Friday, 27 March 2009

Photo call April 6th

Hello everyone!

Just a quick question really...

I am doing a photocall for my Donor Day on April 6th - it will take place in a location in London (specific place To be confirmed)!

I am looking for people who would be willing to have their photo taken who have received their transplant or are still waiting, you would be asked to hold up a card saying how long you have been waiting or how long you waited!

Sorry for being vague, that is all the detail I know at the moment!

If you would be willing to get involved please get in touch.

hollyvshaw @ hotmail . com

Thanks for your continued support! x

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Donor Day!

Hi just a quick blog...

Here are the current locations I have Donor Desks... Let me know if you want to get involved and if I have missed your location off the list do get in touch! There is also still time to organise your own Donor Desk if you are interested.

London (University College Hospital)

London (Canary Wharf)

London (The Treasury)

London (City University)



Epsom (Market Square)

Isle of Man




Birmingham x 2



Liverpool (RLUH)



For more information on Donor Day please click here!

Thanks for your continued support!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Donor Desks, Celebs and Dissertation!

Been a busy week again this week!

I've seen my sis-in-law and niece a few times, she has just learnt to wave and clap, which is soooo cute and has just got her first tooth coming through, shes growing up so quickly!

My mentor Oli Barrett has been going to meetings about Donor Desks on my behalf which I am really grateful for, he managed to organise one at the University College Hosptal in London and one at Canary Wharf - which is the one I am hoping I will mann!

On other campaign stuff - I have been contacting celebrities managers/agents to get their support on Donor Day - I have had a couple of replies for quotes backing my campaign which is great but I am really hoping to get some hands on support from a celebrity on the day or at least at the photocall the day before! Speaking of which I am looking for people who are waiting or have received a transplant to be in the photograph - maybe holding up the letters spelling out The Gift of Life! This would take place in London, if you are up for it, let me know! Also if you happen to know any celebrities drop me a line! hehe!

Dissertation, arghhh, even the word is irritating me! But I am determined to get cracking on it this week. I have written about 3000 words... only another 6000 to go! It is about the partnership between parents and practitioners in a reception class. I've gathered all my data via interview and questionnaires all I need to do now is analyse it and relate it back to theory and literature! Fun, Fun, Fun!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Warrington HQ

So my Mum and Dad (and me, if I am honest) have become increasingly worried about the workload I have taken on so soon after my transplant! I am finding it hard to juggle going to university, work on my dissertation, campaigning and filming and not forgetting hospital and blood appointments! I spoke to Battlefront/Raw television about my concerns as did my Mum and Dad and they were really supportive and have suggested I stay up in Warrington (instead of travelling to London) and have my HQ up here and conduct/delegate from here!

Luckily I have great help in my Mentor Oli Barrett and the lovely Emily T from LLTGL!

This has relieved some pressure from me, although I am slightly stressed about plans for Donor Day and it all coming together on time! I am sure it will all be fine! I will still be going down to London for the Battlefront gathering on the 30th March and again for Donor day and the days leading up to it!

So not much other news to tell really. I have been busy working on my dissertation most of the weekend, although I did have the night off on Saturday to go and see the very funny Jimmy Carr! I went in to town with some friends for a bit of a dance and a few beverages as you can see from the pics:

and after....

Today I spent a lovely afternoon with the fabulous Pauline Weaver from the Donor Family Network.

I first had the privilege of meeting Pauline at an Organ Donation Conference in Manchester where I went with Emily a few days before my transplant! Today we chatted about her latest plans for the Donor Family Network and how she is going to help me on Donor Day which is great! She also hopes to get more families from the DFN to come to some of the Donor Desks on the day as well!

We also talked about writing to Donor Families (which I am in the process of at the moment). It is the hardest letter I have ever had to write but I hope it brings some comfort to the Donor Family when I do send it. I am also hoping to attend the Donor Family service in Birmingham with my family in July.This is where donor families and recipients come together to share their experiences and remember the special people who through organ donation gave the gift of life.

Pauline kindly did a flip video for me which I will be uploading to my Battlefront page a.s.a.p!

Remember if you want to get involved in Donor Day/Donor Desks do get in touch via email and I can send you further information!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

The reason for campaigning....

Well you may remember a while back I blogged about a brave little girl called Bethany. She is only 5 years old and recently received a liver transplant! I am pleased to say things are going well and her Mum Sam has made this video montage of Bethany's transplant journey in the hope it encourages more people to sign the Organ Donor Register!

It's a powerful and moving video with a strong message! Let's hope it can save more lives and more people like Bethany can live a healthy and happy life!

View this montage created at One True Media
Bethany's Transplant Journey

It's stories like these which spur me on to keep fighting and campaigning for those still on the waiting list and in desperate need of a transplant. I want more people to have the happy ending they deserve, just like Bethany and me!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Donor Desks...

I have had some volunteers come forward to set up their own Donor Desks but I want lots more so I thought I would give you some more information to tempt you into volunteering yourselves!

I hope it is helpful, but if you need anymore information then let me know!

To mark World Health Day (7 April 2009), I am organising a Donor Day, as part of my campaign The Gift of Life, to encourage more people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register. The aim is to talk to people about Organ Donation and encourage them to be pro-active and sign up.

What do I need you to do?

To run your own Donor Desk! This is essentially a desk/table/stall you will set up with the aim of getting people signed up and accosting people to chat about organ donation and hopefully correct some of the myths floating around.

How hard is it?

It’s soooo easy! First things first: where are you going to host your desk? Try to find somewhere where you’ll be able to reach lots of people, maybe a workplace or perhaps you can secure somewhere public like in a shopping centre. Next, find some helpers (it’s so much more fun with more than one!). How can you make your Donor Desk attractive? What might draw people over? UK Transplant provide lots and lots of free goodies such as balloons and sweets, check out: for lots of promotional materials and more info and don’t forget to add my campaign number 1815 in place of the number at the bottom right hand corner of the Organ Donor registration form. Also if you want to get people signed up via a laptop and the internet, don’t forget to use the link that is on my Battlefront page which is here: or the direct link is this:

NB: Materials can take up to two weeks to arrive after ordering so leave plenty of time. Maybe consider dressing up or painting your faces or something to get people to wander over
! Why don't you create your own event on facebook to publicise Donor Day and your Donor Desk? I already have, click here to see mine!

What’s your main aim?

To get as many people signed up as possible. Try and have lots of pens on hand so people can fill the leaflets in there and then and you can post them in a bundle after the event. Encourage those who sign up to take away some to give to friends and family. Are you personally connected? Don’t be afraid to share your story; people are curious and hearing from someone who has been affected will probably mean a great deal more than any figures you can throw their way.

What if you need help?!

All you have to do is ask! You can contact me on or Emily (one of my helpers) on We are happy to support, advise, or anything else we can do so please just give us a shout if you need anything. Make sure you let me know in advance where your desk will be so I can promote it through my campaign for you and please take lots of pics!

We are hoping to set up a text service for the campaign so people will be able to sign up to the register via text and it will register as part of the campaign, which will be a great way of measuring how successful we have been! When I hear more information on this I will let you know!

Thanks for your support and let's hope we can get lots of people signing up and ultimately save lives!

Thursday, 12 March 2009


So today the team from Raw television (who are filming Battlefront) came up to Warrington to film me out in the town centre asking people about their thoughts on Organ Donation.

I was really nervous about approaching people at first but soon got into the swing of things! Everyone was really friendly and approachable! It was interesting to hear people's views on Organ Donation and their reasons why they had or had not signed up to the Organ Donor Register! The main reason why people hadn't signed up was the fact that they didn't want to think about dying, but as I have said before, people like Jess and others on the waiting list have to face this prospect everyday so people should be able to think about their own mortality for two minutes while they sign up!

It was also interesting to hear someone say that they didn't know how to go about signing up to become an organ donor! I was shocked! It just shows you there isn't enough education/information out there! People, mainly ones who aren't affected by Organ Donation had a lack of understanding, one lady said that she was scared of blood tests, to which I politely tried to reply with the fact that it wouldn't really matter because she would be dead!

Another topic that kept coming up was the fact that people didn't want to donate their organs to someone who wasn't deserving of them. I don't know if I am talking out of line here but I think that is largely due to the fact of George Best receiving a liver transplant and not treating it like the precious gift it is, by returning to drinking! I replied to one of the chaps that I had in fact received a kidney transplant myself, to which he apologised, went red and looked quite guilty about what he had said! I wasn't offended though as this was the whole point of the exercise, to hear the myths and misconceptions people have about Organ Donation!

Hopefully I can do some research on some of these myths and misconceptions and encourage more people to sign up!

After that we went for a quick bite to eat and then headed up to the Dialysis Unit in Warrington where I used to dialyse 3 times a week! It was strange going back and seeing people in a similar situation to what I was in a few months back. It makes me more determined to keep campaigning and fighting for people still on the waiting list. This is me when on dialysis... the only 2 pictures I have...

Being back there brought lots of memories, some good some not so good! I am grateful to have the freedom to be able to do all this organ donation awareness. There is no way I could have done this before receiving my transplant, I just wouldn't have had the energy!

All in all it was a great day and hopefully it will encourage the people I talked to this morning to go home and think about signing the register!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

World Kidney Day 2009...

Tomorrow is world kidney day...

World Kidney Day (WKD) is a global health awareness campaign focusing on the importance of our kidneys and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. The campaign is celebrated every year on the second Thursday of March in more than 100 countries on 6 continents.

The purpose of WKD is to raise awareness about the importance of our kidneys – an amazing organ that plays a crucial role in keeping us alive and well – and to spread the message that kidney disease is common, harmful and treatable.

The main job of our kidneys (which are roughly the size of two fists and are located deep in our abdomen, beneath our rib cage) is to remove toxins and excess water from our blood. Every day our kidneys filter and clean 200 liters of blood – a quantity that would fill about 200 bottles or 20 buckets! Besides this kidneys also help to control our blood pressure, to produce red blood cells and to keep our bones healthy.

Studies of different races living on different continents worldwide have consistently shown that about 1 out of 10 adults has some form of kidney damage.

People with chronic kidney disease are 10 times more likely than healthy individuals to die of heart attacks and strokes (cheerful hey?). The health of their kidneys may also progressively worsen to the point where the kidneys must be replaced (this is the stage I am at and is called "end-stage renal Failure- ESRF"). Either patients receive a new, transplanted kidney like me or they are kept alive with “dialysis” like I used to be.

Detection of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is easy simple, routine tests of our urine, blood and blood pressure can show early signs of kidney problems. Goods news is that if problems are found these can be slowed down and even stop chronic kidney disease, by taking medicines and changing some of our living habits.

The focus of the WKD 2009 campaign is to:

• Raise awareness about our amazing kidneys and stress the importance of early and comprehensive screening for people at risk of kidney disease.

• Highlight that high blood pressure is a key risk factor for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Better blood pressure control slows the progression of CKD, and makes it less likely that a patient will require dialysis or suffer from heart or other cardiovascular diseases.

Educate all medical professionals about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD, particularly in high risk populations.

• Stress the important role of the health authorities in controlling the CKD epidemic. Health authorities worldwide will have to deal with high and escalating costs if no action is taken to treat the growing number of people with CKD. On WKD, governments are encouraged to take action and invest in further kidney screening.

You can now take this quiz to test your knowledge about kidneys and find out if you may be at risk of kidney disease.

Click here to find out more about World Kidney Day!

Sunday, 8 March 2009


I thought it would be a nice idea to do something in memory of my donor, who has give me the greatest gift of all, the Gift of Life and for which I will be eternally grateful. Thank you seems such an inadequate word....

I sent my friends and family little cards with some forget-me-not seeds to plant in memory of my donor... it also contained a poem which reads...

Thank you for the gift of life, for letting me be me,

For all that I can know by words, and all that I can see,

For all the music I can hear and all the songs I sing,

For all the joy that comes to me and all the joy I bring,

For all the food that I can taste and all the sweet scents I smell,

For all the loved ones I can touch, who love and wish me well,

For all the beauty of the world, ever fresh and new,

I don't know whom else I can thank, and so I'm thanking you


I found it on the internet, but I think it says it all...

Here are some pictures of the cards.

My Donor and their family are never far from my thoughts and will always hold a special place in my heart x