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....