipients living in our region."
DonateLife says NSW is tracking well to meet its record 2010 increase in organ donations and organ transplant surgery.
As of August, Australia's organ donation rate was 15% higher than the same period in 2010 (231 organ donors compared to 201 organ donors at August 2010) and the nation's organ transplant rate is 14% higher than the same period in 2010 (711 organs transplanted compared to 624 organs transplanted at August 2010).
DonateLife NSW state medical director Dr Robert Herkes thanked NSW organ donors and their families for their generosity.
"I know that organ and tissue donation occurs at a very difficult time for families," he said.
"The increase in organ and tissue donors and transplantation means that many more people were able to receive life saving transplants and a second chance at life."
Speaking at the Book of Life launch, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell encouraged Northern Rivers residents to "contribute their stories, pictures and experiences of organ and tissue donation".
"The contributions that this book will collect over the coming year will showcase the best of the human spirit and how that spirit of generosity saves lives," she said.
"Most importantly, the DonateLife Book of Life will encourage people to discuss organ and tissue donation with their families," Mayor Dowell said.
The Book of Life will collect contributions - stories, poems, pictures and experiences - about organ and tissue donation, transplantation and about waiting for a transplant.
The book will is travelling around NSW this year.
It will become part of a national collection and will be donated to the State Library of NSW and National Library in DonateLife Week 2012.
Northern NSW Local Health District organ and tissue clinical nurse specialist Mary Campbell said her team was able to work with families from any culture to work through organ and tissue donation.
"We provide support for families before, during and long after donation occurs. Families tell us that donation is a very positive outcome for them at this time of their great personal loss," Ms Campbell said.
The book and information brochures will be on display until Friday, January 27, at Lismore Library.