Corinne Mielnichuk (File Photo)

Corinne Mielnichuk (File Photo)

Sylvan Lake woman urges the public to consider becoming an organ donor

After receiving a liver transplant, Corinne Mielnichuk has seen how organ donation can change lives

A Sylvan Lake woman who is recovering from a liver transplant, is urging people to consider becoming an organ donor.

Corinne Mielnichuk says the list of those willing to be a live organ donor is surprisingly small, which makes wait times long and rough for those waiting for life saving procedures.

Most wait for a transplant to become available from a deceased donor, which adds a new level of difficulty, according to Mielnichuk.

“You can’t go anywhere, you can’t work, you can’t even have people over really, because when you get that call you have to be at the hospital within two hours,” she said of being on the wait list for a deceased organ.

“If you don’t live within two hours of the hospital then they will move on to the next person in line. Your life is basically on hold.”

She was on the wait list for roughly two years before a live organ donation became available.

In February, 2020, she underwent a successful surgery, and has just recently been given the go-ahead from her doctors to begin working again.

“It changed my life, that is what I want people to know. It changed my life and the life of my family,” said Mielnichuk.

She says waiting is also incredibly hard for family members. In particular, she pointed out family members watch their loved ones “dying everyday.”

“My daughter was constantly worried for me, and my husband was always concerned I would get the call and no one would be around to help me get to the hospital because he was at work.”

Live organ donations can mean the patient and their families can better plan their life.

Normally when a suitable live donor is found a date is scheduled for the surgery. This means regular tasks and planning can be done in preparation, rather than being ready in a moments notice.

What is disappointing, Mielnichuk says, is that many people don’t understand how difficult it is to find a match for donation.

“Most people might say if my family member needs one, then I will donate. But, they don’t realize that there is a very good chance you won’t be a match for your family member,” she said.

“But if you aren’t a match, I hope you would consider still donating to someone else who you are a match with.”

She says those who are considering becoming a donor should think about the lives you could change, the ones that will be saved.

“I have a friend who was given six months to live if he doesn’t get a transplant. I can’t imagine being his family and watching him die as they wait,” said Mielnichuk.

More information about becoming an organ or tissue donor, or to register to become one, can be found at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta adds 463 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

The central zone has 818 active cases

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta identifies 573 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths on Saturday

There are currently 9,727 active cases of the virus in the province

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Three new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

The Central zone sits at 849 active cases, with 52 people in hospital and 10 in the ICU.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

Kyler Corriveau, of the Eckville area, was found dead on Sunday southeast of Red Deer. Police are investigating his death as a homicide. (Contributed photo).
Young Red Deer homicide victim is remembered as a caring friend

Police are investigating Kyler Corriveau’s untimely death

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision

Preliminary investigation revealed a south bound pickup truck collided with an eastbound car

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Black Press File Photo
Maskwacis RCMP lay charges for attempted murder, kidnapping, and flight from police

Female victim remains in hospital in serious condition.

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
‘Gut punch’: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney blasts Biden on revoked Keystone XL permit

Kenney said he was upset the U.S. wouldn’t consult with Canada first before acting

Most Read