Sens owner Eugene Melnyk launching foundation to end transplant wait list

CBC NEWS | Toronto | Julia Whalen

After getting a liver transplant, Melnyk has created foundation to boost awareness for organ donation

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, pictured here with daughters Olivia and Anna in 2010, has created a foundation to build more awareness about organ donation. (The Organ Project)
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says he only recently found out just how close he came to complete liver failure and the experience has inspired him to champion the cause of organ donation in Ontario and beyond.

In 2015, he was bedridden in hospital with less than 10 per cent of his liver function. Doctors told him he needed a transplant — and soon. But so did 252 other people in Ontario.

"Not being in that world at all, I didn't realize there's actually a line-up — first of all to get into the hospital," Melnyk said. "Then once you get in, and there's a battery of tests, they advise you whether or not you will get on a list. And that's a big victory, I remember that — that you got onto this mystical list of people who are waiting for an organ."

Melnyk says every morning for months, doctors and nurses would tell him, "Today isn't our day." Continue reading