The judges are meeting today to decide who out of the 10 makes the top 3! They will contact these people on the 14th to be told they have made it... It is then up to an independent psychologist to discuss with the top 3 the implications of running a campaign to see if they would be up to the job, I'm unsure as to whether they decide fully on the winner but it will be announced on 3rd November! I'll keep you posted...
Finally I was asked to write another article for my university newspaper, nothing much has changed since the last time I wrote so I decided to come at it from a different angle and speak to Jen and Emily from Live Life Then Give Life and write about their experiences! So thanks to them for that!
Here's the article if you're interested. It probably won't be printed till November so you're getting a sneak preview...
A few months ago I wrote an article about how my life changed when I was diagnosed with Kidney Failure and was told that I needed a kidney transplant. Nothing has changed since then. I am still dialysing 3 times a week for 3 hours at a time and I am still waiting for that call to say a suitable kidney has been found.
A call that will transform my life. I know this from personal experience as friends of mine have received that very phone call and ultimately the greatest gift of all - the gift of life. I am lucky as dialysis can keep me alive, other people on the transplant waiting list aren’t as fortunate and don’t have this luxury, for them it is life or death.
One such person who was in a situation like this is my friend Emily Thackray aged 24 who is vice chairperson of the charity Live Life Then Give Life. I got to know her through the charity and was totally inspired by the work they do in raising awareness about the importance of organ donation. Emily was born with cystic fibrosis (CF) and In 2005 she was told that CF had damaged her lungs so badly that she would need a double lung transplant within a year in order for her to survive.
Half of the people waiting for a lung transplant will die on the list but throughout her wait Emily tried to remain positive despite facing many hurdles along the way. Thankfully in 2007 the wait was over for Emily and she received that call and had a successful double lung transplant. She would not be here today were it not for the brave decision and generosity of her donor family. Since her transplant she has had a rollercoaster of experiences including getting married.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to find the words to express my gratitude to my donor family; they gave me my life back and I intend to make every breath count.”
Another friend of mine called Jen Dickinson aged 26 was also told she needed a new kidney. Just one month before she went on the waiting list she was a healthy young woman with lots of plans for the future.
She knows as well as I do to be told that you must be attached to a machine in hospital 3 times a week for an indefinite and unknown amount of time is devastating. Jen felt her future suddenly seemed very bleak indeed. She, like me, was dependent on drugs, hospitals, doctors and machines. She started thinking all the time about kidneys and transplants and the thought of the future seemed very hard to deal with.
Then one day, out of the blue, Jen received a phone call that changed her life. She has a new kidney allowing her to do things she couldn’t do before such as drink and eat what she likes. She now has the energy to do all the activities she loves and can spend time visiting friends and family. These are also things I look forward to doing in the future when that call comes to say that a suitable kidney has become available for me. I will then be able to lead a normal life and do the things I want to do.
“The new kidney has made a huge difference in my life: I have more confidence, feel more independent and I am living my life to the full. My donor hasn't just given me a kidney, they have given me back my future.”
Although having End Stage Renal Failure has many restrictions and has impacted greatly on my life I try to remain positive and am aware that it has allowed me to do things I would never have had the opportunity to do. I have met so many great people such as Emily and Jen through the Live Life Then Give Life Charity (of which I am the North West advocate) .We are all working towards the same goal in raising awareness of organ donation and trying to increase the number of people signing up to the donor register. Hearing and seeing the difference that a transplant can make to people’s lives gives me hope for the future that one day I will get the call and then I will be able to do all the things I have dreamt of.
I have also entered a campaign in the Battlefront competition (http://battlefront.co.uk/campaign/the-gift-of-life/) to raise awareness of this topic and to get people thinking, talking and doing something about organ donation. I have been astounded at the support and numbers of votes it has received. My campaign finished in 2nd position out of a possible 62 meaning I am still in with a chance of appearing on a TV programme to be shown on Channel 4. I am determined to make it through to the final stages of the competition as I know this campaign really will save lives maybe even my own.
Thanks again for all your support for my Battlefront campaign it really is appreciated! x