Victoria woman top three finalist in video competition

A Victoria woman is raising awareness of the importance of organ donation with a catchy new public service announcement.

A Victoria woman is raising awareness of the importance of organ donation with a catchy new public service announcement.

Lia Michalski has been named a top three finalist as part of the David Foster Foundation’s annual Operation: Registration, a national challenge designed to encourage Canadians to become registered organ donors.

“I was honestly in shock yesterday. I walked through the day trying to get people to know about it. It felt like I was walking through a bit of a dream,” said Michalski, about finding out she made the top three a few days ago.

“I think when you’re from a small town and suddenly you have the opportunity to create a little bit of noise around something you believe so strongly in, it’s pretty incredible when your voice suddenly becomes stronger than you ever thought it could.”

As part of the challenge, contestants create a 60 to 90 second PSA about why people should become organ donors.

Michalski’s video Give the Gift takes viewers through a first-person point of view of someone going through a regular day — waking up, brushing their teeth, eating lunch, driving home from work and ends with “to an organ recipient, every ordinary day is a gift.”

For Michalski, who has been a registered organ donor for the past 10 years, it’s a cause that’s close to her heart.

“The foundation and cause is something I believe very strongly in, so when I heard about the contest, I was prompted immediately to try and get something together to encourage others to be passionate the way I am about something that matters so deeply,” said Michalski, who teaches film and television at Claremont Secondary School.

Of the top three finalists, the video with the most likes on the David Foster Foundation Facebook page by Sunday (Aug. 30) wins a trip to the foundation’s annual Miracle Gala in Toronto to present their video. Voting is open until Sunday.

In Canada, there are more than 4,500 Canadians awaiting life-saving transplants.