It's arguably the most important meeting of the year for any city councillor, the night when council votes on the city budget for the coming year. What could possibly more important that the immediate financial future of the city for one of the politicians that oversees it? Well, Phil Allt couldn't make the budget night vote last month, and he had a very excellent excuse: he was saving his brother's life.
Councillor Allt's brother Greg needed a kidney, and Councillor Allt - Phil - was ready and willing to give his brother the organ he needed. Greg was lucky. Of the 4,500 people in need of an organ in 2014 and on the organ donor list, 77 per cent were needing a kidney. And although organ donation has gone up in the last decade, 278 people still die waiting for the replacement they needed; one-third of those that died needed a kidney.
So you can imagine the relief of the Allts. Not only was Phil a willing living donor, but after rigorous testing - physical and psychological - Phil was approved to be a donor. In this week's Guelph Politicast we talk to Phil and Greg about Greg's illness, why the time came to get a new kidney and the long, strange journey for Phil to give his brother the life-saving operation he needed, even if it didn't always look likely it was going to happen.
Yes, this week's podcast is a human interest story. A fascinating tale of two brothers, the gift of life, and a reminder of the importance of identifying yourself as a organ donor, and making your loved ones aware of that fact. Over the last decade, "deceased donation" has gone up 44 per cent, but nearly 300 people are still dying every year as they wait for the organs they need.
It's an uplifting story, it's a story of gratitude, it's the story of brothers, and it's this week's Guelph Politicast.
To learn more about organ donation in Ontario, you can click here, and if you choose to be a donor yourself, you can click here and register to be a donor.
The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.
The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.
Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.