Sens owner to promote organ donations

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has launched a new initiative, "The Organ Project," aimed at reducing the waitlist for organ transplants.

The announcement comes two years after Melnyk received a life-saving liver transplant after making a very public plea for a donor.

Melnyk says his initiative will work towards encouraging more people to become organ donors.

Currently, only 30% of Ontarians register.

"You've got someone dying every three days - I almost went!" Melnyk said.

"It's really sad, sitting there and watching people wheeled out, dead, and all they were waiting for was an organ."

A centrepiece of his campaign will be public-awareness announcements voiced by Hollywood star Morgan Freeman.

Melnyk says his new initiative will also push for a system of "presumed consent" for organ donations - people would be automatically registered unless they opted out.

Part of the fundraising efforts will be a private performance with singer Carrie Underwood on March 31st at Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto.

Individual tickets are $1,500 and a table of 10 is $15,000.

You can find more information on Melnyk's initiative at www.theorganproject.net