Transplant of kidneys from living donors up by 400%
The number of people in Northern Ireland who have donated a kidney while still alive has jumped by more than 400% over the past five years.
Official statistics show the number of live kidney transplants — those carried out when the donor is alive — has risen from just seven in 2006/07 to 37 in 2010/11.
And while these kinds of transplants have helped to improve and save lives of up to 80 people since 2006, more people are still needed to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
The Belfast Telegraph has teamed up with Transplant Sport UK (TSUK) and is calling on people across the province to help save lives by signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
There are currently 300 people in Northern Ireland waiting for an organ — eight of them children — yet less than a third of the population have taken the opportunity to add their names to the list of potential donors.
Adding your name to the register is simple — but people who want to sign up are asked to discuss their wishes with loved-ones to ensure their organs are donated in the event of a tragedy occurring.
In August TSUK will bring 1,800 participants and their supporters to Belfast for the Westfield Health British Transplant Games.
The aim is to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by people waiting for an organ and encourage as many people as possible to sign up.
More than 800 people who have had a transplant will take part in 18 sporting activities at locations in and around Belfast.
In order to raise vital funds for the games and other TSUK sporting events, the charity is also asking people to take part in the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon in May.
To find out more visit www.belfastcitymarathon.com
To sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register text SAVE to 84118, telephone 030 01232323, or log on to www.organdonation.nhs.uk