‘Life Giving Stories’ raise awareness about organ donation

World Times 24

Performance art and organ donation don't usually mix. But a new initiative has combined the two, in a bid to raise awareness in multicultural communities.

Fulvia Nisyrios knows more about organ donation than most people. Her father received a liver transplant in 1989, and three years ago a painful decision was made to donate her mother’s organs after she was hit by a car. “If anything, donating mum’s organs has given us a lot of comfort. Knowing that two people, someone in their 40’s and someone in their 50’s are alive with my mum’s kidneys,” Ms Nisyrios said.

She’s one of five speakers taking to the stage for Live Giving Stories- an initiative of the New South Wales Multicultural Health Communication Service. Directed by photographer William Yang, it sees storytellers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds share their experience with organ donation. “They’re very powerful stories because they’re about life and death,” Mr Yang said.

“They’re actually very brave to tell their stories in public.” A liver transplant saved Melissa Kozlina’s life, after she was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition. “I was on death row. It was either find a liver or there was no chance,” said Ms Kozlina. The Serbian-Australian said she was unsure at the time if accepting the transplant would conflict with her Orthodox faith It didn’t and now she’s working to dispel common misconceptions about organ donation in her community. Continue reading