Thursday, 31 December 2009

My 2009

Have a read of the blogs below... have had a blogging marathon recently...

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before? ... So many! I went on TV, I went down to London on my own... went away with friends on my own... had my first hangover! What a year!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? ....
Last years resolution was mainly to make my donor and my donor family proud... I hope I have achieved this and continue achieve this every single year! Next year... I want to get fit, go to the gym lots more and lose weight! My Mum and Grans resolution for me would be to find myself a fella... will see about that one!

3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve? ...
I will be spending the evening with friends... for the first time ever! I always spend new years with my parents, this will be the first year I will be well enough to spend it away from home! It will be a house party and then going back to my best friends new house and staying there the night!

4. Did anyone close to you die? ...
A good friend I got to know through transplant community died this year, she was so young and died so needlessly all because a transplant didn't come in time!

5. What countries did you visit? ...
Ireland :)

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? ...
I can't actually think of anything for this one... ? 2009 has been one of the best years ever...2010 has got a lot to live up to! I think my Mother would answer that I need a man on this one.... not to sure myself haha!

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? ...
7th April... Donor Day! What a fantastic day! Will certainly remember that day till I die... met some great people, appeared on GMTV, Radio, In newspapers... and most of all got thousands of people to sign the Organ Donor Regsiter on this day!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? ...
Graduating would be number one... the National Award for volunteering would be number 2!

9. What was your biggest failure? ...
Hmmm this is a toughy... is it big headed if I can't think of anything? I'll come back to it if I do...

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? ...
After a night out I often wake up with random bruises, I don't know where they come from! I seem to fall over a lot... my friends will vouch for this... I am sure my mother would also tell you the story of me being injured by an automatic door on Christmas day this year... Also still having regular check ups at the hospital but that is to be expected!

11. What was the best thing you bought? ...
Blackberry!!! So useful... text, phone, email, facebook and twitter all the move... perfect!

12. Where did most of your money go? ...
I haven't been that extravagant this year... probably clothes...

13. What song will always remind you of 2009? ...
I have no idea... there are sooo many! I have spent a lot of time going out with my friends clubbing this year so so many memories attached to songs! The prodigy - Omen for halloween... Black Eyed Peas - I've got a feeling!

14. What do you wish you'd done more of? ...
Seen more of my friends in London... this year I will come and stay with you Emily!

15. What do you wish you'd done less of? ....
Hmmm shopping? Would have saved me money! Partying = less hangovers! I don't have any regrets though so nothing really!

16. What was your favourite TV program? ... Sucker for reality TV, so Big Bro and X factor! Loved the Royle Family on Christmas day, I was crying with laughter.

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? ...

18. What was the best book you read? ...
I'm in the middle of Twilight at the minute.... last book I completed was My Sisters Keeper I think.

19. What was your greatest musical discovery? ...
The Courteeners - went to a gig of theirs in November... So good live!

20. What was your favourite film of this year? ... The Time Travellers Wife - had me in tears... Loved New Moon too

21. What did you do on your birthday? ... Takeaway and drinks at my house with friends and then off into town for cocktails and dancing... perfect!

22. What kept you sane? ...
Friends and Family :) Thank you!

23. Who did you miss? ...
I miss the people that don't live near me... mainly people from Live Life Then Give Life.

24. Who was the best new person you met? ...
I met so many great and inspirational people this year, they will be friends forever! Oli Barrett and Amy Maclaren my Battlefront Mentors, fab people at the Donor Family Network... People from Live Life Then Give Life... specifically Pops as we have the same sense of humour, chat every day and get on like a house on fire!

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009: ...
Oooo theres got to be two... Its not what you know, its who you know... NETWORKING (thanks Oli B)!

Don't take things for granted, live life to the full, I certainly have!

Next blog will be in the new year! I will look back more on 2009 and let you know what I plan to do in 2010! Until then heres to a happy and healthy new year! x

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

First lines of 2009

First lines of the first blog of each month for a whole year... may make no sense what so ver but hey... lets have a go!

January - The New Year got off to a great start as I received a phone call on New Year's Eve to say that my blood results are the best they have ever been!

February - So another busy week!

March - Ok so I've been neglectful of my blog recently... but with good reason!

April - We need to get people together for a rather awesome photocall!

May - So the dissertation is done... Finally! All 10,007 words of it bound and submitted, what a relief!

June - Yes it has been a while...

July - Yesterday me and my friend Sally got up at the crack of dawn (well 6.30, which is the crack of dawn for students like us!) We were driven to Westhoughton High School in Bolton by the lovely taxi driver - my Dad!

August - Just a quick one to say all is well.

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

October - Life takes over and I completely forget about keeping this up to date. Sometimes it takes over with good and happy events, this time that wasn't the case.

November - I was going to write about Save Jess-tival but check out the Live Life Then Give Life blog... as it is a great write up!

December - Not on cloud 9, even higher... I am on Cloud Number 10.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The greatest gift of all at christmas...

This blog seems to be taking a back seat... but this only means one thing... I am enjoying life and having lots of fun... spending less time sitting in front of a computer!

I have done various bits and bobs to raise awareness of Organ Donation over the past few weeks, the 2 main ones that stick out are the Radio Merseyside programme called Life Begins. The presenter was called Ian Kenyon and it was the most relaxed interview I have ever done! He asked all the right questions, gave me plenty of time to answer and I said everything I wanted to say!

Another opportunity to raise awareness came about when the PR lady from The Royal Liverpool Hospital got in touch, they wanted to do an article about 3 people affected by organ donation. A person who was waiting for a transplant (turns out I used to dialyse with him when I was first diagnosed in 2005), a doctor who works in ICU and me, being a recipient! Mum took me up to the Royal a couple of weeks ago for us to have our picture taken together... 3 very different people, affected by organ donation in very different ways. The article hasn't been printed in the Liverpool Echo yet, I will let you know as soon as it is so you can get yourselves a copy, I will be interested to see how it is written up and how it is linked together.

I had a lovely christmas, it was a quiet one really. My Gran is in hospital at the minute, this will be the first christmas she hasn't spent it with us, although we did go and visit her and take her some presents. My bro, his wife and Abi came round in the morning to open presents she was so overwhelmed by it all but it was so lovely to see her running about, she is so much more aware of what is happening this year!

I got lots of lovely presents, perfume, make up, smellies, chocolates and girly stuff! This was the first year that I could really let my hair down, no restrictions - diet or fluid. Last year I was still recovering from the op and my energy levels weren't back to normal... this year I managed to do so much in the weeks leading up to christmas it was fab including lots of nights out with my friends! Not forgetting the only reason I can do all these things is thanks to my donor... who is never far from my thoughts but especially to the donor family at this time of year.

The greatest gift of all this christmas came on 27th of December, a little bit late but I can't complain... it was that Jessica Wales got her long awaited double lung transplant! What a miracle!? That morning she took a turn for the worst and things didn't look good... that night some special person gave Jess a second chance, their family said yes to Organ Donation and gave Jess the gift of life! I still get goosebumps thinking about it... Jess is such an inspirational you lady and I remember writing this blog back in September... things were worse than this on Sunday Morning... but now, things are looking better! Jess has a fighting chance, she is still on a ventilator and fully sedated (which is not unusual for lung transplant recipients) this is giving her body time to rest and recuperate as she was so ill before! Keep up to date with Jess' progress here 0n her facebook group.

What a way to end 2009?!

Jess we are all thinking of you and your family and sending lots of love to you all....

You could save lives like Jess's, give the gift of life... sign the Organ Donor Register.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Jessica Wales


Jess...who I have talked about on this blog on numerous occasions... is IN THEATRE HAVING HER DOUBLE LUNG TRANSPLANT RIGHT NOW! (after 9 false alarm calls during her 4 year wait!)

Things were looking pretty bleak this afternoon and I thought I may have to face facts that Jess may not have much fight left in her... but at the 11th hour, the call came! I was crying with worry this afternoon... and now crying with joy!

Jess has been a huge help to me and the campaign, she is a truly inspiration young lady and deserves this second chance at life so much.

I am of course thinking of the donor and their family as well as Jess and her loved ones.

Updates on Jess and me in my next blog!

EDIT: Morning... (9.40am) Jess is just being moved to ITU... this is all I know at the minute... but it's a good sign! Keep her in your thoughts over the next few days x

Friday, 25 December 2009

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

It's not what you know...

... but who you know!

Remember back in February (its ages ago, you may not) I met the founder of Bebo, Michael Birch... After being introduced to him by Oli Barrett during filming for the Battlefront Programme. Michael is a lovely down to earth man who I quizzed about how to maximise the use of social networking to aid my campaign. He answered all my questions and was keen to get involved... he suggested a viral website that would get passed around social networking sites in the hope of people signing the organ donor register.

Well I didn't think anything would come of it... but to my surprise... it has! Recently when Jess was admitted to hospital (Just before the Save Jess-tival) I and many of my friends sent out an email to our contacts to tell them of Jess's story to encourage people to think about Organ Donation. I thought I would add Michael to this list... I forgot all about it and a few weeks later an email arrived in my inbox saying he had designed a website based on Jess' story... one that could be passed around social networking sites and hopefully reach thousands of people!

So if you want to check out Michael's handy work, why not pop on over to Help Jess Breathe and show your support by passing it on to family and friends.

Together we can make a difference... we can Help Jess Breathe.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Your Job For The Day...

I didn't get to do the BBC Radio Merseyside show as I was unwell yesterday, at first I thought it was side effects of my Immunosuppresant drugs, they are tinkering with the doses! For those of you geeks out there (I mean transplant patients, haha) I am now on 1.5mg of Tacrolimus twice a day (which was reduced from 2mg twice a day) and I'm on 500mg of MMF twice a day (I was on 250mg 3 times a day). I thought me feeling unwell was due to the higher dose of the MMF, turns out my neighbour had a stomach bug so maybe it was just that!

I'm feeling much better today, not totally well but I'm a lot better. I am due to get bloods on Thursday morning with the good old 24hour aswell (this totally puts plans for going out off the cards). Anyway so I was really disappointed about that but they said they will try and fit me in another time which is good of them.

I've done a few other bits and peices for the media in the past couple of days, one for a womans mag (not sure which one and when/if it will be released) and the other is for a french magazine that will be released next year, this is through a contact from Battlefront and the magazine helps French kids learn English!

In other news my good friend Emily Thackray has appeared in a short documentary by Award winning film-maker Rob Hindle its for Channel 4's 3 Minute Wonders, an entry for a competition called "It's good to know..."

The film, "I'd Give You One" is now up on 4docs website. It is extremely hard hitting and follows Emily through her wait for transplant and her recovery.

It starts with a choice that Emily had to face, a choice that is hard to comprehend...
Either we weld your lungs to your chest cavity so that you can breathe, but that will be permanent and you will die within a year; or you can wait to have both your lungs transplanted, which may never happen and if it does, you are likely to die before you ever get it...

So your Job for the day...

If you can, please can you register so that you can "love" it (by clicking the tab with the heart next to the screen) - the more love it gets, the higher up the list it goes. The winning documentary will be shown on Channel 4.

Thank you!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Campaign news....

The campaign is still in the forefront of my mind at all times, although I may not blog about it as much as I should.

I do as much as I can to help the charity Live Life Then Give Life and this is a great way to keep my finger on the pulse about what is going on in the transplant community and the world of Organ Donation. I am thrilled that Vinspired have given the winners of the National Awards the opportunity to donate £1000 to their favourite charity... of course I have put forward LLTGL and hope that they will be accepted. Its great that I can give something back to them as a thank you for all they have done for me, whilst I was waiting for my transplant and also what they continue to do for me, supporting me in my campaign.

There have been a few articles on a local website about me that I have only just come accross... One about me graduating which is here and one about me winning the National Campaigning award here. Apparantly I was in the Manchester Evening Newspaper as well but I didn't get a chance to see that which is a shame!

I also have the opportunity to go on to BBC Radio Merseyside tomorrow to discuss all of the above and hopefully will get to mention the Downing Tweet party. It is for a programme called "Life Begins" about how peoples lives change after a significant event in their lives and how they overcome adversity. I am really looking forward to it, it should be around 10minutes long and will take you right back to the beginning of when I was diagnosed, dialysis, my transplant, the campaign, graduating and the award! (Hoping I have enough time). You will be able to LISTEN LIVE here, I will be on at around 6.45pm.

This is a bit of a mixed up blog... but one thing is for sure I am still just as passionate as ever to campaign about Organ Donation, I want to make a difference (even if it is only small) and I want to take The Gift of Life campaign forward to bigger things!

The mingling at Downing Tweet makes me want to get my bum in gear and get organising Donor Day 2010! (If you are a new reader, here is a bit about Donor Day 2009). Oli has suggested a meeting in the new year to discuss the campaign, ideas and Donor Day itself so if you think you can help at this meeting then get in touch (@thegiftoflife).

Of course there will be a call to action to the public to get involved, to tweet, to facebook or to even run their own Donor Desk. I really hope it is bigger and better than last year... with the help of YOU we can really make it something, get people to think about Organ Donation, talk about it and ultimately sign the organ donor register!

Sign Up, Spread the Word, Save Lives.

Together we can do it.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

On Cloud Number 10....

Ok so the title is a clue...

Not on cloud 9, even higher... I am on Cloud Number 10.

Let me explain. I shall go back a couple of weeks when I got a message on twitter (I'm @thegiftoflife, if you are interested) from the Prime Minister's wife the lovely Sarah Brown (@SarahBrown10). The message said can I please have your postal address as I would like to send you something... of course I obliged, wondering what it would be? I did not for one second think it would be an invite to Downing Street but that is EXACTLY what it was!

An invite for little old me to go to Number 10! I couldn't believe it, but there it was in black and white!

It was an invite from Sarah to her Downing "Tweet" party in support of the Million Mums campaign by the White Ribbon Alliance. If you haven't checked out the website, do so here. It is a great cause and aims to prevent the deaths of women in childbirth as one woman dies every minute of every day somewhere in the world due to pregnancy or birth complications. So please show your support.

Back to the evening! My parents kindly drove me down and we met up with my Battlefront Mentor Oli Barrett (@OliBarrett on twitter) who was as lovely as ever, bought us champagne and we got chatting about next steps for the Gift of Life campaign.

Oli is an old hand at going to Downing Street and so talked me through all the security stages... I think he could tell I was nervous but so ecstatic to be there! We knocked on the big black door (not before Oli did one last tweet) and then we were in, handing our phones in and people kindly taking our coats.

We headed up the famous staircase with all the past Prime Ministers pictures adorning it (Yes it was just like Love Actually) We entered the Pillared Room where the networking began and who best to show me the ropes than Oli himself! It didn't take me long to spot my good friend Emily Thackray and photographer Sarah Milne. I was a bit nervous about being in a room full of complete strangers but soon got into the swing of things (with the help of a few glasses of wine). I had been twittering with a few people that were also going to be there, including the fab Henry Elliss (@HenWeb) and so it was great to meet in person! You should check out this blog of his, where he is collating all the pictures and blogs from the night. One of the highlights for me was Beverley Knight (@Beverleyknight) singing "Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda" (one of my favourite songs of all time) and "Gold" barely 6 feet away from me, with no mic. It gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't wait to meet her, she was so lovely gave me a hug and a kiss, she was so down to earth!

Of course THE highlight of the night was speaking with Sarah herself and her husband, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and inevitably we talked about Organ Donation! We posed for a photograph, which is something to treasure and definitely deserves a frame! (Although I do look like a child in a sweet shop, I really was that excited).

At various points throughout the night, it came back to me where I was, I still can't actually believe it all happened! Things like this don't happen to Holly Shaw from Warrington! It was THE most amazing night I have EVER had! I was mingling with stars, MPs, journalists, business people and entrepreneurs!

The famous people I met included...

Dr Christian Jessen (Embarassing Illnesses Ch 4)
Kirstie Alsop (Location, Location,Location)
Claudia Winkleman
Krishnan Guru-Murthy
Richard Bacon
Brian Friedman (Cheoreographer from X Factor)
Peter Serafinowicz (Who is now following me on Twitter!)

My confidence grew throughout the night, I actually approached Peter at the end myself (yes we are on first name terms now! Ha!) and told him that I had to say Hi before he left! At one point I was having a conversation with 5 other (lovely) people that were complete strangers. They were asking me about my campaign and were geninuly interested in it which was fantastic. I would never have had the confidence to do this before! I did find that I introduced myself almost as Holly "Kidney Transplant" Shaw, however it was a great conversation starter and a way to get talking about my campaign! It was great meeting the celebrities from the night, but I feel that the other connections I made whilst at Number 10 are people that I may be able to call friends or colleagues in the future. I hope they might be able to help me out on Donor Day 2010 and one day I may even be able to return the favour!

I can't believe the path my life is taking, yes kidney failure is a rough hand to be dealt but I'm not going to let it stand in the way of what I want to do. I wonder what direction I would have gone in otherwise? I wouldn't have met all these wonderful people, I wouldn't have been given the opportunities I have been given and most importantly I wouldn't be the person I am today! (Little old Holly Shaw from Warrington)

Monday, 30 November 2009

A blog I didn't want to write...

Volunteering in the field that I do, loosing someone I knew because their transplant didn't come in time was bound to happen. I woke up to the news that a young 22 year old girl, A, had died. I am not claiming to know her well, but we chatted often online... she was always interested in what I was up to and how my campaign was going, she rarely whinged or moaned about her situation but it was clear to see she was struggling.

It just shouldn't happen, A should have got her new lungs. It makes me angry because its not like it was an accident that she died, it could have been prevented, if more people think about their own mortality for two minutes and sign up!

It was such a shock to hear the news, as just 10 hours earlier she had posted a status on facebook which read "is off.. to have words with her lungs for being attention seeking!! There's really no need...pull your selfs together... and breathe!!"

This is what scares me... It shows how quick it can all happen. This makes me think of Victoria Tremlett and Jessica Wales, I always presumed that if someone was losing their fight for life, the wouldn't be online posting things on facebook, but it just shows you how fast things can go down hill. Victoria and Jess update their facebook regularly and this to me meant they were still holding on and staying strong... A losing her fight so quickly dismisses my theory!

I do not want to be writing another blog like this anytime soon! Please Please prove you believe in Organ Donation, in memory of A and for the sake of Tor, Jess and the other 9000 people on the transplant waiting list... give them the second chance that A didn't get, a chance to live a life that they deserve! Please Sign Up to the Organ Donor Register.

I will miss my chats with A and hope that she is breathing easy now wherever she is.... R.I.P x

Sunday, 29 November 2009

And the winner is...


Arghhh I still can't believe it, I actually won the National Shout award for Campaigning! I don't campaign to get recognition, I campaign to make a small change in the lives of other people... especially those waiting for a transplant.

It was a fab evening, I travelled down with My Mum, Dad and Brother by car, we arrived at the hotel and had plenty of time to relax before getting ready for the evening! Me and Mum got on the coach to the O2 arena whilst Dad and Andy had food and met up with Pops! Mum was my dinner guest and so we had some lovely food, you could have one of every main course (as they were only tiny portions) I had tai chicken, Duck, Sausage and Mash and finished with 2 portions of Baileys chocolate moose (Pops came down after the awards and had about 5 of these).

Before the ceremony started I met Lil Chris and James Caan and had my picture taken with them both, they were both so lovely and didn't mind at all, in fact James was in the middle of eating some mini Pizzas as he was walking round and still posed for photos!

The Ceremony itself was great, each of the nominies stories was projected onto screens around the arena, a celebrity would come on and present the award to the winner. The presenters of the show were James Redmond and Jamelia Jameel, they were great together!

So the Shout category came up, the video was played and then this video camera was heading towards my table... my name was announced, I was so shocked... the other nominees (HIV campaign and Cancer Campaign) were amazing and had done a great job! I made my way up to the stage (followed by the camera) and was presented my award by a lovely chap (I can't think for the life of me of his name, he was an MP? or from the Cabinet? I'm not sure) anyway I didn't have much of a chance to make a speak as I only got asked how I was feeling to which I replied Shocked, in a good way! Not very useful... so here is my chance to say what I would have said had I not been so nervous/excited/shocked!

I would have accepted the award on behalf of everyone still waiting on the transplant waiting list, and those that lost their fights because their chance didn't come. I would have thanked my family, friends and everyone that had helped me in my campaign. Lastly and most importantly I would have thanked my donor, as without them... the campaign would not have happened and I wouldn't have been at the awards!

There were 9 other awards given out, all to worthy winners... After the ceremony some of the tables were removed to make way for the dance floor! Mum, Dad and Andy left (with my award in tow, as I didn't want to lose it) and this is where me and Pops came into our own, throwing some shapes on the dance floor while the drinks were flowing! Tynchy Stryder, Lady Sovreign and some Djs did some sets and a great time was had by all! You can see some of the official photographs here.

Me and Pops got on the coach back home along with 2 goody bags each from the night... loads of people got straight off the coach when we got back to the hotel and went straight to the bar, so not wanting to seem rude me and pops joined them! We ended the night on some shots of sambucca (seemed a good idea at the time, they were bought for us)!

It really was amazing, still can't quite believe it all happened! Thanks to Pops for coming down to share the night with me, as well as my family, it's a night I won't ever ever forget and I hope I have and continue to make my donor proud with the volunteering work that I do!

I will leave you with some pictures....

Me and My Mum before Dinner

Me and Dawn Butler MP

Me, James Caan and Tamina Lawrenson (who was on the Vinspired Judging Panel)

Me and Lil Chris!

Me and the Family after receiveing the award!

Me and Pops!

Me and the Family again (all looking rather proud)

The after party begins... and so do the drinks...
Me and OB from Hollyoaks!

Me and Max from Hollyoaks



Sorry for the picture overload... there is more if you CLICK HERE!

Thanks for your continued support x

Thursday, 26 November 2009

I'm going to London...

... to buy heat magazine?

Well not entirely, although I may purchase it to read on the way down. I'm off to the big smoke for the Vinspired National Awards! I won the regional Shout Award and was then shortlisted (along with 2 other people) for the National Shout Award for Campaigning!

Its all very exciting, there will be celebrity guests there including, Tinchy Stryder, James Kann, and Gabriella Cilmi amongst others...

One of my balcony guests is the lovely Pops Barham from Live Life Then Give Life... although we've only met twice in the past, we get on like a house on fire (in other words, when we are together we never shut up), you may remember the x factor incident from the advocate weekend? well that was Pops' idea! I feel like I've known her for years, we gossip everyday on facebook so It will be fab to catch up in person!

Will do a proper update when I get back, as lots of things have happened since the last post...

Much love x

Monday, 23 November 2009

Abseil for Life...

Sorry I haven't posted sooner... The abseil seems so long ago.. I can't believe I haven't told you all about it... instead I am going to point in the direction of the Live Life Then Give Life Blog as they have done their own news item on it.

Here is the post abseil press release which I sent to local press, I haven't heard anything back yet which is a bit disappointing.. oh well it was worth a shot.

22-year-old transplant patient abseils 100ft to raise funds and awareness for Organ Donation campaign

‘Abseil for life’ team calling for more people to sign the register

Last week 38 people launched themselves down a 100ft high lighthouse for organ donation charity, Live Life Then Give Life. Young transplant recipient and campaigner, Holly Shaw (22), organised and took part in the abseil to coincide with the launch of NHS Blood and Transplant’s new campaign.

‘Abseil for life’ took place on Saturday 7th November at Leasowe Lighthouse on the Wirral. So far her and her team have raised over £3500 with more money coming in all the time.

Holly has been the North West Advocate for Live Life Then Give Life (LLTGL), which supports people waiting for transplants and funds projects that increase the numbers of successful transplants in the UK, for the last year. Since then, Holly has been at the forefront of raising awareness in the North West.

Holly had her kidney transplant in October last year and felt privileged to be able to do the abseil. There is a chronic shortage of Organ Donors and many people waiting on the transplant list are not so lucky, with their time running out too soon.

She says: “I wanted to do a physical challenge to show what a difference this transplant has made to my life. I also wanted to raise money for Live Life Then Give Life as I am very grateful to them for all the help and support that they gave me whilst I was waiting for my transplant. I want to give hope to other people who are on the waiting list.”

None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for Holly’s Donor and the fact that their family said yes to Organ Donation. Holly says: “I will be eternally grateful to the donor and their family for giving me this chance at a new life I intend to make the most of my precious “Gift of Life” and I am keen to continue raising as much awareness as I possibly can.”

Another participant taking part included a fellow LLTGL advocate Andrea Evans who says “I hope the abseil raised awareness about the importance of Organ Donation. Signing the Organ Donor Register is free, it takes two minutes, and it could save someone's life. Holly’s and my life was changed because of our kidney transplants and someone made that decision to donate their organs. I hope others will do the same."

LLTGL is a charity that supports individuals and families of people that are waiting for a transplant, post transplant and those families who have lost loved ones whilst waiting for a transplant. LLTGL also encourages people to sign up to the Organ Donor register.

Holly added: “while I want to thank everyone who took part – in organising it and of course those who have sponsored the team – there is still time for more people to make a difference by signing the register and sponsoring the abseil for life team.”

How you can help
• Go online to the teams Just Giving page and sponsor Holly and her helpers there.
• Sign up to the Organ Donor Register online at or by phoning 0300 123 23 23

To find out more about Holly and Live Life Then Give Life Log on to:


What it doesn't say in the press release is that it was the most terrifying thing I have EVER done, I cried my eyes out and had to talk to myself the whole way down, reminding me why I was doing it etc. I'm really pleased with the total raised so far (over £3,500) there is still lots more to come in so I will keep you updated... and there is still plenty of time to sponsor me on the above link if you haven't done so already. Thanks to everyone that took part, helped organise it, helped on the day and those of you who have sponsored, its great to know I have a fantastic support network!

You can see pictures of the abseil here take by my lovely brother by CLICKING HERE!

But I will leave you with my favourite photo from the day...

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Well I'm all grown up now...

On 5th November I graduated from my Early Childhood Studies Degree BA (Hons) with a 2:1! It was a fantastic day, it took place in Chester Cathedral... what a venue! It was a very early start with having to get up at 5am (typical girl) having to sort hair and make up out and get my outfit on and sort out a change of clothes to take with me (which turned out to be very useful!).

I received lots of presents the day before, including a charm for my bracelet, a teddy, cake, graduation snow globe and photo frame! Andy, Fiona and Abigail bought me a lovely pair of white gold earrings and I immediately put them in.

We headed for a sports hall in Chester to pick up my cap and gown and get he official photos done and then made our way to Chester Cathedral for the service.

The ceremony was very special... and very official, it was great to sit where I was sitting and see the sea of mortorboards in front of me! I had met up with my friends in the cathedral and left my Mum, Dad and Andy to find their own way in as they had to use a different entrance, so I had no idea where they were sitting!

There were a few speeches and official bits and bobs, then a hymm (I can't remember the name) and then the best bit, everyones names were read out, we all queued up and our outfits were fixed before we were called and had to go up on stage shake the deans hand and walk across the stage (I had had nightmares about falling over, thankfully I didn't) I walked down the steps to be smiled at by all my tutors and then had to collect my certificate and sit back in my place, it only lasted a couple of minutes but it was a great feeling! The whole service lasted around an hour and a half.

We left the cathedral and it took about 10 minutes before we all found our families, we then proceeded to some steps to get some photos and throw our hats! Me and my friends have all joked that this is the only reason that we did a degree just so we could do the american thing and throw our hats in the air! It was so much fun and we got some great shots!

Fiona and Abigail made their way into Chester to meet us for lunch which we had at The Living Room, it was delcious, I wasn't too impressed that Andy picked Ostrich to eat! Ewwww, It was only the other day that we had been looking at them at Knowlesly Safari Park and there he was tucking into it for lunch!

Plans after that were a bit up in the air as everyone wanted to meet up for drinks, but we were all split up spending time with our families, My friend Sal was having her lunch at the same place as me so I decided on the spur of the moment that I would stay over night (totally unlike me) as Sally's sister (Leah) had a spare bed in her hotel room! So I sent Mum, Dad, Andy, Fiona and Abigail off home and I stayed with Sally and Leah to make plans for the evening! Bearing in mind I only had the clothes I was standing up in, a change of clothes for the night and luckliy my tablets it was a bit of mad decision!

It worked out in the end and we had a fantastic night, with many drinks, laughs and photos! I was a typical student and slept in my graduation shirt managed to nab a toothbrush from the hotel and went down to breakfast in the dress that I had worn the night before, complete with drink stains! (I am sure people thought that I had just strolled in at 9am lol)!

I would never have done that before, it was so spur of the moment but fantastic!

You can see some pictures from the day here and here but I will leave you with a few of my favourite photos from the day and night...

The back of my gown with the cathedral in the background

Andy's version of the official Photograph

One of my fav pictures from the day because I wasn't looking at the camera!

The throwing of the MotorBoards!

Outside the Cathedral you could pick a cross with a poppy on it in remembrance of someone, it was very fitting that it was there just as I had graduated and so I wrote a little message in remembrance of my donor.

Me, Abigail and Andy in the restaurant!

Me, Leah and Carrie... The celebrations begin!

Me looking even smaller than I am on the Massive 8ft chair!

Me on the Champers...

It was a fantastic day and without the gift from my donor I may not have been there to celebrate with my friends and family.... it is a day I will remember and treasure for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

New name... New look...

Hello and welcome to my brand spanking new blog!

I feel the name is more fitting for me right now... and with a new name I have gone for a new look...

I hope you like it and will continue to read my random ramblings!

Watch this space for updates on my Graduation, The Live Life Then Give Life abseil and any other nonsense I decide to write about!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A big week...

It is a busy week ahead... tomorrow I GRADUATE! I can't believe how quick it has come around... in fact I can't believe that I have finished my 3 years at uni! I may have to now grow up a bit!
I've had some lovely presents and cards and even got a cake off my Mum and Dad! You can see pics of them here.

The of course on Saturday it is the Live Life Then Give Life Abseil... me and 42 others (a few people have dropped out) will be abseiling down the 100ft Leasowe Lighthouse! There is still time to sponsor by clicking here! Thanks so much to all those that have sponsored already, I'm so pleased I am able to give something back to the charity that have helped me so much!

So going back in time...
Yesterday was a busy day! I went to get my hair cut (got a really short bob) and coloured (I've gone a really dark dark brown, on the advice of mum not to have red hair on my grad photos!)

I then came home and went to the gym, I think the session went well... I passed on the ball this time as my stomach was still hurting from Sunday!

So I did 20minutes on the treadmill on a higher speed setting, 3 of these minutes were jogging!
I did 20 minutes on the bike and cycled 4.5km.
I did 4 laps of the 200m track walking and 1 lap jogging.

I then went out for a couple of drinks in town with a few of my mates, I was originally not going to have a late one, but I only came in at 2.30am this morning so later than I anticipated!

I also had phone calls from the press office at the Royal Liverpool Hospital who want to do a story about me to coincide with the launch of the campaign, to hopefully appear in the Liverpool Echo in the next few weeks. The Manchester Evening News also contacted me but regarding doing a story about me graduating so that will be in the paper sometime this week!

I think thats about it for now! Wish me luck for tomorrow, I hope I don't trip up on stage.....!!!

Monday, 2 November 2009

The new campaign...

I was going to write about Save Jess-tival but check out the Live Life Then Give Life blog... as it is a great write up! Everyone had a fab night and all the volunteers did a fab job in making it run so smoothly, the acts all went down well and I had the chance to catch up with the Nick and Mike from The Yeah You's afterwards which was fab, they are so down to earth and signed their album for me! There is also a mini write up here from the guys at Battlefront!

Anyway back to today... firstly, my stomach is soooo sore today, its from all those sit ups on the ball yesterday!

Today is the launch of the new NHSBT campaign...

New research reveals the gap between what we would take and what we are prepared to give. While 96% of us would accept an organ if we needed one, only 27% of us have the joined the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).

Many of us (45%) have the best intentions to sign up to the ODR and commit to donate our organs for transplantation after our death, but just haven’t got round to it.
While some people are still unclear about how to register, a significant proportion of us (17%) are ready to act now. A further 19% need to involve their family in the decision. Research also shows a disparity between those who think they’ve already signed up to be an organ donor – 35% as compared with the actual figure of 27% (16.5 million) on the ODR.

The campaign aims to increase significantly the number of people on the ODR, asking what we would do if someone we love needed an organ: if we would accept an organ, shouldn’t we be prepared to give one?

Welcoming the campaign, Health Secretary Andy Burnham said: "Each year, organ donors transform the lives of thousands of people. But despite this, three people die every day while waiting for a transplant. More people are signing up to the Organ Donor Register than ever before, but many more are needed.

"Most of us support organ donation and the overwhelming majority would take an organ if we needed it. I would urge everybody who supports organ donation to show it by signing up to the Organ Donor Register and discussing their wishes with their families."

You may spot TV adverts, hear radio adverts or see it in the press... lets hope all this gets people talking! If you haven't done so already... check out the new website to encourage people to sign up. It is very hard hitting but I think it is what people need to see, this is reality and it is happening to 10,000 people out there RIGHT NOW, and we can all do something about it... people are needlessly dying and we can do something to stop it by Signing up to the Organ donor Register!

I tried to get this message across on a tv interview I did today for Channel M (a Manchester TV Station)... You can watch my interview if you follow that link. The new NHSBT advert was shown during the interview... you can see it by clicking here. It depicts a young man with Cystic Fibrosis detriorating in front of his mum while they are watching tele.

Lets hope the hard hitting nature of it will push people into acting....

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Just got back from the gym and I am really pleased with what I was able to do...

I did:

10 minutes rowing
3 minutes on the bike
25 sit ups on a big inflatable ball
20 reps on a weight thing for my legs
1 minute on a machine similar to a cross trainer (but hurts 10 times more) I will NOT be going on this one again at least not until I am much fitter and can handle it!
20 minutes on the treadmill on a little bit of an incline (with around 2 minutes jogging)
15 minutes on the bike
Once round the 200 metre track!

In other News, NHSBT are launching a new campaign tomorrow, can't really tell you much more about it today but I can say that it will be in the news/media tomorrow! Check out to get an idea of what its going to be about... I will update in the next couple of days on how its all going, I will be doing a couple of radio interviews for BBC Radio 1Xtra and filming for a channel on Sky called Channel M (from Manchester)!

Bye for now....

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Getting fit...

So I joined the gym yesterday! I thought I would use this blog so I can keep a note of what I am doing each time I go to the gym and look back to see how much I improve over the coming months!

Don't worry it won't all be about getting fit, I will keep you up to date on the latest goings on in my normal day to day life too! (which probably isn't that exciting really)

So today I went with my friend Leah and I did 10 minutes on the bike, 20 minutes walking up a little incline on the treadmill, 3 minutes on a cross trainer, 5 more minutes on the bike and then walked 3 times round the 200m track!

So this is the start... I could never have done any of this before so I am really enjoying it, and it feels like I am achieving something...

So wish me luck in getting fit....

Friday, 30 October 2009

A new me...

Ok so I said I would blog the following day... it's nearly a week later and here it is!

Life does get in the way of blogging sometimes, which is a great thing, if you look back I used to blog every other day - this was because I was stuck in in the evenings most of the time! I am out and about all the time now and although I have looooooaads more to blog about I find it hard to sit down and write it all in one blog post!

So as the title says "A new me..." from this time last year it is a completely new me, a healthier a happier me! I realise for people reading this if you read my last few blogs... I seem to cry ALOT, haha... these are different tears (I blame the drugs) I feel I can be more myself now, I didn't want to cry when I was ill, I wanted to be strong not let things get to me or make my family worry! Now if I cry they know its over something silly and not because I am feeling ill!

So things I have acheived this year (and probably cried at)...

  • I had my first christmases and birthdays in 4 years without dialysis!
  • I have been to London numerous times... including one time on my own!
  • I have spent nights away from home... Birmingham, Huddersfield and friends houses (I didn't want to do this before, in case I was ill)
  • I ran (and still run) The Gift of Life campaign... I also continue my work as Advocate for Live Life Then Give Life!
  • I have met some amazing people... new friends, old friends and celebrities this year
  • I won 2 awards at univeristy, a regional volunteering award and have been shortlisted for a national award.
  • I have had my story printed in loads of media this year... big highlights GMTV, SKY News and the metro changing its masthead
  • I got a quote of support from Gordon Brown... and still intend to meet him.
  • How could I forget my Battlefront programme... a lot of hardwork but I was really pleased with the edit.
  • I completed my dissertation.... and finished Uni with a 2:1
  • I went on Holiday to Devon with my family for a week

Normal everyday things that have changed, no dialysis, I can eat and drink what I want, I can walk up the stairs without gettin out of breath, I can get up in the morning and feel great (not dizzy or nauseous), No massive painful needles in my arm every other day, I can be spontaneous and jump in the car knowing that I am not going to feel ill and be stranded wherever I am going. I can spend times with my friends (enjoying the odd cocktail, that I missed out on when they were all partying.) I can run around after my neice! I can go on days out.... I can go shopping without having to sit down every 10minutes, I can do more than one thing in one day! The list is endless... it really is a new me!

This week has been great, I did various little things that I wouldn't have been able to do pre transplant to celebrate a year with IVY (my kidney)... I walked up to the Dream Sculpture (an up hill walk) I went out for a meal with my Mum and Dad... it was an all you can eat chinese buffet... I ate all I could (this wouldn't have been possible before due to nasuea) I also had two drinks... this may not sound like much but those two drinks would have previously had to last all day! I went out for the day to Knowlesly Safari Park...

I also set off a flying lantern in memory of my donor this week... it wasn't plain sailing but we eventually got it in the air and watched it float off for about 10minutes before it disappeared behind some clouds... (Pictures from this week will follow in the next blog)

None of the above would have been possible without the generous gift my donor gave to me and their families wishes to donate their loved ones organs... I will be forever grateful and intend to cherish my gift of life and put it to good use and make them proud. My plans for this month are...

  • I have joined the gym (SCARY) so I need to go and get some gym gear, so a trip to the Trafford Centre is called for tonight!
  • A costume halloween party tomorrow
  • I graduate on the 5th
  • Its the abseil on the 7th (I will be making final arrangements this week)
  • The 8th is my Mums Birthday
  • I will be talking to some media regarding my Vinspired National award nomination.
  • I will be talking to the media regarding the launch of the new NHS Blood and Transplant campaign to get more people on the Organ Donor Regsiter thanks to a phonecall from my transplant co-ordinator yesterday.
  • I have a meeting at the Job Centre on the 12th... so who knows I may have a job soon!
  • I hope to go to huddersfield towards the end of the month
  • On the 26th November is the awards ceremoney at the Indigo2 in London (I have bought my dress already)

It is a jam packed month with lots of things to look forward to... and again I wouldn't have been able to do half those things on the list before.

No words can express the difference my transplant has made to me and also my friends and family... it is a new me and I hope they like it better than the old one!

I really am loving life and living it to the full...

Saturday, 24 October 2009

The day I got the Call...

This day last year, I received the call that has changed my life. If you have only recently started reading my blog you can read about the events of that day here.

As you can see above...Before that day, my life consisted of at least 9 hours a week being attached to a machine to keep me alive, massive painful needles inserted into my arm to allow my blood to be cleaned. I felt wiped out/faint after dialysis often having really low blood pressure and experiencing crippling cramps. I had to keep to a strict diet and fluid restriction, I was tired and nauseous all the time.

I didn't have much of a social life, and didn't see my friends that much outside of university. I couldn't go to the shops without a sit down every 10minutes, I had lots of time of university ill and basically wouldn't know how I would feel from one day to the next.

Now... I can't even explain the difference.

I have freedom from dialysis, Mondays, Wednesday and Friday nights aren't spent attached to a machine, I don't know how I had time to fit it in before... my time is now spent with my family an friends.

Instead of massive needles in my arms every other day I have blood tests with small needles once a month. My anti rejection drugs keep me alive instead of the dialysis machine. I never have cramps anymore and I never feel faint! I can eat what I want (within reason obviously) and I have no fluid restriction which is amazing... I can go out for a meal and not have to worry what to order or that I will only be allowed one small drink with my meal!

I have a social life, I have seen my friends more this year than probably the past 3 put together! I can just grab my keys and drive to my friends houses without the worry of feeling ill, I can be spontaneous which is an amazing feeling. I can go shopping all day and not have to sit down as much as I previously would... the only reason I will sit down now is because my feet are hurting not that I am worried I will fall down if I don't sit down. I can do more than one thing in one day... this sounds ridiculous but before if I knew I had to go to university one day I would I would not be able to do anything else that day as I knew I would be wiped out so I had to rest before I would do anything and then most likely sleep afterwards.

I don't have the worry of how I will feel from one day to the next... I feel great!

This was me 25th October 2008...

Today I will be thinking of my Donor and their family who gave me the amazing gift... the gift of life... I can't put into words how grateful I am... My life has totally changed and I hope I make them proud with what I am doing... I am thankful everyday.

I will share tomorrow some of the things I have achieved this year that wouldn't have been possible with out my transplant...

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Tattoos and Lighthouses...

It has been a busy few days yet again but I can't seem to put my finger on every single thing I have done... I will do a separate update about the Save Jess-tival as this deserves a whole blog post to itself!

News to tell...

My fabulous brother got an amazing tattoo for me... its not really advisable that I get a tattoo due to being immunosurpressed and the high risk of infection. I am quite disappointed about this, and I think my brother knew so he went and got me one! Its one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me! He was (and still is fab) when I was ill, phoning me everyday seeing me at leas 3 times a week! I hope he is not reading this again, me getting soppy! It says "Live Life Then Give Life" he decided he would get it whilst he was in hospital, and told noone except his wife! I think him being in hospital gave him a shock and made him realise how fragile life is. It made us all realise how fragile life is. When he showed me I just burst into tears... I still can't actually believe it! Here is a pic of it... Not small is it!? He went the whole hog!

I also went to visit the lighthouse this week, it really is a great place to go abseiling (If you are into that kind of thing) however I won't be looking forward to climbing the 130 steps again to ge to the top! I was gasping for air when I got there, at least next time we will all be taking the easy way down, well maybe not easy but probably quicker! It was a really rainy day.. lets hope the weather is better on the 7th when the abseil takes place!

I was supposed to make my way to Birmingham on the Saturday after Save Jess-tival but I woke up with a cold and my Sister In Law was taken into hospital ill so I wanted to get back to make sure all was ok (thankfully she is out now and on the road to recovery). I was meant to be staying with Aunty Pauline (from the Donor Family Network) and then heading over to Top Banana Studios on the Sunday, for a photoshoot and some filming for the Vinspired awards ceremoney in Novemeber. I was a bit disappointed that I missed it but I wasn't well myself, wanted my own bed and of course wanted to get back for my brother and to make sure my SIL was ok!

My graduation tickets arrived yesterday! Eeeek, it so exciting, I can't actually believe I am graduating... when I was diagnosed with Renal Failure, my whole future was thrown up in the air, I couldn't plan for the next day let alone a few months/years down the line! With the support of my family I have managed to do it and even if I say so myself.. I am proud of it :)

I have been asked to have a graduation profile done, this just involves my university putting out a local press release to the papers etc for outstanding pupils, I'm really honored to be asked!
I appeared in the Warrington Worldwide magazine that I was telling you about in my last post and also appeared in my local paper the Warrington Guardian, you can read the article here.

I'm off to bloods tomorrow morning to check my levels of Tacrolimus, U's and E's, and HB etc amongst other things, this is in preparation for clinic on Monday, its the longest break between clinics so I am hoping all goes well.

I can't believe how fast this year has gone, I will be going to a party this weekend my friends joint 26th and 23rd birthdays! Its sure to be a fab night with lots of great friends in one place... I will however pause to remember my donor as that very day last year I received the phone call to say that a possible kidney had become available. I recieved my Gift of Life the following day (25th October) and so this will be my first transplantiversary, I can't believe I have made it this far... a whole year free of dialysis and a whole year without any overnight stays in hospital!

I am staying over at my friends house after the party and so I will wake up with them all on the day of my transplantiversary... Breakfast is on me to celebrate I think (thats if we can face it)!
I hope I have done my donor proud this year... and will continue to do so next year and the years to come.

Without them none of what I have achieved this year would have been possible...

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Smiling on the inside...

It has been a very busy week this week!

I did an interview on Radio Manchester with Allan Beswick, you can listen again here, I am 2 hours and 12 minutes in. I also did a radio interview for Warringtons WIRE FM, I didn't catch it on air (It was pre-recorded) so don't actually know how I did, that was about me winning the regional Vinspired award and being up for a National one. This also appeared in the online Warrington magazine Warrington Worldwide... you can see it here, it will also appear in the printed version because a photographer came to take my picture for it, which I was pleased about as I don't like the picture on the net, my face looks really steroidy! Its gone down since then (I hope)!

It will be a busy weekend ahead, got the gig on Friday and I will be helping set up and stuff in the day time too which will be fun to catch up with old mates and actually be there in person instead of being stuck up here helping from a distance! Talking of Save Jess-tival you can get some discounts for tickets here if you haven't got them already. Then on Saturday I am hoping to have a walk round London after breakfast with Jess as we are staying in the same hotel which will be lovely! Then apparently I have to go to Birmingham as well at some point this weekend for a pre event for the Vinspired awards... the national finalists have been announced on the website... go down to the shout award and you will see me!

Finally... I want to end on a status I put up today on Facebook and lots of people asked me what it referred to...

♫ This is what it feels like, This is how it feels, now I'm finally smiling on the inside ♫

I have been listening to the Natalie Imbruglia album in preparation to sing along at the Save Jess-tival and the song Glorious came on, I loved this song when it was released but had never actually properly listened to the words... until today! This line in the song reminds me that I am the happiest I have ever been....

Life on dialysis is pretty crap and looking back now I was probably only smiling on the outside, keeping up a brave face and using humour to get through it all... and now like it says I am smiling on the inside and its great! I am doing things I would never have done before... I have been spending lots of time with my friends... staying away from home more often... getting more confident, making new friends! I find myself enjoying every moment... getting emotional at the drop of a hat for happy reasons rather than sad usually, watching a film or when someone does something nice for me! Sad I know... I blame the steroids!

So I am loving life, Smiling inside and out...

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Save Jess-tival and an Award!


I really can't wait... I've been trying to do my little bit in helping to organise it, not sure I am being much help but I am trying! Ha Ha! Have received a few raffle prizes so thats a good start and I have sent off 8 letters to companies today in the hope that some of them will offer some raffle prizes too!

In other news I have won a regional Vinspired award and today I also found out that I have been shortlisted for the Vinspired National Award, under the campaigning catagory (It's called the Shout Award.) My university got in touch (before the national bit of news) and said they wanted to write a press release about it to send to local papers, here is a copy if you are interested:

PM-backed Organ Donor campaigner scoops award.

A kidney transplant patient, who spearheaded a high-profile nationwide campaign to boost Organ Donation, is in line to win a prestigious national award recognising the impact of her volunteering.

Holly Shaw, who will graduate in Early Childhood Studies from the University of Chester this November, will travel to the O2 Arena in London next month for the vInspired National Awards, after winning a regional vInspired Award for her prolific campaigning.

Holly, from Westbrook in Warrington, underwent a kidney transplant in October last year, having spent more than three years undergoing regular dialysis while she waited for the phone call that changed her life.

During her time on the transplant waiting list, she set up the Gift of Life campaign to encourage people to sign the Organ Donor register, and from humble beginnings the initiative has sprung to national prominence.

During a national Donor Day earlier this year, Holly appeared on GMTV and Sky News, and even received a personal message of support from Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, as her endeavours prompted 3,200 people to sign up to be Organ Donors. The PM also suggested a meeting at a later date to discuss her campaign further.

Since then, Holly’s campaign has continued. She spent six months with a camera crew making a documentary for Channel 4 as part of the television channel’s Battlefront initiative, and remains an advocate for the Live Life Then Give Life charity, which supports those waiting for transplants and provides post-transplant support.

Holly, said: “I’m very excited about going to the Awards Ceremony in London. I wasn’t expecting to win the regional prize, so this is fantastic news. I started campaigning before my transplant and I’m not going to stop now, it has made a massive difference to my life.

“People take so many things for granted, like being able to eat and drink what they want and going for a day out. Thanks to the generosity of the donor and their family, my life has changed and I can now enjoy these things.

“Organ Donation is something I feel passionately about and I’m thrilled to be able to spread the word. Fortunately my story has a happy ending, but that isn’t always the case due to the shortage of Organ Donors in the UK.

“I was given the gift of life and I’ll always be eternally grateful for that. I’m living life to the full and I’ll never stop campaigning.”

Every year, more than 1,000 people die due to the lack of donor organs for transplant. More than 9,000 people in the UK are currently on the transplant waiting list, so statistically people are more likely to need a transplant than become a donor – only 26% of the population are on the Organ Donor register.

Next month, Holly will celebrate the year since her transplant by taking part in an abseil at Wirral’s Leasowe Lighthouse to raise money for Life Life Then Give Life. To sponsor her, visit

For more information about Holly’s campaign, visit

For information about becoming an organ donor, visit

I don't do what I do for awards or recognition, but it is nice to feel that I am doing some good and someone appreciates me.