A new book and website raise the issue of organ donations by teenagers

A novel by a Leura author has led to the creation of a website to raise awareness of organ donation among teenagers.

Karen West recently launched her young adult fiction novel Living Voice and along with it the website, livingvoice.com.au.

Guest Debbie Weaver left, the author, Karen West Centre and Dr Tina Hinton (right) at the launch of Living Voice.

Guest Debbie Weaver left, the author, Karen West Centre and Dr Tina Hinton (right) at the launch of Living Voice.

West’s book won a Varuna Publishing Introduction Program (PIP) award.

The website was designed by Kiara Marr, a young TAFE Western Sydney design student.

Found at www.livingvoice.com.au, the website offers young people details about how to register their own donation wishes, the importance of discussing the issue with their family, and how organ donation can make a difference to so many lives.

Emma Husar, Federal MP for Lindsay, has recorded a video to support the book, speaking of her personal experience with her young cousin, whose premature death at the age of 18 gave life – through her organs – to seven people.

Said West: “Since 2008 the Australian Government has spent hundreds of millions on organ donation reform and millions on encouraging parents about the importance of discussing organ donation with teenagers, and today only 8 per cent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are registered donors.”

While her book is fiction, it shared the dynamics of a family in crisis, love, life, death and hope, she said. 

“I went on to develop the website because I believe that it is the teenagers that we should be encouraging and educating to discuss the subject of organ donation with their parents.”