Not a day goes by that Kathy Urban doesn't think about her kidney transplant.

Urban was diagnosed with bilateral polycystic kidney disease in 1977. She was told in 1999 that she'd be on dialysis in less than a year. She made it to 2001, and was then told a kidney donor had been found.

"I still get very emotional because it's such a gift. And when I think about (the family) and what they had to go through for me to receive that gift -- every year on my kidney anniversary I send them a letter," says Burton.

Urban received her kidney from a deceased donor.

Dr. Faisal Siddiqui with Transplant Manitoba's Gift of Life says if one wishes to be a donor, it's important to share that information with family and friends.

"That's really the push that we want to give to Manitobans. We want them to know that we're here to honour your wishes, we're here to help if we can. It's not about convincing anyone to do the thing, it's about making sure that when you reach a state where you are so ill that you may pass away if your wishes are to donate then we want to honour those wishes as best as we can," says Dr. Siddiqui.

Manitobans who wish to register as donors are encouraged to do so at If a person is in a situation where donation is possible, family members will be asked about it. If the person is registered at, that information will be provided to the family.

This week marks the 20th National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week.