ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION RECEIVES ADVOCACY BOOST
Advocacy for organ and tissue donation has received a boost from the corporate sector with the announcement today of a partnership between Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation and Australian global compression and sportswear company, SKINS.
The partnership came about as a result of the Executive Chairman of SKINS, Jaimie Fuller, meeting the CEO of Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation, Allan Turner, earlier this year.
“I was blown away by Zaidee’s story, and what I learned from Allan and subsequently about organ and tissue donation,” said Fuller.
Zaidee Turner died in 2004, aged 7, from a cerebral aneurism. Her wish was for her organ and tissue to be donated to help others. As Australia’s youngest organ donor at the time, Zaidee’s gift helped six children and one adult.
“I did not know until speaking with Allan about the demand for organ and tissue donors in Australia, how important the need is for continual awareness-raising and the impact it can have on peoples’ lives – both the donor family and the recipient families.” Mr Fuller said.
“I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be frank that SKINS can work with Allan and the Foundation to help raise awareness and understanding of the gift of organ and tissue donation.”
Around 1,600 people are on the Australian organ transplant waiting list at any one time.
While donation rates have improved in recent years, Australia still has a relatively low donation rate compared with some other countries of 16.1 donors per million population.
Government data shows that 80% of people who have made a donation decision have discussed it with their family, and that families are more likely to say ‘yes’ to donation if their loved ones wishes are known.
The partnership between Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation and SKINS will include marketing and social media support as well as a percentage of all online sales in November – Zaidee’s birthday month – given to Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation.
Mr Fuller said that SKINS is also working with Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation on a special initiative to produce a prototype ‘organ SKINS’ to assist the Foundation with their education activities.
Mr Turner said that he and the Board of Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation welcome and appreciate the partnership.
“SKINS is a first-class Australian company with brand values of integrity, fairness, discipline and pure competition that resonate with us. We’re delighted to be aligned with them.
“Their customer base and marketing nous will help us reach a new audience. We’re very excited about the concept of ‘organ SKINS’ that will be available later next year. And, of course, the contribution from online sales in November will be a very welcome input to our fundraising.”
Mr Turner said that the Foundation’s work focuses on community outreach and education, particularly of children.
“Even at seven years of age, Zaidee understood the concept of giving and wanted to help others.
“We believe other children naturally feel that way too.
“While I would never wish what happened to Zaidee to happen to any other child or their parents, there’s only so much we can do to protect those we love, whether a child or an adult,” Mr Turner said.
“That’s why it’s vitally important to have the conversation about organ and tissue donation with your family and loved ones, so they’re very clear about your wishes if faced with the same situation that my wife and I were.”
Currently 6.1 million Australians have begun the process of registering as a donor but only 1.8 million have completed the process.
Mr Fuller said that he initially met Mr Turner to discuss their shared use of rainbow laces as a symbol for different causes.
Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation sells rainbow laces as a fundraising activity. Earlier this year SKINS conducted the inaugural #RainbowLaces round of sport across AFL, NRL, A-League, Super Rugby and netball, in conjunction with LGBTI advocacy group Pride in Sport, to raise awareness about homophobia in sport along the lines of a similar campaign in England’s Premier League.
“A rainbow symbolises hope and a better future, regardless of the cause behind it.
“We’re pleased to be part of Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation and help raise awareness about organ and tissue donation, just as we’re pleased to advocate for anti-homophobia measures in sport through the #RainbowLaces campaign,” Mr Fuller said.
NOTE: Allan Turner and Jaimie Fuller are available for interviews on Monday 17 October at Level 1, ICEHOUSE, 105 Pearl River Road, Docklands (Melbourne).
Further information: Allan Turner, 0412 984 211 or Jaimie Fuller, 0418 242 399.