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Organ Donor Campaigner receives award


29 June 2003

-----FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-----


Organ Donor Campaigner receives award


Campaigner for a revised organ donor scheme, Andy Tookey has received an award for his contribution to organ donation awareness… from America…

Lord of the Rings Director Peter Jackson also received an award for his contribution to the campaign to raise awareness into the shortage of organ donors.

The presentation of awards from the American Organ Donation Society were made by John Davis, a Kidney recipient from Delaware during a three day visit to New Zealand recently.

Mr. Davis said that various organ donation societies worldwide and their members had been following the progress of the ‘GiveLife’ campaign with interest. “The involvement of Peter Jackson has increased that interest globally.” Said Davis.

Tookey has been lobbying the government and health officials for over a year since discovering that New Zealand has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the Western world. Jackson heard of the campaign and offered his support, which includes providing facilities and advice to make a television commercial to promote awareness.

“It’s been an uphill battle” say Tookey “but I feel we are making progress. It feels odd getting this award from the US for what we are doing in New Zealand, especially as here all I get from the officials are reasons why we cannot do things to improve the system. I hope in the future it will be the Minister of Health who receives recognition for a world class system, but I think that may be some way off yet…”


ENDS

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