Friday, 29 May 2009

Campaign posters and Organ Donation in the news...


A few of you have got in touch regarding my meeting with the Department for Children, Schools and Families which is great, if you have any more suggestions or ideas then please do get in contact!

A funny thing happened to me the other day, I was in my local WH Smiths and was at the till and the cashier said to me "Have you been on tele, I recognise your face!" to which I went rather red and said yes. I asked her what she had seen me on, wondering if it was GMTV or the Battlefront programme! She replied with "Oh I don't know, probably some rubbish on Channel 5!" I don't know if she thought I was an actress or something so I just said oh right it was probably channel4 I've been on there recently! Ha Ha! What a strange experience!

Anyway I had a quick play with the pictures from my photoshoot (see previous post) and this is what I came up with....

Not bad for an amateur? Let me know what you think....

There has also been some encouraging information in the news regarding Organ Donation.

Latest NHS figures show that UK Transplants are at a record high! There were 3,504 organ transplants between April 2008 and March 2009, up 8% on the previous 12 months.

There is still a huge amount of work to be done though... The NHS warned the need for donations had "never been greater", with 10,000 people waiting for a transplant.

The figures from NHS Blood and Transplant also show there was a 7% increase in the number of people joining the Organ Donor Register last year, with the total rising from 15.14 million to 16.12 million by the end of March 2009.

There was an increase in the number of deceased organ donors from 809 in 2007-08 to 900 last year and an increase in living organ donation, from 852 in 2007-08 to 944 in 2008-09. To read the full article click here.

However even though this is great news, there are still some recent stories out there which don't show Organ Donation in such a great light such as this article here: Organ Donation: is it ever right not to save a life? It is about a chap who received a new liver after damaging his taking an overdose, he is still depressed and has brain damage due to the overdose requiring him to have 24 hour care. There is often debate about the similar topic of should recovering alcoholics receive liver transplants.

Its a tough one and I can totally see both sides of the argument, I feel everyone has the right to live and the right to a transplant, however I also feel that if you would be willing to receive a transplant then you should be willing to donate your organs after your death and finally I feel that if you are given the Gift of Life then you should treasure it. (note: these are just my own opinions)

Stories like these do jeopardise people on the list waiting for a liver transplant, in fact it affects everyone waiting for a transplant. It puts people signing the Organ Donor Register and yet there are thousands of people that are in dire need and people signing up, need to be reassured of this. Jessica Wales is one of those people who is desperate need of a double lung transplant she has been waiting a staggering 1413 days! If that doesn't spur you on to sign up then I don't know what will!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Campaign is still going strong...

Sorry I haven't blogged in a wee while...

I am pleased to say my cold seems to be clearing up and I am back on the campaign trail, trying to move things forward!

The first bit of exciting news is that I received a phone call today from the Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF) and a meeting has been arranged between their officials, myself and hopefully my mentor (if he can make it)! This follows the pitch I wrote to Ed Balls and the letter I received in response to it. We are going to discuss how they can support me in my campaign... I have a few ideas myself but if you want to share any, you are more than welcome! The meeting is in London on Tuesday 9th June so feedback would be much appreciated before then!

Yesterday I went for a photo shoot for the volunteering magazine called Engage, the photographer Simon is the owner of a vintage clothing shop called Rags to Bitches it was a fun shoot and my campaign mug came in handy as you will be able to see from some of the photo's below.

Friday, 22 May 2009

A quick blog today....

I've caught a cold... Bad times!

But the kisses were worth it.... Good times!

How could you refuse?

So a couple of days resting and recuperating I think... catching up on trashy celebrity magazines... soaps.... and some reading (that isn't university reading!)

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Just when I thought it had all died down...

... It hasn't! I will explain more, but first you can find my Team Ethan pictures if you click here.

So the campaign is just as strong as ever, which is fantastic news, I was banking on a bit of a break but looks like that isn't much of an option! Well I like to be kept busy so I'm not going to complain (too much!)

So the latest news...

I had a great time at Radio Manchester, everyone there was lovely and the presenter, Heather Stott put me at ease and made me feel so welcome! Here are some of the pics from the day....

And if you missed the interview you can listen to it here, I am about 2hours into the show.

So plans for the campaign in the near future.

  • Next week the photographer from Engage is coming to take pictures of me for the front page of the magazine.
  • A french magazine wants to interview me (in English) the magazine goes out to around 50,000 young french people who are learning English.
  • I want to develop a viral game and video to spread the word amongst young people!
  • I have a few talks in schools organised in July for LLTGL and one off the back of Battlefront too!

The most exciting news is that I received a letter (via email) today from the Rt Hon Ed Ball's in response to my email! It says....

"Dear Holly
Thank you for your letter following up the recent Battlefront event.
It was great to meet with you and the other young people at the event. The passion and enthusiasm that you all expressed for your campaigns was good to see, and I wish you well in your campaigns. I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm the Department's commitment in encouraging young people to learn more about organ donation and the issues involved in this debate.

In this respect i really appreciate your efforts and have asked officials to explore further with you how you believe this Department can support raising awareness of organ donation in education following the joint letter sent out to schools on 28 September 2008.
In order to arrange a mutually convenient meeting, please contact....."

I submit my last ever University assignment tomorrow, an end of an era... the time has gone so fast, I can't believe it has been three years! So much has happened over that time, I've made lots of great friends, my brother got married, I became an Auntie, won the Battlefront competition, and received "The Gift of Life"!

When I first started my degree I didn't know if I would be able to complete it through being on dialysis... but I did it and I'm so glad I did, obviously I couldn't have done it without the support of my family! Now I've just got to wait for my results... I'm not too bothered (well ok, I'm lying, I want to do as well as I can) as long as I graduate then I will be proud!

I might have to start thinking of the big wide world now, actually grow up and find my self a job! Don't fret though, I will continue my work with LLTGL, keep spreading the word with The Gift of Life campaign and hopefully meet Gordon Brown and Ed Balls!

So there you go! No signs of slowing down yet....

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

My Busy Weekend

I had a lovely weekend (pictures to follow) with Oli and Emily from Live Life Then Give Life!

Emily arrived around 12.30 on Saturday and we spent the afternoon chatting and watched Fridays Battlefront programme! We managed to get "some" work done and the rest of the afternoon was spent playing with my nice or rather watching her run around with her walker (her new party trick)! Emily bought me a gorgeous bracelet (pink of course) for my birthday and her sister Abby bought me a lovely necklace that matches perfectly!

Oli arrived around 5pm with a bottle of wine and flowers in hand for my folks, that went down well and he immediately got an invitation to come back again!!! We did some filming for the LLTGL website about my story, LLTGL and Battlefront! We had a laugh sitting on the grass and chatting, it was a lot less stressful than the filming for the Battlefront Documentary! We finished filming and Emily snuck off upstairs and came back down with her hands behind her back, her and Oli had been chatting in secret code and I had no idea what was going on, she handed me a little box and to my surprise when I opened it... it was a stunning silver necklace with two hearts on it (a big one with a little one dangling on top) on the back of the big heart were the engraved letters LLTGL! I almost cried, I wasn't expecting it at all, it was from all the trustees of the charity for the work I have been doing with Battlefront! Just want to say thank you to them all, I didn't do any of it for a reward, but because I feel so passionate about raising awareness of Organ Donation! I have promised I will wear it to every LLTGL event I attend...

After that we went out for a lovely dinner, everyone enjoyed the carvery and then we had dessert! Jelly and Ice-cream for me and Em, very grown up! We came home and spent the evening chatting, cringing at eurovision and making plans for the following day!

The following day started quite early, we arrived in Manchester around 9.30, this was for the BUPA Great Manchester Run, which Team Ethan were running in aid of Live Life Then Give Life in memory of baby Ethan Collins who lost his fight earlier this month after complications following his liver and bowel transplant. We were there to cheer the whole team on, and to film the event for the website. Ethan's Dad, Stu - despite his grief lead the team round the course and managed to record a time of 65minutes for the 10K run!

We left Manchester (in the pouring rain) and headed back to mine in Warrington for a spot of lunch before leaving again for the evening event in Bolton. This was a fundraising auction consisting of concert tickets, signed memorabilia and theme park tickets etc... The turnout was amazing and the whole evening was so inspirational! The total raised was almost £6000 pounds (with some money still to come in) through their justgiving page for the run and through the auction and raffles at the evening event. Ethan's family are lovely and so strong. To read LLTGL's account of the day with some pictures click here!

A special touch to the evening was a balloon release we wrote messages on them and watched them float up into the sky, an emotional moment for everyone, especially Ethan's parents...

My message read;

"We never met you, but you made a huge impact on us all. A true inspiration! R.I.P Mr Brave. Lots of Love the LLTGL advocates x"

A truly inspirational evening... and a truly inspirational family...

Friday, 15 May 2009

Manchester Evening News and Radio Manchester!

Yesterday I was in the Warrington Guardian, it was a small article so it is not available online!

Today I am in the Manchester Evening News which can be viewed here! It is great that they have focussed on the praise from Gordon Brown and the fact that the programme was aired yesterday! It is a shame however that they didn't include the link to the Organ Donor Register, they did mention Battlefront so hopefully if people want to find out more and sign up they can do so by visiting the Battlefront website!

So today's Battlefront programme.... I had no Idea that I would be featured so much! It was really well edited again and it was so great to see what the other campaigners got up to behind the scenes! I have had some figures from UK Transplant known now as NHSBT to say that Organ Donor registrations went up to 900 yesterday compared to 400 from Monday - Wednesday! Hopefully I will receive some more figures and get them broken down into how people signed and how many were directly through my campaign! So far 1209 people have signed up directly through my weblink and 389 people have signed up via my registration leaflets (these are still coming in and being processed!)

In other exciting campaign news I have been asked to do a Radio interview with Radio Manchester, in the studio! This will be my first studio interview, my previous ones have been done on the phone so it is quite daunting, but the good thing is that I will be able to take some notes with me so I don't miss any vital information! I am really looking forward to meeting Heather Stott, I will be on air with her around 11.10am on Wednesday 20th and you can listen live here.

So plans for this weekend... Emily and Oli from Live Life Then Give Life are staying for the weekend as we are attending a fundraising event in memory of little Ethan Collins. I will do a blog over the weekend telling you more about brave Ethan's fight and the event that we are attending....

Thursday, 14 May 2009

It's all over... but this is just the beginning!

Gosh, what can I say! Thank you so much for all your supportive comments it means a lot! I am really pleased with the final edit, although my one liner "I am more of a kidney person!" is not my proudest moment! Ha Ha! Also when I said about my appearance on GMTV "I am just going to pretend I am talking to a normal person!" Like Ben Shephard isn't normal? Ha Ha! There was also a still of me that looked like I am eyeing him up! (Not that I wasn't, but I was hoping they wouldn't advertise the fact!)

I also didn't realise that they were filming me when I went into Sky News... this was good as I was more natural on camera but I sounded like a right wous saying "Do I have to go in there (the studio), ON MY OWN?!" Ha Ha! It was the first time I had seen footage of Sky news and GMTV, I didn't like the thought of watching myself on TV but was determined to watch the Battlefront Programme after all the work I had put in, and I am glad I did.

I have already been in touch with my mentor Oli Barrett with some projects I want to focus on so hopefully he will give me some input and introduce me to relevent people!

Thanks to everyone involved in the programme, first and foremost my family, for putting up with my mood swings and stresses over filming and the campaign!

GMTV, Sky News, The Battlefront Team (too many to list) Oli Barrett, Amy Maclaran, Emily Thackray, Live Life Then Give Life, Jessica Wales, Mr Bakran, Oli Foggin, Holly Cocker, Freya Austin, Abby Thackray and All the volunteers at the Photocall, Donor Day and the drinks reception!

Oh and don't forget to tune in same time, same place tomorrow! All the campaigners meet up to discuss their campaigns with each other, they are all inspirational people fighting for worthy causes. We also had the chance to mingle with influential people that may be able to help us in our quests!

I did a speech in front of them including Ed Balls MP and Esther Rantzen, so be sure to watch out for it! (Unless it has been cut, which is an option as Manpreet's and Alex's speeches were much better than mine!)

So the programme may be over... but the campaign doesn't stop, I am already plotting my next steps... and I am hoping to replicate the success of Donor Day in a new and innovative way...

So feel free to get involved, share your thoughts and ideas! I would love to hear them! Whether it be on the Battlefront website or at

Thanks again for your support, It's much appreciated! x

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Tomorrow, Channel 4, 11.30am

Well D-Day is nearly here! My Battlefront Programme airs tomorrow!

I can't believe how much support I have had from family, friends and complete strangers it means so much!

I am really nervous about watching tomorrow, I will probably do so behind a cushion! (I still haven't watched the GMTV interview.) I have no idea how it has been edited, what has been cut and what they have kept... I will see it at exactly the same time as everyone else! I'm afraid that I am going to come across as a complete emotional wreck, as I did cry on a few occasions!

I went to Clinic today for blood tests and everyone was so nice, the nurses on the two renal wards are going to club together to get two tv cards to watch me! I put up posters around the hospital about the programme airing and I spoke to Mr Bakran's secretary so she could let him know that the programme will be on. All went well at the clinic, I didn't see a Doctor - as this was just a blood clinic, I did mention to the nurse about the problems with my knee and she did some extra tests so I will find out what this means on Monday when I do see a Doctor at the transplant clinic.

I have been asked to do a few talks recently, public speaking is not my forte so I am not too keen, but I think I might just have to bite the bullet and do it, otherwise I will get nowhere with the campaign! I have been asked to do some talks on organ donation but also a talk to renal patients about dialysis and kidney transplants etc! I wish that when I was first diagnosed this had been an option to me, but as I "Crash landed" as they say (diagnosed over night and straight on dialysis) this just wasn't possible.

I have been trying to get into the media for a last push before the programme, I have managed to get articles in two local newspapers, The Warrington Guardian and The Manchester Evening News, so they will be in tomorrows papers and will hopefully encourage more people to tune in!

Finally I am really chuffed to say that this week I found out I had won the McCormick prize for volunteering (the one I had to reluctantly nominate myself for) but I was also really surprised to find out that I had won another citizenship prize for a selfless act in the community! The prize giving is on the 5th June so I will keep you updated...

So tune in, Tomorrow, Channel 4, 11.30am!

No going back now!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The upsides to transplants and campaigning...

As I promised here is the more positive blog...

Firstly I want to thank you all so much for the encouraging and supportive comments posted both on here and on my Battlefront page...

Good stuff about my kidney transplant...

  • I can go to places I couldn't before
  • I can do things that I couldn't before
  • I can experience things I have never experienced before
  • I can dance till my feet hurt rather than until I am worn out and have to go home
  • I can spend more time with family and friends
  • I can be spontaneous without having to worry if "THE" phonecall would come
  • I can plan things in advance knowing I will be well enough to attend
  • I don't have to stick to a strict Renal Diet
  • I don't have a fluid restriction
  • I don't have to have dialysis!!!!
  • I can take up new hobbies
  • I don't have constant nausea
  • I can do normal every day things without getting tired
  • I can go out more than once in a day (pre transplant I often had to say no to going out in the evening if I knew I was doing something in the day)

This is just a short list, I am sure I will think of more later...
Overall it has totally transformed not only my life but the life of my family!

So the upsides to campaigning....

  • Learning new skills and improving others
  • Meeting people that I would never have met
  • Having the support of volunteers, celebrities, friends, family and strangers alike
  • Standing up for something I believe in and feel passionate about
  • Knowing that I am doing something good and helping other people
  • Being a part of changing peoples lives
  • Making a small difference in the world
I decided to look back and see what I was doing this time last year, I remembered I was working on placement at a local school but I couldn't for the life of me remember what my health was like... but then... it all came flooding back!

"I worked all day Monday and then went straight to the hospital for dialysis.All was going well until the machine started pumping my blood around. The needles were in but I must have moved my arm slightly and the pain was excruciating. My fistula had blown which means the needle had gone out the other side of my vein resulting in a swelling on my arm which the nurse kindly went and got some ice for. It also meant the next day there was a huge bruise to match the other one the nurse had given me the previous Monday! So my arm is dark purple at the moment and quite sore but hey these things happen. The nurse has advised me to go for a scan of my fistula to make sure its still working ok. My mum is going to ring up on Monday morning to see if there is any chance I can go on Wednesday as I am already heading up to the Royal Liverpool Hospital to see my transplant surgeon! So will keep you posted.

This is my arm below (not a great photo as I took it myself with my left hand) ...

the top bruise is the most recent from last Monday and the bottom bruise is from the Monday before, it's still a bit swollen and quite hard to the touch, so not a pretty sight really... hopefully it will clear up soon!"

I remember not long after this I had to have an operation on my arm.

I may have kidney disease for the rest of my life and I may suffer side effects from the tablets I am now on. But would I swap these and my new life for my life this time last year, back on dialysis with all the restrictions that came with it - NO WAY!

I now have a brighter future, will be able to graduate, get a job, travel and fulfill some of my other dreams thanks to the generosity of my donor. I intend to make them proud in whatever I decide to do with this "Gift" I have been given....

Monday, 11 May 2009

The downsides to transplants and campaigning,...

When I got myself into campaigning I knew it wasn't going to be all plain sailing I also knew that undergoing a transplant wasn't going to be a piece of cake either!

I usually like to keep this blog positive and upbeat but I am warning you now this will be far from that... in fact it will probably turn into a bit of a moan, but I am hoping it will help me, and maybe some people out there understand a bit better!

Ok so the downsides to campaigning....

  • It's stressful
  • Things don't always go your way
  • Other things move down your list of priorities - I didn't have much me time when the filming took place
  • Putting yourself out there in the public domain is not always a good thing
  • People don't always agree with what you are doing
  • People aren't worried about criticising you personally or your family

Ok so the last one on this list has been bugging me quite a lot recently...

I have had some comments on my Battlefront page which have been negative and in fact hurtful... someone even went far enough to say that they would be disgusted if I had received their sons Kidney when he died. Other comments included that I shouldn't be misleading people about my campaign saying that it is a happy ending when its not, then there are people saying I am obese, and then criticisms of my family for not donating their kidney to me. All of which cheered me up no-end as you can imagine!

So I don't feel the need to explain myself, as someone very close to me would say "This is my life and I choose to love it!" but I am going to explain a bit more about my kidney transplant in the hope it will answer some of the queries above. In simple terms...

Yes, I have had a kidney transplant
No, this isn't a cure
Yes, I will always have Kidney disease
Yes, I will probably need to go on dialysis again in the future
Yes, If I am lucky I may receive another transplant.
Yes, My parents both got tested to become donors for me, they weren't suitable due to medical reasons

Yes, the anti-rejection tablets do have side effects
Yes, I suffer with some side effects...

I am loosing some of my hair (it is getting thinner by the day)
I often get shaky hands
I get burning sensations in my hands and feet
I sometimes have night sweats
I still can't walk a great distances as one of the tablets I am on causes my knee to swell
I have a moonface - due to the steroids
The anti rejection drugs mean I am at a higher risk of cancer - specifically skin cancer.

Yes, I have put on weight - I am the first to admit this
Yes, this is not all down to the steroids - But they do play a part.
Yes, I have been over indulging, but wouldn't you if you had to stick to a strict renal diet for four years?
No, I don't intend to do this forever.
Yes, I intend to get fit and eat more healthily, not because of the nasty comments, but for me and the longevity of my kidney!
No, I have never been, and never will be stick thin... DEAL WITH IT

Yes, this kidney transplant has transformed my life and the life of my family
Yes, I think this is a happy ending, I am the happiest I have been in ages - I am grateful for every single day I have been given off dialysis, even if the transplant only lasts a few years.
No, I don't intend to dwell on this any longer than it takes me to write this blog
Yes, The side effects of the tablets are a small price to pay for a happy and healthy future free from dialysis and the restrictions that come with it.

Some peoples comments do put doubts in my mind about whether I am doing the right thing putting my self out there for criticism, but I passionately believe in this cause and I am not going to let it stop me.

This is my second chance, I am going to live life to the full, I am determined to use my new found freedom to raise awareness of Organ Donation, the need for more organ donors and promote the plight of the people still on the transplant waiting list...

Tomorrows blog will be a more postivie one, I promise.... I intend to make it a complete opposite one to this one...

The benefits of transplantation and the positive aspects of campaigning... of which I can assure you there are many!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Battlefront on TV!

So Battlefront is airing tomorrow! A Documentary series following young people campaigning for issues they feel strongly about. Monday - Friday from 11.30am till 12.00 on Channel 4.

Here is the line up...

Monday 11th May
Alexander Rose - STOP gun and knife crime


Alexander was moved to do something positive out of his friends death and is encouraging young people to STOP carrying guns and knives and think about what else is out there instead of joining gangs.

Tuesday 12th May
Becky and Siobhan - Make a big change with your small change

Giving just 15p a day could change someone's life forever, Becky and Siobhan have spent time in Kenya and have seen children desperate for a chance in life, an education, but can't afford it. The girls are encouraging people to save their pennies and make a big difference both here and abroad.

Wednesday 13th May
James Greenhalgh - Down with Tuition Fees

James is fighting to abolish university fees so students can have free higher education. He believes that young people shouldn't be starting out in the world of employment owing money, or be put off going to university because of the fees. He suggests it should be free for everyone regardless of social class, background... regardless of anything!

Thursday 14th May - ME!
Holly Shaw - The Gift of Life

Follow me as I campaign for more people to join the organ donor register after my life-changing kidney transplant.

See me as I meet people who will help me in my campaign and as I organise a National Donor Day! Join the event on facebook here, to show your support!

Friday 15th May
All the campaigners meet up to discuss their campaigns with each other, they are all inspirational people fighting for worthy causes. We also had the chance to mingle with influential people that may be able to help us in our quests!
I did a speech in front of them including Ed Balls MP and Esther Rantzen, so be sure to watch out for it!

So there you go Monday - Friday this coming week, 11.30am on Channel 4!

Friday, 8 May 2009



Got here safe and sound, plane was on time and it only took around 40 minutes! I am staying with my Auntie D (Mum's Sister) in Armagh and have been catching up with family!

My Uncle and Auntie (Mum's bro and his wife) are over in Ireland from Australia so this was the main reason for our visit, to see them before they head back down under! I have also seen my Mum's Auntie and Cousin and hope to catch up with other friends and relatives while we are here! We had a lovely lunch today and even had a birthday cake for me and my Auntie D as our birthdays are only 6 days apart!

Its a whirlwind trip and time is going so fast, but its good to know that it won't be long before we come back because there are no restrictions now! Everyone has been commenting on how well I look which is great!

I thought I was going to have to be doing university work while I was here but I got some great news that the submitting date for the assignment has been extended, so work is on hold so I can enjoy my time here to the full!

I will leave you some pictures of my time so far....

My Case (pink of course) ready to go on it's first trip POST transplant - the last time I used it was in hospital after my transplant

Mum @ Liverpool Airport (she won't be impressed that I have posted this)

Me and Dad doing our classic arms reach photo's - I was jealous because my face looks fatter than his so we had a second attempt (see below)
What do you think? haha!

Leaving Liverpool - Can you tell which airline we flew with?

Arriving in Ireland

Mum and her Brother (My Uncle John)

We went out for lunch- this is my dessert, YUM!

Uncle John - Checking out his Facebook

Me and Dad

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Battlefront Newsletter!


Holly Shaw, our 'Gift Of Life' campaigner, put on her national Donor Day on 7 April, to get as many people as possible to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register. Aided by Battlefront mentors, Oli Barrett and Amy MacLaren, Holly and her supporters set up donor desks across the country and spread the word via Twitter, Bebo, Facbook and more. Their efforts led to nearly 3500 sign ups on just that day, and Holly's campaign URL became the second most re-tweeted tweet in the whole world! Holly was featured on GMTV and on Sky News. She also managed to persuade the Metro to change their masthead for the day, by putting a heart into the "O" of the title.

The icing on the cake came at the end of the day when Holly got a phone call from Number 10, where Gordon Brown himself congratulated her on the amazing job she is doing on behalf of organ donation charities. In fact the number 10 website now has a direct link to Holly's Battlefront page. Holly also has a new logo and website, , which she launched in time for her donor day that was created for her by Airlock and is another great platform for her campaign.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009


A quick blog to thank you all for your lovely birthday messages, wishes, cards and gifts! I have been thoroughly spoilt!

I got a gorgeous Thomas Sabo charm bracelet (with 3 charms) off my Mum and Dad, vouchers, money, perfume, craft stuff, chocolates, flowers and other lovely bits and bobs!

I celebrated with my friends yesterday evening with another night of Drinking and Dancing! My head was a bit sore this morning.... and so were my feet! I had a fabulous night though as you can tell from the pictures...

Me and Sally

Me and Luke

Me and Carrie

Me and Nic

Me and Hanne

Luke, Me and Marcus

Tonight I went out for tea with the family and some friends...

Me and My Brother Andy

I am also busy packing for my trip away to Ireland, I am so lucking forward to it... my Uncle and Auntie will be over from Australia so it will be great to see them again and see other family and friends! Sadly it won't all be fun, fun, fun... I have a university assignment in for next Thursday so the trusty laptop will be coming with me and I will be working on it while I am away!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Busy Week..

Busy week ahead...

Today I am having some friends round for drinks and a takeaway before we head out into town to celebrate my first post-transplant birthday! I bought a new dress yesterday, bright pink (of course)... and my Mum bought me some gorgeous pink jewelry to go with it!

Wednesday, My actual birthday will just be a quiet one (because I will probably still be recovering) and then out for tea with the family, my brother, his wife and my little niece!

Finally Thursday... I go away to Ireland, my first flight post transplant!!! My Mum is originally from Ireland so she still has some family and friends there, it will be great to see them and also interesting for them to see the difference in me!

So a lot of firsts to look forward to this week! Of course which wouldn't be possible if it weren't for my donor and their family. They are never far from my thoughts....

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Dissertation, Drinks and Dancing!

So the dissertation is done... Finally! All 10,007 words of it bound and submitted, what a relief! There were a few moments when I never thought I would actually finish it on time, due to my health and campaigning, but thankfully it all came together and I can forget about it now.... well until the results anyway! I'm not overly bothered what mark I get, just as long as I pass!

If you are interested here is the abstract from it...

This dissertation investigated what key strategies are in place within a reception setting to promote parental partnerships. Information was gathered from both parents and practitioners within the setting. The information from the parents was collected using questionnaires and the practitioner’s views were gained using a semi-structured interview therefore undertaking a mixed paradigmatic approach. Literature was reviewed surrounding the key area of focus of parental partnership which was found to be necessary for the well being, education and holistic care of the child.

The Early Years Foundation Stage DfES (2007) is essential in the reception setting and is a useful tool for practitioners to follow to ensure effective partnerships with parents. The results of this research show that there are various strategies in place within the setting to encourage parents’ participation in their child’s education and both parents and practitioners feel that successful partnership is being achieved within the provision.

Moving away from the boring stuff...We went out last night to celebrate! 8 of us went out for dinner at a lovely restaurant called MoJo's, the meal was great as you can see from the pictures... and the cocktails weren't bad either!

Dinner @ MoJo's

Raspmopolotins - Yum

We then went onto a club called The Lounge where we hired the downstairs venue and met up with people from our course and other mutual friends that were invited!

The Lounge

We then walked into Warrington town centre for more drinks and dancing!

Towards the end of a night... having a sit down becuase of sore feet (too much dancing) this is strange as pre-transplant I would always feel tired before my feet hurt, but it is the other way round now!

It was a great night.... I am feeling slightly delicate today though maybe one to many cocktails (or 5 too many)! I don't intend to make it a habit, I am just catching up for lost time....

Taxi Home - 2.15am