Friday, June 01, 2007

When participating at the Transplant Sports Badminton Event in April I got to know some lovely people. One of whom had had a liver transplant a couple of years ago. This was the first time any of us had come on such a trip, so we all found it interesting to talk about our transplants. Clearly we all share that nosey streak, which I refer to as natural curiosity.

This 'liver lady' said that when she was preparing to go home following her operation, she asked a nurse what she should do now. Should she tell people she had had a transplant or should she keep it secret. The nurse said to her 'Well y'know, you don't have to go out wearing a neon sign telling the world "I've had a transplant", you can tell who you like, or nobody if you don't want to'.

I've always been very open about my transplant. I don't tell everyone, but the way things are in this country, everybody knows everybody, so most people know. I don't shy away from talking about it, as I reckon it's a great way to raise awareness. Not everyone is for transplant, and when I say 'raise awareness' I don't mean 'push people into it', or stuff a donor card sneakily in their back pocket when they're not looking, but rather to get them just to think about it.
29% of people in this country are donors. It's a lot, but hardly enough. That's why I do what I can to try and get people to consider it. (In my totally non pushy forceful ways of course!)

Anyway, this weekend will see me attempt to run/walk/crawl the mini marathon. Six miles which would have simply been inconceivable this time last year. I can't say I've exactly trained as such, but I'll give it a shot and hope to raise some awareness and money at the same time. I can only do my best after all!

So last night we came up with a novel (ish) idea, that I would wear an A4 size laminated sign that says :

11 months, 1 day & 19 hours
since my lung transplant!

Support Organ Donation!

My sister who'll be participating (although with her own friends as she doesn't want to be caught dead with family apparently) will be wearing one that says 'sister's' instead of 'my' and my Mum will have one saying 'daughter's'. We will have donor cards to hand out if people comment.

Anyway, I think the idea is a bit cheesy if you ask me, although it should hopefully work. I haven't decided to wear mine yet, as I don't really want to come across as attention seeking. It goes back to the 'you don't have to go out with a neon sign telling the world' comment. I know I don't have to, and laminating is as fancy as I could get anyway-no neons for me- but if the donor rate is so low, then anything to help...

If anyone thinks this is totally tacky please let me know!