Save Lives by
Registering to Donate

Give Life Alberta is dedicated to increasing awareness about organ and tissue donation - and access to life-saving transplants. Registering as a donor can save lives - and restore the quality of life - of hundreds of people in Alberta each year.

Register or Update Your Decision

Organ Tissue and Eye Donation


Why Register to Donate

You need to register your decision to donate either online or at a motor vehicle registry office, even if you signed the back of your health care card, to ensure the information is recorded with Alberta Health.

Thousands of Canadians, including hundreds of Albertans, are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant; however, only 1-2% of people can be potential organ donors upon their death. It's in the numbers: when more people donate, more lives are saved.

Did you know...

One organ donor can save up to 8 lives.


Each year, dozens of people in Alberta die while waiting for a transplant.

Did you know...

Almost everyone can be considered for tissue donation.


One tissue donor can help heal up to 75 people, with life-changing gifts such as eyes, bone, skin and heart valves.

Did you know...

You need to register your decision to donate.


Even if you've signed the back of your health care card, you need to register online or at a motor vehicle registry office to ensure the information is recorded with Alberta Health.

Did you know...

There are many myths about organ and tissue donation.


For example, “I'm too old or too unhealthy to donate.” The truth is, age or medical condition does not necessarily exclude you as a potential donor.

See more myths below in the FAQs


All the Ways: Charades

Our public awareness campaign ‘All the Ways’ encourages Albertans to share their organ and tissue donation decision with their families, in case they are ever asked to give consent. The discussion doesn’t have to be grim. Use this video to spark the conversation.


Become a Donor

If the time comes that you are eligible to donate, donor coordinators will check the Alberta Health registry to confirm your decision and inform your family.

Register or Update Your Decision

2 minutes


Register your decision online, even if you've signed the back of your health care card to be a donor.

5 minutes


Talk with your family about your decision. It's much easier for grieving families to honour and respect their loved ones' donation decision if they know it's what they wanted.

What Can Be Donated

Remember, you can choose what is and isn't donated. The donation process, and family involvement, is respectful and dignified.

Learn about the Donation Process

Deceased Donor
Living Donor

heart

Heart

Replaces a full heart or damaged / diseased valves impacted by heart disease and other factors.

Lungs

Lungs

Replaces lungs with severe damage caused by cystic fibrosis, emphysema and more.

Liver

Liver

 

Treats liver failure due to hepatitis B, cirrhosis and more.

Kidneys

Kidneys

 

Gives a healthy kidney to someone with severe chronic kidney disease.

Pancreas

Pancreas

Gives a healthy pancreas to make up for one that no longer produces insulin.

Intestine

Intestine

Replaces part of a damaged small intestine, affected by severe Crohn's disease and more.

Eyes

Eyes

Replaces damaged cornea and sclera due to trauma or disease.

Skin

Skin

Speeds up healing process for serious burns, and can be life-saving.

Bones & Tendons

Bones &
Tendons

 

Replaces bones destroyed by cancer and other trauma, and repairs joints using tendons.

Placenta

Placenta

Aids in healing serious burns, sores and other wounds.

What Can Be Donated

Hover to see what each donation can do. Remember, you can choose what is and isn't donated. The donation process, and family involvement, is respectful and dignified.

Learn about the Donation Process

Replaces a full heart or damaged / diseased valves
                                                                    impacted by heart disease and other factors.

Heart

Replaces lungs with severe damage caused by cystic
                                                                    fibrosis, emphysema and more.

Lungs

Treats liver failure due to hepatitis B, cirrhosis
                                                                    and more.

Liver

 

Gives a healthy kidney to someone with severe chronic
                                                                    kidney disease.

Kidneys

 

Gives a healthy pancreas to make up for one that no
                                                                    longer produces insulin.

Pancreas

Replaces part of a damaged small intestine, affected
                                                                    by severe Crohn's disease and more.

Intestine

Replaces damaged cornea and sclera due to trauma or
                                                                    disease.

Eyes

Speeds up healing process for serious burns, and can
                                                                    be life-saving.

Skin

Replaces bones destroyed by cancer and other trauma,
                                                                    and repairs joints using tendons.

Bones &
Tendons

 

Aids in healing serious burns, sores and other
                                                                    wounds.

Placenta

Deceased Donor
Living Donor


Organ Tissue and Eye Donation

Living Donors

Living Donor Services are active in both Edmonton at the University of Alberta Hospital, and in Calgary at the Foothills Medical Centre.

  • Living organ donors can give one kidney, or part of the liver.
  • Living tissue donations can include surgical bone and amniotic membrane.
  • Living donors mean shorter wait times and typically improved outcomes for recipients, thanks to better quality donations and more planning time.

More on Living Donation

Living Kidney Donation


Frequently Asked Questions

There can be many questions when it comes to donating organs and tissues. Our FAQs aim to educate and dispel myths.

MYTH: I'm too old or too unhealthy to donate.

TRUTH: Don't count yourself out! A medical condition or serious illness does not necessarily exclude you as a potential donor. All cases are evaluated on an individual basis when the time comes. 

MYTH: Hospital staff will not try as hard to save my life if they know I agreed to be an organ and tissue donor.

TRUTH: Saving a patient's life is a medical professional's first priority. It's only after every attempt has been made to save a patient, and death has been declared, that the donation process begins.  

MYTH: If I donate, my family can't have an open casket at my funeral.

TRUTH: Surgeons take great care to allow families to have an open casket funeral for their loved ones.

MYTH: Donor ethnicity makes no difference.

TRUTH: The chance of longer-term survival may be greater if the donor and recipient are closely matched in terms of their shared genetic background. Therefore the more people who register to donate, the better a recipient's chances are of a match that leads to a longer life.

MYTH: If I register to donate, I will have to donate my entire body.

TRUTH: You can choose which specific organs and/or tissues you'd like to donate by registering online.

MYTH: There are added expenses for those who decide to donate organs and/or tissues.

TRUTH: There is no cost to the donor or to the donor's family for organ and tissue donation. Alberta Health covers all medical expenses. Organ and tissue donation is considered an act of altruistic generosity. It is illegal to sell organs or tissues in Canada.

View all FAQs


Donor and Recipient Stories

Zachary's Story

Organ donor to 5 Patients

Zachary Trimm's road test was scheduled for his 16th birthday. Instead, he donated his organs that day, saving five lives.

Karter Bourgeault

Heart Valve Donor

Karter’s parents refused to let him pass away for no reason; they wanted their tragedy to help others. Karter's heart valves saved two babies who had heart defects.

Tony Wong

Liver Recipient

Tony is deeply grateful for the decision that saved his life, “It gave me another chance at living… Without them I wouldn't be here.” 

View more stories

Register your Decision.
Become a Donor.

Registering your decision is a vital step in becoming an organ and tissue donor. You can save
up to 8 lives, and profoundly improve the quality of life of up to 75 people.

Register or Update Your Decision

Continue to Support

Living Donation Week: September 8-14, 2024

Living Donation Week, launched in 2020 by the Centre for Living Organ Donation with support from the transplant community, invites the community annually, to come together, celebrate, and spread awareness about this life-changing gift and those who make it possible.

Green Shirt Day: April 7, 2025

The Canada-wide Green Shirt Day honours the legacy of Logan Boulet, and the ripple effect of his organ donation, following the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan.

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week: April 20-26, 2025

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW) raises awareness about the critical need for more donors across the country and encourages Canadians to register their decision and to talk to their loved ones about organ donation.

Continue to Support


About Give Life Alberta

Give Life Alberta (GLA) is the organ and tissue donation program in the province of Alberta, Canada. Services are provided using a collaborative approach by specialized teams in Edmonton and Calgary. GLA's mission is to optimize patient and family care related to organ and tissue donation, to uphold responsible stewardship of the gifts of organs and tissues, and to enhance access to transplantation.

Successful inspections by Health Canada have demonstrated strict adherence to all transplantation safety standards.

Contact

General Inquiries Related to Organ and Tissue Donation

Give Life Alberta
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:00pm
Telephone: (403) 910-2801
Email: GiveLifeAlberta@ahs.ca

Healthcare Professionals Only

For immediate assistance with matters relating to organ and tissue referral please call 1-866-407-1970 or call the University of Alberta Hospital Switchboard @ 780-407-8822 and ask for the on-call Donor Coordinator or Tissue Specialist to be paged.

General Inquiries Related to Organ and Tissue Donation

Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:00pm
Telephone: (403) 910-2801
Email: GiveLifeAlberta@ahs.ca

Healthcare Professionals Only

For immediate assistance with matters relating to organ and tissue referral please call the Foothills Hospital, Main Switchboard @ 403-944-1110 and ask for the on-call Donor Coordinator to be paged.