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!
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.
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)
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)