FOR Lauren DeSilva, it took the death of another to save her life.
Life goes on thanks to organ donors, Australia
The 26 year old received a kidney and pancreas from the organ donor registry, in an operation which completely turned her life around.
Ms DeSilva, who has had diabetes since age eight, was on a dialysis machine three days a week due to kidney failure.
She joined the waiting list for a kidney and pancreas from the organ donor registry, and eight months after signing up, she got a call from her doctor in June.
"I didn't believe him. They rang me at 6.30 in the morning, I told the doctor he was lying to me," she recalled.
By 9 that night Ms DeSilva was in surgery at the Monash Medical Centre receiving her new organs.
After a difficult recovery she is off the dialysis, though she still has treatment for her diabetes as her body rejected the new pancreas.
She said she was forever grateful to the family of the person who donated the organs.
"They told me where it came from - Tassie - and the age of the girl, but nothing else. I'm not allowed to know."
Mulgrave resident Phil Cass and Frankston's Steve Marshall both knew where their kidneys came from - living family members donated them.
Mr Cass, who received his from his brother, said he was forever grateful.
"I'm really grateful, I can't believe it sometimes when I think about it," he said.
November 5 marked the 10th anniversary of the organ donor registry, and doctors are encouraging people to sign up.
There are 22,050 Monash residents signed up to the organ donor registry, and 784,000 in Victoria.
Statistics show organ donation is on the rise - there was a 30per cent increase in the past year.
Nevertheless, there is an urgent need for more people to sign up.
Monash Medical Centre's head of transplantation services Dr John Kanellis said families need to talk about whether they want to donate their organs.
"I think the registry is a good thing. It encourages families to discuss things and promote them to have an opinion about what they would do."
For more information or to sign up to the registry, visit www.donatelife.gov.au