HAWICK’S rugby community has thrown its weight behind a new national campaign to persuade more Scots to become registered organ donors.
Hawick Rugby Club players unveiled their new strip for the season, emblazoned with the call-to-action for fans to help save lives as organ donors, as they gathered for training ahead of their first game of the season on Saturday.
Only 38 per cent of people in the NHS Borders region have registered as organ donors, yet every day, three people across the UK die waiting on an organ transplant.
The Greens’ head coach, Derek Armstrong, said it is an emotive issue which the whole club wanted to get behind. “We’ve always prided ourselves in being at the heart of the community and we want to do more to help increase the number of people in the Borders on the NHS Organ Donor Register,” he said.
“Thousands of people across the country are waiting on a transplant and they could be helped if more Scots registered as organ donors.
“We’re asking fans to think how they would feel if it was someone in their family that was waiting. It only takes a minute, so make your wishes known now.”
The majority of Hawick’s first XV players have joined the register and hooker Matt Landels says, like many people, it was something he always meant to do but didn’t get round to.
“If you would take an organ, you should be willing to donate one,” he said. “You can help other people live after you go. Don’t leave it until it is too late, join the register now.”
And Hawick president Alister Pow says he will be delighted if the famous Mansfield Park club can help make a difference to others.
He told us: “I’m so proud of our team. They’ve taken this very seriously, discussed it together and were positive they wanted to do something to help others. Anything we can do to help encourage more people to join the register is a good thing for the community as a whole.”
Local lad Aaron Gray agrees. He was only 18 months old when he received a small bowel and liver transplant. Now 14, Aaron is living a normal life thanks to the NHS Organ Donor Register and he is delighted Hawick RFC is getting behind the campaign.
“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the NHS Organ Donor Register,” he said. “I’m too young to remember my transplant but I know how hard it was for my family waiting to see if I would get the operation that would save my life. I’m so thankful every day to my donor.
“It’s brilliant Hawick RFC is supporting the organ donation campaign. Please show your support by taking a minute to join the register and you could help save a life like someone saved mine.”