On April 6, 2018, a horrible accident rocked the sporting world.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Humboldt Broncos were involved in a tragic bus accident that killed 16 of 29 passengers. Among the casualties was Beaver Valley Nitehawks alumnus Jaxon Joseph, who had played 35 games for the Hawks during the 2015-16 season.
The tragedy transcended sport and affected everyone, but from its ashes rose a phoenix known as Green Shirt Day.
A day after the crash, Humboldt Broncos defenceman Logan Boulet succumbed to his injuries. His parents, Bernadine and Toby Boulet, offered to donate his organs so that six lives could live on. Logan had told his parents he was registering as an organ donor after his coach and mentor Ric Suggitt passed on June 27, 2017.
According to the Green Shirt Day website, as a result of Boulet’s gesture, over 100,000 people registered to become organ donors in the days that followed; the largest number of Canadians registering to become organ donors in Canadian History due to one event – one person.
Green Shirt Day was created to honour, remember, and recognize all the victims and families of that fatal crash and to continue Logan’s legacy by inspiring Canadians to talk to their families and register as organ donors.
The Logan Boulet Effect is leaving a lasting impression on Canadians. Since 2018, hundreds of thousands have taken the important step of talking with their families about their wish to become an organ and tissue donor, and many are confirming that decision by registering their intent to donate through their provincial organ donor registration system.
Logan’s legacy reminds people how important it is to talk with their family about their organ donation wishes. It’s suggested that for every person who registers their intent to donate, they speak with an average of four others about organ donation. That means that 100,000 new registrants equals approximately 400,000 conversations.
Many Greater Trail residents have benefited from a donor program both as recipients and donors. Local hockey player and former Beaver Valley Nitehawk Lyle Frank donated his kidney about this time last year, so that his mom could receive one through the Paired Kidney Foundation.
In Canada,a almost 90% of Canadians say they support organ donation, but only 23% have actually registered their intent to donate. Though donation rates have improved over the last ten years, there is more to be done as approximately 250 Canadians die annually waiting for an organ transplant.
WEAR GREEN today to remember the Humboldt Bus Tragedy and in honour of the Logan Boulet Effect -to inspire one another to register as donors, and tell our families. To find out more or to register for the organ donor program go to greenshirtday.ca.