Heather Badenoch contributed part of her liver and has ended up being a transplant supporter. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)

Appeal for living donors

According to recent liver donor and transplant advocate Heather Badenoch, there aren't enough departed donors for everybody on the waiting list. She believes Melnyk's new focus might assist create more living donors and help close the gap.

"People on the transplant list are awaiting a deceased donor. There's no waiting list, or line, to get a living donor," Badenoch stated. "If somebody can find themselves a living liver donor, then they leave the list for a departed donor and everybody behind them goes up by one. This is the opposite of leaping the queue."

I wish to, and am, providing back.- Eugene Melnyk She said motivating living contribution helps generate several matches."I reacted to a little woman's public appeal, she got a various donor, and I stayed in the process to offer to another child."Ninety-six percent of living liver donors who offer at Toronto General Hospital, where Melnyk received his liver transplant, decide to offer just due to the fact that a family colleague, good friend or member requires an organ.

"Most people give straight to somebody they understand. Simply four percent of living liver donors provide to complete strangers," Badenoch said.

In Melnyk's case, at least 20 prospective donors who answered his appeal asked to remain on the donor list.

"I wish to, and am, returning," Melnyk said. "If I just conserved another life through my effort, I am delighted and feel I have done something. I don't request for a thank you, I only ask that anyone that has a transplant, please pass on the message."

Its social media presence has actually dried up, its phone number is out of service and its annual gala didn't take place in 2019. But Eugene Melnyk insists his charity, The Organ Project, is still alive, and is refocusing its efforts for a relaunch next year.

The Ottawa Senators owner launched The Organ Project in 2017, after going through a successful liver transplant that followed a public appeal for a living donor, who remains anonymous.

The concept behind the charity was to raise awareness for organ donation and encourage individuals to sign their organ donor cards. According to its previous chief operating officer, Catherine Shaw, determining the charity's success proved challenging because of the way online registration works in Ontario.

In a composed message to CBC News, Shaw acknowledged the charity's operations are "on hold."

"Rather than move forward with initiatives that might not be properly measured, we picked to put them on hold up until we discovered a way to make them as efficient as possible," Shaw stated.

Trillium network withheld data, Melnyk declares

According to Melnyk, The Organ Project helped improve organ donor registration. He said Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN), the provincial government agency that delivers and coordinates organ and tissue donation in Ontario, has actually been less than upcoming with any information that would offer credit to his charity.

"Despite enormous efforts to attempt to get confirmations from Trillium that we should have credit for the spike in organ contribution registration, we were prohibited that details," Melnyk wrote in an email to CBC News.

"We felt that there was for that reason no other choice besides to suspend efforts for mass registration."

The idea behind the charity was to raise awareness for organ donation and encourage people to sign their organ donor cards. According to current liver donor and transplant advocate Heather Badenoch, there aren't enough departed donors for everyone on the waiting list. There's no waiting list, or queue, to get a living donor," Badenoch stated. "If somebody can find themselves a living liver donor, then they get off the list for a departed donor and everyone behind them moves up by one.

I want to, and am, providing back.

According to the Trillium Gift of Life Network, a basic tweak to The Organ Project's site would have made donor data readily available to the charity. (The Organ Project)

'No financial difficulty'

Asked about his current monetary situation, due to numerous examples of civil litigation against him, Melnyk stated: "I can ensure you that I am really delighted with my state of monetary affairs and no, there is no monetary difficulty."

In a subsequent e-mail, Melnyk included: "I never ever speak about my wealth or net worth to anyone. To attempt to in some way paint a picture (as some press reporters attempt) that there are any monetary difficulties is simply not true."

Melnyk is being sued by both an air travel company and a U.S casino. He's also involved in a reciprocal claim with his previous partners in a stopped working quote to develop an NHL arena on LeBreton Flats.

Melnyk informed CBC that as a policy he does not comment on lawsuits.

Charity to relaunch next year

Melnyk is promising to reanimate The Organ Project in April 2020-- the next Transplant Month-- as a totally free service to help gravely ill people find their own living donors. It will be imitated the liver transplant program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which supplies transplants for clients that other medical centres deem too high-risk or unfit for the operation.

"In this circumstance we have a tangible, quantifiable effect on the transplant community," Melnyk said.

The Senators owner said he's "forever grateful" to the anonymous living donor who came forward to save his life, and thinks it's the task of all organ transplant recipients to get the word out.

When Melnyk's family, good friends and Senators staff released the attract discover a living liver donorin 2015, some felt he was utilizing his public profile to leap the queue for transplants. Some think it might have assisted the cause.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, seen here at Canadian Tire Centre in 2018, got a liver transplant from a living donor in 2015. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Trillium denies it withheld details from The Organ Project.

"Since The Organ Project's creation, TGLN worked cooperatively with the organisation to offer all available registration stats and other appropriate information in Ontario to help advance the organisations' collective objective," the company wrote in an email to CBC.

Little tweak would have solved issue

TGLN stated a small tweak to The Organ Project's website would have fixed the issue."The Organ Project's site directs visitors to Ontario's online registration website, which is not owned or managed by TGLN. It was not possible for TGLN to provide metrics on web traffic produced from The Organ Project's website straight to the registration portal."

In other words, had The Organ Project's "register now" button connected to beadonor.ca, the details would have been offered to the charity.

Melnyk stated The Organ Project is planning to refocus on helping people with finding living donors through social media, beginning next year. He stated the outcomes will be "straight and effectively" determined.