The emergency goalie who helped create hockey history and the father of a Humboldt bus crash victim have teamed up to ask Canadians to mark their calendars for Green Shirt Day on April 7.
The organ donation awareness campaign hopes to get an attention boost with the help of David Ayres, the 42-year-old Zamboni driver for the Toronto Maple Leafs and living kidney transplant recipient.
"(It) has been fantastic, a lot of positive stuff comes from this but now I'm able to be a spokesperson for kidney donations and organ donations in general," Ayres said.
On Feb. 22, Ayres became the emergency goalie for the Carolina Hurricanes after both regular goalies were injured. Ayres helped the Hurricanes defeat his home team with a final score of 6-3, an NHL first.
Since then, he's been a guest on late night talk shows, his hockey stick is on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame, and he was in Raleigh, N.C. for David Ayres Day.
Now, he's using his elevated profile to share his experience as a recipient of a kidney from his mother in 2004.
"If it wasn't for the great people doing donations and the doctors and the hospital and all that stuff I wouldn't be able to do this," he said.
Ayres said both he and his mother are in great health and look forward to spreading organ donation awareness.
Logan Boulet Effect
The father of a Humboldt Bronco bus crash victim is also hoping to continue the "Logan Boulet effect," furthering the legacy of the hockey player who was one of 16 people killed in the bus crash on April 7, 2018.
The movement was started by the Lethbridge-based family after Logan Boulet became an organ donor in the tragedy, helping six people.
"We've had so many people come up to us and say 'your son has made a difference,'" said Toby Boulet from the Calgary International Airport on Friday.
"(They say) 'your son, by donating his organs, has given someone else a chance for a better life.'"
Toby Boulet is father of the Humboldt Bronco bus crash victim Logan Boulet, whose injuries meant he was the only one out of 16 people who was able to donate his organs.
According to the Kidney Foundation, there are 4,300 Canadians on the waitlist in need of transplants, 76 per cent are in need of a new kidney.
The average wait time for an organ in Alberta is three to five years, which can have fatal consequences.
Officials with the Kidney Foundation said it's important for donors to share their wishes with their families, even if they are a registered donor, to ensure their intentions are carried out.