NORTH BAY -- The City of North Bay is ranked as the top city in Ontario for organ and tissue donor registration rates. 58 per cent of health card holders in the city choose to be a donor, while the provincial average sits at 34 per cent.

“I think the themes of hope, resilience and survival are really relatable to people in northern Ontario,” said organ recipient Mary Beaucage.

Beaucage is alive and well thanks to her cousin in Manitoba, who chose to be a living kidney donor.

The transplant took place in 2015, and as her five year anniversary approaches, Beaucage is thankful for the extra time with her family.

“My son is 30 now and I’m able to have that time with him, which I may not have had and it may have been impacted with the medical treatments I was on at the time,” said Beaucage.

Beaucage's kidney problems had her on dialysis and she ended up in a four-day coma.

Based on her blood type, she was told it would be eight years before a match could be found from a deceased donor.

But then, her cousin agreed to give up a kidney, and a successful transplant was completed.

Every three days, someone in Ontario dies while waiting for a transplant. However, there are encouraging trends.

The Trillium Gift of Life Network recorded 1,400 organ transplants last year, and there were 680 deceased and living organ donors. This is a 13 per cent spike from a year earlier.

“Every person has the power to save lives as an organ and tissue donor and it’s important to formally resister your decision,” said Trillium Gift of Life Network Vice President of Clinical Donation Services Janet MacLean. “We have found registration has a strong connection to donation.”

“Have those conservations with your loved ones to let them know what your intentions are,” said Beaucage.

The Trillium Gift of Life Network says it’s very easy to be a donor. All you have to do is register here for the chance to give someone a second chance at life.