INSPIRED TO ACT

FULL COVERAGE: Courtney's Quest - All the stories

BENDIGO'S Debbie Ross' organ donation form sat on her fridge for more than a year, until one little girl's story inspired her to fill it out. 

Ever since she started cleaning the Bendigo Cemetery, Ms Ross has been thinking of death - and what will come of her body. 

It's her hope that it will be put to good use. 

"To me, after death our bodies are just a shell and our souls are free from all of that," she said. 

"So I want them to use whatever they can to help others because it's so clear people are waiting."

She said she filled out the forms as soon as she'd read about Courtney Keast - who donated her organs after her sudden death in January. 

"I read this story, and the one about the young girl on dialysis, and realised there are so many people needing organs while people die every day," she said. 

"My form had been sitting on the fridge but this spurred me on to fill it out."

While less than one per cent of people die in hospital in the specific circumstances where organ donation is possible, people are encouraged to discuss the option with their loved ones.

In Australia the family of every potential donor will be asked to confirm the donation decision of their loved one before donation can proceed.

Ms Ross said she had spoken to her loved ones about their wishes. 

"I have a niece the same age as Courtney and while it's unthinkable to imagine something happening to her, if something did, I think it would bring me comfort to know her organs helped someone," she said. 

"I've also asked my son and he's said no, but of course the decision is his to make - just like everyone."

She urged everyone wanting to become an organ donor to sign up.

"Even though I'd put it off for a year, it only took a few minutes once I'd started doing it," she said.

"Of course people put things off but this isn't something that should be left until last."

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Courtney's Quest 

Bendigo woman among many to follow in Courtney's footsteps and sign up for donation

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