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Ontario Man Completes 8,000-Kilometre Solo Bike Ride Across Canada for Organ Donation Awareness

ST. JOHN'S, NL--(Marketwired - August 02, 2013) - Cayse Ruiter departed from Tofino, British Columbia on June 3 on a solo bike ride across Canada for organ donation awareness dubbed Outlive Yourself. On Friday, August 2, 2013 he will arrive in St. John's, Newfoundland completing his journey at the Terry Fox Memorial and dip his bike tire in the Atlantic Ocean.

Ruiter decided to embark on his journey after his close friend Matthew Antolin, who passed away in Toronto on December 16, 2012 at the age of 27 while waiting for a heart transplant. He had thought about biking across Canada before the passing of his friend, and wanted to do something to help honour Matthew's memory and make sure other families did not have to feel the Antolins' loss.

"Imagine if you could save up to eight lives in just two minutes of your time, but you didn't."

That was the message Ruiter spread during his ride across the country. Canada has one of the lowest rates of registered organ donors in the industrialized world. Ruiter began his ride with the hopes of raising awareness and starting conversations about organ donation.

"I biked to encourage everyone I met to have the courage to become a registered organ donor," says Ruiter.

Ruiter found the people he talked to along his journey receptive of his message, and hopes his journey positively impacts some of the 4,000 Canadians currently waiting for an organ transplant at any given time.

As awareness of his campaign grew, so did offers of support. Many nights after a long day of riding he was offered a place to stay for the night, by friends, family and even strangers who had been following his blog at Outliveyourself.ca. When he reached his hometown of Ottawa he was joined by double lung transplant recipient Hélène Campbell for a bike ride and to raise funds for her Give2Live campaign which supports families who need to relocate to organ transplant zones throughout Canada.

Now that he has completed his ride Ruiter is unsure of what his next challenge will be. The one thing he is sure of is that he will keep asking people to take two minutes to save up to eight lives.

Available for interviews:

Cayse Ruiter, Founder of Outlive Yourself

Paul & Cvetka Antolin, Parents of Matthew Antolin

Stephen & Robert Antolin, Brothers of Matthew Antolin

Outlive Yourself is a solo 8,000-kilometre bike journey across Canada by Cayse Ruiter to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation. Cayse is riding across the country in memory of his close friend Matthew Antolin who passed away on Dec 16, 2012 while waiting for a heart transplant. Each registered organ donor has the potential to save up to eight lives and positively impact 75 more through tissue donation.

The Give2Live Campaign was established to raise money for the Transplant Patient & Family Support Fund at Toronto General Hospital. This fund will help patients and their families across Canada who are on the organ transplant waiting list and who must live within a 2-hour zone of the hospital. Give2Live will help support basic living expenses like food, accommodations, medical equipment needs and travel to medical appointments.

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