For the Kitchener-Conestoga MP, it was a bittersweet occasion at St. Mary’s General Hospital. It coincided with the first anniversary of the death of his beloved wife, Betty. She suffered a brain hemorrhage on May 2, 2011 — the night of Albrecht’s re-election in the federal campaign. The 59-year-old died two days later, and her family honoured her wish to be an organ donor.
Albrecht would like to see a lot more Waterloo Region residents follow that route, mindful of the fact that every three days in the province someone dies while waiting for a transplant. He has joined with the Step by Step Organ Transplant Association’s Torch of Life campaign in calling for 50 per cent donor registration in the region, up from the current 28 per cent in Kitchener and Waterloo, which is seven per cent higher than the provincial average. The rate in Cambridge is 25 per cent, and New Hamburg is 35 per cent.
It’s a laudable goal, but even with the generosity of spirit we’ve seen in this region, it may be difficult to achieve, even with recent moves by the Ontario government to make it easier to register.