The Tour de Transplant is an initiative of the Heart Lung Transplant Trust (Victoria) Inc to raise funds for patient accommodation. Educators from the Organ and Tissue Authority will run Tour de Chat presentations for La Trobe University students and various other community organisations, in parallel with the Tour de Transplant.
La Trobe University Head of Campus, Albury-Wodonga, Dr Guinever Threkheld said the relatively low donation rates in Australia highlighted the need to raise awareness about organ donations.
‘International donor statistics from Transplant Australia show that, with about nine donations per million people, Australia has one of the lowest organ donation rates in the Western world. This compares with 34 per million in Spain and 13.5 per million in the United States.
‘Supporting this event is important for the University and its regional campuses. Funds raised from the event go directly to supporting the health needs of regional Victorians and that is something to which we are strongly committed,’ said Dr Threkheld.
‘Most of us know someone who has needed an organ transplant. When they graduate, our nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and social work students will be involved in both pre and post-transplant care of these organ recipients ‘ said Dr Threkheld.
‘La Trobe University has a clinical teaching school at The Alfred Hospital, the pioneers of heart transplant in Australia.
‘Our allied health students train there so this is an excellent opportunity for them to hear directly from transplant recipients.’
The eight-stage cycling tour starts from Geelong on 22 March and covers 1100 km, representing The Alfred Hospital’s 1100 heart and lung transplants since 1989. The cyclists will arrive in Shepparton on Monday 24 March and will head off for Albury on Tuesday 25 March.