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Wales This Week, From the Heart

In a special episode, tonight's Wales this Week looks at Organ Donation and speaks to those whose lives have been transformed as a result

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Campaign supports new organ donation laws

The campaign hopes to educate people about changes to organ donation Credit: PA

People in Wales are being urged to become organ donors before it's too late, as part of a new campaign, called 'It's About Time'.

Today sees the start of the campaign, which hopes to educate more people about the new legislation on organ donation, which comes in to force in December 2015.

Under the new 'soft opt-out' system, an individual will be able to be a donor either by registering a decision to opt-in, or by doing nothing at all. By doing nothing it will be assumed that you have no objection to being a donor.

Individuals can still choose not to be a donor under the new system, by registering a decision to opt-out.

In 2012, thirty five people died in Wales waiting for an organ donation. This is said to be the inspiration behind the new campaign.

Read more: Organ donation bill becomes law in Wales

Kidney transplant twins to spend Christmas together

Two brothers who were diagnosed with an incurable kidney disease will celebrate Christmas properly for the first time in two years.

Jack and Josh Parry from Bangor became the first twins in Europe to receive kidney transplants from the same donor.

The identical twins were facing kidney failure by the age of 10 - but received the operation which changed their lives earlier this year. Rob Shelley has been to meet them.

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'It's important people understand how it'll work', says Carwyn Jones

Two years today the new Welsh organ donation law will come into effect. It'll mean people who live and die in Wales will have to say if they don't want their organs donated.

The move is controversial with some religious groups who are opposed to it.

But, the First Minister for Wales says the law will benefit those people who are happy to donate their organs but don't get around to signing the register.

The Welsh Government has launched a campaign including a website with stories of people who have been affected in different ways by organ donation. The aim is to ensure people are made aware of the legislation, and their choices, before it comes into force on 1st December, 2015.

Support for organ donation law increases

The new law will come into force in December

Awareness and support of the new organ donation law has increased, according to a survey by the Welsh Government.

The survey asked more than 1,000 people across Wales what they think of the new soft opt out donation legislation, which comes into force in Wales on 1st December 2015.

The number of people in favour of the law increased from 49% last year, to 61% in 2013.

In Cardiff and south-east Wales, the proportion of people in favour of the proposed changes to organ donation has increased from 47% in 2012 to 67% in 2013. This is the largest increase across all areas in Wales.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: "It's fantastic to see support for a soft opt-out system has increased even further. Organ donation saves lives, and we believe the new legislation will help to increase the number of people potentially able to contribute to the organ donation pool."

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Kidney charity: 'Wales can be proud of organ law'

It has been a long journey and it is very good law. It received proper consultation and first class scrutiny all the way through.

It gives hope to all those waiting for a transplant, not only those on the list but those who fear chronic organ failure and who may need a transplant.

I am proud that we were at the forefront of making our views known and we thank all those involved from all political parties and especially the Bill Team and the Government for getting us through over the line.

The debate was detailed and produced an Act which the Assembly and Wales can be proud and will now be a marker for other parts of the UK

– Roy J .Thomas, Kidney Wales Foundation

Minister: Royal assent for organ bill 'a momentous day'

This is a momentous day in the history of the Welsh Government and I am proud to have been the Health Minister in post when this seminal piece of legislation came into being.

Although we celebrate the commencement of the Act today, it is important to remember the new system will not come into force until 1st December 2015, following a two year public information campaign.

During this two year campaign, people will be given plenty of information on how the new system works and what their choices are.

Even today though people can help others by ensuring their loved ones know their wishes about organ donation and I would encourage everyone to have that conversation.

– Mark Drakeford, Health Minister
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