Justin Federici believes it’s everyone’s job to contribute something to the world.
He took his belief to heart, and in the spring of 2021, Federici, an RCMP officer, donated his kidney to an anonymous recipient in need.
In high school, Federici began donating blood, and as soon as he met the age requirement, he signed up to be a live organ donor.
“I wish I had a good story as to why I did it, but I just think that everyone should contribute to the world; it really doesn’t affect me all that much - I might have to take blood pressure medication a few years earlier, but that’s about it,” he added with a slight laugh.
Federici is the recipient of the Local Hero Award for Courage & Bravery, and noted he was surprised to find out he was nominated but said it was a nice reminder of the donation, as it occurred in the spring of 2021.
He originally registered to be an organ donor in June 2020, and a few weeks later was contacted as to travel to Vancouver for what would be a series of tests and meetings with staff to discuss his quality of life going forward, and to confirm his choice in donating a kidney.
Federici would like to see a change to the entire organ donation process in the province.
“I believe an opt-out system (is the way to go) rather than an opt-in system,” he said.
His nominator Ellen Belcher said she doesn’t know many people who would donate their kidney to a stranger.
“When I asked Justin … ‘If 10 years down the road if something goes wrong and your one kidney fails, what would you do?’ His answer was, ‘Well, I hope there is someone out there like me that will donate one.’”