Saturday, 26 September 2009

LLTGL Abseil

Hey everyone...

My its been a busy week this week, the #savejess campaign really took off and there will be lots of exciting developments over the next couple of weeks, visit www.savejess.org.uk to keep up to date with it all.

In other exciting news I will be taking part in a 100ft abseil to raise money for Live Life Then Give Life, It will take place on 7th Novemeber at Leasowe Lighthouse in the Wirral. Its all very exciting, I have been organising it all and have around 45 people taking part! It should be a great day and hopefully lots of money will be raised for a fantastic cause.

Leasowe Lighthouse


LLTGL were so supportive of me whilst I waited for my transplant and I want to return the favour and celebrate a WHOLE YEAR without dialysis by doing this challenge! If you want to sponsor me please visit the link below, I know first hand that each donation is gratefully received and will be put to fantastic use.




You can also join the Live Life Then Give Life Abseil group on facebook!

Thanks so much for all your support!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Save Jess....

Please do as the title says! Save Jess and join the Organ Donor Register.

The campaign started on twitter, we started tweeting about Jess with the hashtag so we could track how many people have seen it (#savejess) It has now been seen by over 8000 people in just 50 tweets, and well more than 50tweets were sent so imagine how many in total.

The campaign has a logo, so please change your Facebook/twitter pictures to show your support!

http://www.savejess.org.uk/_img/savejess.jpg

And a brand spanking new website (www.savejess.org.uk) where you can also buy t-shirts!


Emily Thackray has been on GMTV and BBC Kent talking about Jess, I went on City Talk to talk to Pete Price about her... word is spreading fast.

Jess has had support via twitter from
  • Sarah Brown
  • Matthew Horne
  • Jason Manford
  • David Baddial
  • Phil Jupitus
  • Bill Baily
  • Beverley Knight
  • Banksy
  • Sarah Cawood
  • Jenni Falconer
to name but a few....

There is an article here on Sky News... along with a video here.

Another article on the newswire here, where I get a little mention.

So lets get back to the message... I said this in the previous post:

"I haven't spent enough time getting to know Jess.... I want to take her shopping, I want to laugh till we cry (for the right reasons this time), I want to sample a whole cocktail menu with her... I want to dance till our feet feel like they are going to fall off... But this may never happen."

I don't want to loose a friend before I have had the chance to get to know her more, a twenty year old young girl should NOT be facing death, things can change if more people sign the Organ Donor Register.

Please Save Jess. Thank You.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Worried....

I, like most people in the transplant community today are worried that we are going to lose a very special young lady, 20 year old Jessica Wales has been waiting for a double lung transplant for over 4 years now, and has had 7 false alarms were the transplant didn't take place for one reason or another. I had the privilege of meeting Jess this year, when she helped me during my filming for the Gift of Life documentary. Little did I know that this may be the only chance of me ever meeting Jess... She text me not long ago asking that when she gets her lungs can she come and stay with me, of course I said yes. I haven't spent enough time getting to know Jess.... I want to take her shopping, I want to laugh till we cry (for the right reasons this time), I want to sample a whole cocktail menu with her... I want to dance till our feet feel like they are going to fall off... But this may never happen.


This was Jess 2 weeks ago...

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_bDslGFTUkvg/SrYnMcagSPI/AAAAAAAAAOs/iKhaCz7EXto/s200/Jess+and+I.jpg

and this is her today

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_bDslGFTUkvg/SrYnaB5x98I/AAAAAAAAAO0/eUo4roWqNtw/s200/Jess+in+hospital+today.jpg

Jess is on a NIV (a Non Invasive Ventilator) which is helping her to breathe.She is currently in hospital, fighting for every breath. She has 11% lung function and can only breath in the amount of air that is in a coke can. Without a transplant soon... Jess WILL die!


This is the harsh reality of waiting for a transplant, I was one of the lucky ones that was able to be kept alive by dialysis whilst I waited for my second chance. Jess and many others out there don't have this luxury time is ticking... and soon the clock will stop.

This is all because not enough people have signed the Organ Donor Register.

Please visit Live Life Then Give Life to find out more about Jess
Sign the Organ Donor Register
Talk about Organ donation with your family and friends.

Things should be different...

You can help save Jess's life.

Please.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Update...

Ok so going to try and make this a quick one but I seem to have done a lot recently and got lots to tell you all!

Firstly the blog below says it all but I am just so please that I did well in my results, getting a 2:1 is amazing... I didn't think I would quite be able to do it, what with the transplant, Battlefront and dissertation all happening at once in the third year it was often quite a struggle! I have ordered my graduation gown and Mortarboard and also booked some (very expensive) photographs! My brother and Mum and Dad will be there to see me graduate which will be fantastic, this is happening on 5th November :)

Other stuff that's been going on, I have had lots of lovely days out with Abigail, at local gardens, farms and play barns, she really does make me laugh and she is learning new things every day it really is amazing! Now that she can walk... it takes a lot of energy to run after her when we go out, I really couldn't have done this before... and I am appreciating EVERY second!

In other exciting news.. I got invited to Number 10 Downing Street this week to meet Gordon Brown, sadly it was just too short notice and I was unable to attend! Afterward I found out that my Battlefront mentor Oli Barrett was there, Matt Locke the Channel 4 Education Boss which commissioned Battlefront and made it award winning and finally the fabulous Diversity were there, I was gutted to say the least! It really wasn't feasible though and I was reassured that there will be other opportunities to meet the Prime Minister, which I am very much looking forward to!

My final bit of exciting news is that my swim at a local swimming pool has been given the go ahead, I don't know if I have told you about this (my memory is shocking) I originally fancied doing the Great North Swim (a mile in open water) but I was a bit worried about swimming in a lake and what bugs (as in unhealthy bugs not animal bugs, although I would be worried about them to) would be in the water. So I thought why not do it in a swimming pool instead... and get people to sponsor me! I am unsure as to when this will happen... as there is some other exciting news, which is top secret at the min, which may involve me and Live Life Then Give Life... so will keep you in the loop about that when I can!

Looking forward to lunch tomorrow with a friend and then we're catching up with other friends tomorrow night too!

Then next weekend I am off to Huddersfield for a housewarming party and staying the night there with my friends which should be a laugh...

I really can't believe I am actually talking about all these things in one blog... how far I have come in a year... I used to feel nauseous everyday, had to stick to a strict diet and couldn't socialise with friends... not to mention being tied to a dialysis machine for over 3 hours 3 x a week!

I am going to GRADUATE, I can RUN AROUND after my neice, I have been invited to meet the PRIME MINISTER, I am doing a SPONSORED SWIM and I am catching up on lost opportunities by spending TIME WITH FRIENDS!

I am currently wearing a T-Shirt saying "Living the Life" and that is exactly what I am doing!
I am LIVING THE LIFE and LOVING IT!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

I only went and did it....



I PASSED MY DEGREE WITH A 2:1! YIPEEEEEE!



Shortest blog in the history of the world: all other updates can wait :)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Fundraising for LLTGL

Fellow advocates Jessica Wales and Louise Lawrence completed great challenges on Sunday to raise money for Live Life Then Give Life.

Jessica is waiting for a double lung transplant and has been for four years, receiving 8 false alarms. She is currently on Oxygen 24 hours a day and She decided, with just 11% lung function she would do the 5k addidas challenge in Hyde Park! Jess can only breathe in the amount of air in a can of coke, yet she wanted to walk 200m out of every Kilometere and thus walking 1 whole Kilometere! I am so pleased to say she did it, and as ever had a smile on her face!

Click here to see a video of Jess's Challenge and details of how to sponsor her.

Louise has had a single lung transplant and she decided she also wanted to take on a challenge and raise funds for LLTGL although she is post transplant she is suffering severe complications, including a form of post transplant cancer and heart failure. Lou decided she would hug a tree for 2 hours continuously, this doesn't sound much, but Lou finds walking difficult so standing for 2 hours was a huge physical and mental challange, but she did it!

Click here to sponsor Louise.

Lou and Jess are such an inspiration, they are brave, corageous and fabulous young ladies and I am totally in awe of their acheivements!

Congratulations girlies, you rock muchly :)

Whilst on the subject of Live Life Then Give Life, I just want to wish them luck for tonight, it is the Charity Times Awards and they have been nominate for best new charity!

Fingers, toes and everything crossed that they win. They do a fabulous job in raising awareness of Organ Donation, supporting people on the waiting list and ultimately saving lives.

I am so pleased and proud that I am part of such an amazing charity and team! Having kidney failure is pretty rubbish, I'm not going to lie, but if it hadn't have happened I wouldn't have met half the people I have today. People that I can now call friends. I am part of a club that no-one really wants to be apart of... but I'm so pleased I am... and I'm never going to leave :)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Abigail is one...

As the title suggests Abigail is one! Her birthday was on Saturday and we celebrated at her house with family and friends! I can't believe how quick this year has gone... it seems only yesterday that I wrote this blog when we found out she was going to be a girl! Being an Auntie is fab, its hard to imagine life without her now :)

Other things that have happened this week...

I went to see the amazing Tim Minchin, he was soooo funny! It was totally different to anything I have seen before, it was a cross between a concert and a stand up act! He is so clever with his lyrics and he is fantastic on the piano, not to mention his voice! You tube him if you want to find out more... be aware though if you are easily offended!

On Sunday I went out with a couple of my friends and their mum, we went to the trafford centre, watched the Time Travelers wife, which was soooo sad, we all ended up in floods of tears! We then went out for tea at the American Bar and Grill which was delicious!

Today I had a DVD and Duvet day with my friend Sal, we watched Little Miss Sunshine, The Butterfly Effect and Four Weddings and a Funeral! I have to say I was pleasently surprised by the Butterfly Effect, this was my favourite film of the day, its confusing at times but definitely makes you concentrate and think!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Reflective...

I was reflecting yesterday with my Mum, she was saying how proud she was (whilst I was telling her to shush) of me that I had taken the leap and start going places on my own.

I am pretty proud of myself too (don't want to boast about it though haha)! This time last year, there was no way that I would have gone to the shops on my own, let alone London. Friends that will be reading this will be thinking, ye but you went to university on your own, I did, when I first started I was really nervous about going on my own but as the weeks/months went by and I got to know everyone and they got to know about me (and my illness) I was fine.

This is why I think I didn't want to go out on my own, I always had my fab Mum or Dad with me, I didn't even mind going out with my friends, as they knew about my condition. However going out to the shop on my own I wouldn't like at all, what if I fell ill, collapsed or fainted? I think this was my worst fear, it wasn't because I didn't WANT to go out on my own it was because I was worried about the WHAT IF's of going out on my own.

Now that I am feeling well this fear has gone, I can do what I want, when I want! It's a great feeling... I am not planning on jetting off around the world or moving out of home yet (Sorry Mum and Dad) but I think I am making progress and getting more confident!

I may actually be starting to grow up too... I have enquired about two jobs in the past few days and one is looking promising for an interview... and I am waiting for an application form for the other! It's a scary but exciting prospect...

None of the above of course would have been possible without my wonderful donor and their special family... I remember them every day in everything that I am now doing that was not possible before.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Quick one...

Just a quick one (I promise), just to say I had a lovely weekend with my Mum and Abigail, lots of playing and giggles!

On the Sunday The guys arrived home from Wembley at about 2, a few of my friends were going to see the victory parade (because Warrington won yay!) and so I joined them. It was a really great atmosphere, they reckon around 50,000 people turned up! As soon as the team arrived at Warrington Town Hall it absolutely chucked it down! We all went home looking like drowned rats, but I was so glad I went.

Other things I've been up to is getting through a massive to do list... everytime I cross something off, I seem to add something new! One thing on my list was to write up some notes for a Department of Health meeting that I have been invited to, I can't attend but can email my notes over for them to see. The Organ Donation Taskforce report, published in January 2008 recommended that ‘Appropriate ways should be identified of personally and publically recognising individual organ donors, where desire. These approaches may include national memorials, local initiatives and personal follow-up to donor families.’ A review is underway to expolre current and proposed initiatives to reconise donor families, and to stimulate new thinking about the most appropriate ideas for taking this recommendation forward. So this is what I have been thinking about... how to recognise donors and their families appropriately! What a hard topic to tackle, I hope I get my message accross ok in my notes.

I've just got back from the hair dressers (I have short red hair again!) I decided to get it done this week as I am going to see Tim Minchin on Friday, then heading into town. Then on Saturday it is Abigail's Birthday and she is having a party, so wanted it nice for then.

So thats it really nothing exciting to report...

Oh I've enquired about 2 jobs, both working with children but completely different things! So will have to update my CV, eeeeekkkk I sound too grown up!