Friday, 31 December 2010

My 2010

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before? ... Lots of things, Still find it surreal to be healthy and doing normal everyday things! 2 events that stick out the most is obviously getting my first proper job as a nursery nurse and the 2nd is moving out of home into my very own appartment (thanks to my wonderful family for supporting me on this one)

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My aim is just to keep living life how I want to live it, doing the things I couldn't do when I was ill and making my donor and their family proud.

3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve? ...
I will be spending the evening with my parents, just a quiet one possibly a DVD and a takeaway.

4. Did anyone close to you die? ...
My amazing friend Jessica Wales sadly lost her fight, she recieved her double lung transplant on the 27th December 2009 and sadly died on the 12th January 2010. She was an inspiration to me and continues to be.

5. What countries did you visit? ...
Ireland and Malta (my first holiday abroad since my transplant!)

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010? ...
I can't think of anything more that I could have wished for in 2010 other than for Jess to still be with us and experiencing her new life. I think my Mum would answer... a fella!

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? ...
31st August was the day I moved out of home, attempted to grow up and become independant!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? ...
becoming a trustee for the amazing transplant charity Live Life Then Give Life.

9. What was your biggest failure? ...
Hmmm a hard one, probably not seeing Jess before she died, the last time I saw her was in the October.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? ...
This year I was hospitalised for the first time since my transplant with pneumonia, I was only in for 4 days but it took me a good month for me to fully recover.

11. What was the best thing you bought? ...
The appartment! With a lot of help from my family :)

12. Where did most of your money go? ...
House things, new sofas, bed, tv etc!

13. What song will always remind you of 2010? ...
Lots of songs for different reasons, Savage Garden's Truly Madly Deeply was Jess' song, it was played at her funeral and I have not yet been able to listen to it in full, brings back too many memories. Cilos Green's Forget You reminds me of my works christmas do and drunken times with friends, and then I want it that way by the Backstreet Boys - memories of a houseparty were all my kitchen utensils were used as microphones!

14. What do you wish you'd done more of? ...
More visiting of friends, have made so many through Live Life Then Give Life who I don't see enough because they are based all over the country!

15. What do you wish you'd done less of? ....
spending money?

16. What was your favourite TV program? ... Still an avid watcher of Hollyoaks!

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? ...
No

18. What was the best book you read? ...
I'm in the middle of Holly and Fearnes Best Friends Guide to Life at the minute - I got it as a present for Christmas from secret santa at work! Thanks De :) x

19. What was your greatest musical discovery? ...
I saw Lady GaGa live this year she was amazing!

20. What was your favourite film of this year? ... Eclipse!

21. What did you do on your birthday? ... I went to see Florence and the Machine in Blackpool with some mates, my Bro and his wife! We stayed over in a hotel so made a night of it :)

22. What kept you sane? ...
My Family as always - Thank you :) xx

23. Who did you miss? ...
Jess - and I always will.

24. Who was the best new person you met? ...
All the new friends I made at work! Love them all to bits! x

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010: ...
Don't take things for granted and live life to the full as you never know when its going to end. Tell the people you care about that you love them.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Normal

Ok so here I am... 6 months after my last blog, with so much to tell you all but not a lot to say, make sense? I thought not!

So what have I been up to? Good question, now where to start. Firstly the reason I am writing this blog is because I have been told off by numerous people that I don't update anymore and the last blog I wrote wasn't exactly a happy one (the title being "I didn't make it" - I hope none of you thought I had popped my clogs!) and secondly my English has gotten worse since I stopped. So here is my attempt at trying to keep this blogging a regular thing... small and short updates are the way forward I think!

So why so long since I updated, I guess I don't think people will find me that interesting anymore? I do normal everyday things now? Theres a lot less drama in my life (which is a good thing, believe me.) I guess I feel more normal, normal life has taken over and I don't feel the need to shout about it on here, because whats happening to me is just that... normal, nothing interesting, nothing out of the ordinary... just normal, I'm not complaining, I like normal!

A few high points of the last 6 months...

The main one is I moved into my own place in August! My family have been a huge support to me on this one, I now live 5ish minutes away from my parents in a 3rd floor 2 bedroom flat! I have loved making it my own, choosing the furniture, buying useless ornaments (that just look pretty) and having my own space!? Just a normal 23 year old thing to do!

I had a fab holiday abroad in Malta in July with my parents, brother, sister in law and niece. (The first since my transplant) I swam with dolphins, went canoeing, jet skiing and sampled some lovely Maltease cocktails! Just a normal holiday!

I am going to be an Auntie again! My nephew is due this month and I really can't wait! I love the smell of little babies, giving them bottles and rocking them to sleep, so much fun! A normal occasion to look forward to.

I've celebrated being another year older (probably not wiser) and another year with my kidney (last week).

I've had many drunken, happy and normal nights out with the girls!

I went for my annual review at the hospital last week, I had the best blood results I have ever had, my creatinine being 90 (in a healthy person this would be 80) and when I was on dialysis it was 1654! My creatinine clearance was 106, my kindey is clearing 106mls every minute... effectively meaning my kidney is working at 106% (anything above 50 would be acceptable)!

I'm loving my work, my role as a trustee for Live Life Then Give Life, my friends and my family.

I'm loving the fact that I am normal, I can write about normal everyday mundane things that everyone else does but this time 2 years ago I only dreamed of doing. I know that there are people out there that don't feel "normal" a lot of them being my friends who are on the transplant list, I also know only to well that none of the above (normal) things would have been posible if it wasn't for my donor and the gift they gave me.

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So thats me, Holly, 24 years old, a nursery nurse who lives on her own (with 2 pet hamsters) who is a trustee for Live Life Then Give Life, has had a kidney transplant but is just normal, and living a very normal life and loving it!

xxx

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

I didn't make it...

Firstly apologies for not updating before now (I have a few good reasons) I have done a couple of guest blogs over on Rachy's blog and I am also on the Live Life Then Give Life blogging team now so check that out.

The main reason I haven't been around is... that I didn't make the 2 year mark without being admitted to hospital, this was an aim of mine but oh well... when needs must.

I thought I had a tummy bug, had the usual D and V that comes with it but I also had a sore chest (which I presumed was from coughing and retching, how wrong was I?). This was Friday the 16th and I spent all day in bed, running an impressive temperature of 39.8 at one point, I still insisted on keeping my duvet over me because I was cold (not very sensible). I also insisted on not going to hospital and that I would be fine the next day, which again I was wrong about.

I felt weak and wobbly on my feet, had dizzy spells and constant sickness (I missed 2 doses of my anti rejection drugs, which worried me), finally I gave in and told my Mum to ring the Royal Liverpool hospital transplant ward. The ward suggested I go to my local A and E or their A and E, I would have rather gone to theirs but there was no way that I could manage the 30minute car journey so instead it was off to Warrington. I ordered (well asked politely) my Mum to wash and dry my hair for me as I was in no doubt that they would keep me in, this involved me getting very out of breath, dizzy and faint. (The things us girls do hey)

I made it to the hospital without being sick in the car but spent my hour wait outside the department sat in a wheelchair throwing up in a bucket (so very attractive). Flashbacks from my last time in A and E came over me, this was in 2005 when I was first diagnosed and appeared with exactly the same symptoms. I was probably more worried than I let on but I knew that I was finally in the right place. I was eventually taken through to majors, with my obs being done, bloods taken and a cannula put in (all echoing the exact same routine that had taken place in 2005). I was given a chest x ray, saline drip, paracetamol and hydrocortazone, which had an effect on me within the hour, I was very impressed and felt relieved.

The chest x ray results came back and I was told I had a bad chest infection, so my self diagnosis of a pulled muscle was wrong then... later I found out that it was actually pneumonia I had! To say I was surprised was an understatement, I'd had an injection against it, always presumed you had to be cold to catch it (don't ask me why) and always thought it was more an old peoples illness?!

I was put on IV antibiotics and kept in Warrington Hospital for 2 nights. I was all ready to be discharged when I was told to keep my outpatients appointment at the Royal Liverpool, so me and my Mum (with me still feeling very rough) drove on over. My transplant consultant took one look at me and decided to admit me there and then! I only stayed in for one night and am now back at home on Oral Augmentin antibiotics, which seem to be doing the trick!

So all in all a very eventful few weeks, full of events I don't want to repeat any time soon! I am on the mend, although I still seem to be feeling a bit of chest pain and I'm still getting tired easily. I was signed off work for 2 weeks (one more week to go) and I am booked in for another x ray on Thursday which will hopefully show things clearing up.

It just goes to show how fragile health can be, it did bring memories flooding back and thats what scared me. I was probably beginning to get comfortable with how my health was going and taking it for granted so it really knocked me for 6 when I was housebound for a week... it was like life on dialysis.

I know its nothing compared to what some people (who are awaiting transplants) have been through or are going through at this very minute but It's given be a huge wake up call that nothing is written in stone and health should never be taken for granted....

Monday, 29 March 2010

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth...

As the title suggests, I am still here (you don't get rid of me that easily)

If I am not updating its because I am having too much fun for my own good! I have done loads of exciting things over the past few weeks that each deserve their own blog, but I just don't have time. So here is a quick run down!

  • I went to the x factor meet and greet... met them all, loved Jedward and got some fab pics (if you are on facebook you will have already seen them)
  • I went to London for 5 days ON MY OWN - this wouldn't have been possible before. I stayed with the lovely Charlotte Hogg for 3 nights and spent my last night with the fabulous Emily.
  • I met some amazing people in London - catching up with my mentor Oli Barrett as well. I have started making plans for Donor Day 2010 and will fill you in when I can.
  • It was Jess' 21st Birthday the day I was staying with Emily... we released blue and white 21st birthday balloons with Sunflower seeds attached to them (this is what me and Em threw on Jess' beautiful pink coffin at her funeral) we also attached a note to ask the person who finds them to plant them in her memory.
  • I went to see Peter Kay at one of his intimate gigs for Haiti. He was hilarious!
  • I am loving my new trustee role for Live Life Then Give Life
  • Work is going well and I am getting my head around all the paper work!
  • I am in the spring special of Pick Me up, talking about the gift of life campaign and battlefront!
  • I jumped off the Royal Liverpool Hospital for the big zip in aid of the Linda McCartney Unit and the St Pauls eye unit. I hated jumping off the ledge but loved the actual zip wire and would definately do it again!
  • I've booked to go and see Lady GaGa in June :)
  • I can't remember if I mentioned this in one of my previous blogs but I am thinking of moving out of home (mum still thinks I am joking) but I am not and I want to make it happen in the coming months. (I will have to take some overtime on at work but I am sure it will be worth it)
  • Rachy is doing well after her double lung transplant and I hope to see her when I get back off my holiday!

On Wednesday I am off to Ireland for a family wedding! The last time I went over for a wedding (2 years ago) I was on dialysis, had to fit the wedding in around this, obviously couldn't eat or drink what I wanted and felt nausious the hole time. My Mum had to pull the car over for me to be sick on the way home from the reception! So this year, it will be all different, I will be eating and drinking and no doubt showing the dance floor some of my moves!

Sorry that this was so brief. I will update more about that when I get back... I will hopefully do a photoblog sometime soon with pics of some of the above events.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Rachy got the call...

Just a quick update to say my friend Rachael Wakefield got her call for a double lung transplant today :) I got a text at 4.20am this morning and have been on tenterhooks all day waiting on any news, constantly checking my phone, facebook, blogs and twitter! Finally the news came through at 5pm that it was all a go and she was off to theatre!

I am so thrilled for her and her family, she really does deserve this second chance. Rachy had recently been put on the urgent transplant waiting list and I was extremely worried about her as it brought back so many memories of Jess! Of course Rachy is not out of the woods, she has got a long operation ahead of her and an even longer recovery. She is one tough cookie though, and I know she can do it!

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She has promised to take me to TGI Fridays and I have promised her a night of cocktails, she best keep her end of the bargain, cos I will definately be keeping mine! Keep up to date with Rachy's progress here and of course on her own blog here.

I am of course thinking of the amazing family who said yes to Organ Donation at such a devestating time for them. You could do something amazing today and save someones life... sign the Organ Donor Register and give people like Rachy a chance. Thank you x


Monday, 8 March 2010

I am now a Trustee!

I am now a Trustee for Live Life Then Give Life! Woop!

I am mega excited about this, I have been doing stuff for them since 2006/7 and officially became an advocate for them in 2008 so I am really chuffed that they want me on board as a trustee! The AWARD WINNING team is great and I am looking forward to getting to know them better and working with them more in the coming months.

All the trustees have been affected by transplantation/organ donation in one way or another and so can put their personal experiences out there to help others. You can read more about them here. I am well aware of the charities aims and work but I am looking forward to getting more hands on in organising events, Stands, talks etc. I hope I can make a small mark on Live Life Then Give Life and maybe even a small mark on the world of Organ Donation through my role as trustee for this fantastic charity!

So a few places to point you to... obviously the Live Life Then Give Life website
The Live Life Then Give Life Forum - Intoto
The Live Life Then Give Life Blog

Thats it for now, will keep you updated on how its all going, and again, I can't actually believe how lucky I am to be doing all these things. My job and now the trustee role in LLTGL... 2010 is starting to look up... and more news on that in my next blog ;) I'll keep you in suspenders (oops I mean suspense) until then.....

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Rough week...

Just a quick update to say that I'm still alive!

Blogging has taken a back seat while I started work and got settled in, I promise to keep it more up to date when I can. I am liking it at the nursery but have seemed to have picked up a bug from some of the snotty children! I got sent home from work on Tuesday afternoon but had been feeling ill for almost a week before that! I went to my GP on Thursday (I changed my working day to the Friday thankfully) he didn't seem too concerned and gave me some anti-biotics and said take them if I need them and sent me to Warrington Hospital for bloods. I thought I would be ok but got the prescription anyway, I went to work on the Friday (7.30am start!) and felt really ill but was determined to get through the day... I started the anti-biotics at lunch time and today I still feel really ill, achy, cough, going hot and cold and I have no voice! I had to cancel plans with friends today which really annoyed me and reminded me of how I used to have to do this when I was on dialysis!

Anyway I am due at The Royal hospital tomorrow for Bloods and I may pop up to the renal ward if I am still feeling bad to see if I can see a Doc. I feel stupid for moaning about this when there are so many people out there that are so much worse off than me, including Rachael Wakefield... please pop over to the Live Life Then Give Life Ambassoders blog. Rachy is having a really tough time at the minute and has been told that without a transplant soon, she doesn't have long left to live. This pails all my problems into insignificance so ignore my ramblings above, read this blog about this inspirational young lady and then sign the Organ Donor Register if you haven't done so already.

Rachy's story and others like her spur me on to keep campaigning, I appeared in my local paper again talking about the Manchester Roadshow that Rachy, I and others attended to encourage people to sign the register. You can read this here. A few of us appeared on BBC North West as well which was immensly nervewracking but I was really pleased with the final edit.

When I read Rachy's blog, see her posts on facebook and watch her piece from BBC North West, memories of Jess come flooding back. I don't want to lose another friend just because people haven't got round to saying yes to Organ Donation.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

A new Chapter...

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Well I started my new job, for Kids Unlimited...

I think I'm really going to like it, I'm getting to know the routine, the kids and staff. I'm working Tuesdays and Thursdays, both 10 hour days which is tiring, but I'll get used to it. I am in the pre-school room so will be helping to care for/educate 3 and 4 year olds. I need to learn the paperwork routine but have already planned one activity, recorded it and will need to follow it up again with my key children in a few weeks. I am a key person for 6 children, my responsibilities include liaising with their parents and keeping their files up to date amongst other things.

I have some knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage but need to swot up a bit more, I need to be imaginative with my planning so will need to get my thinking cap on and create some fun activities for the kids to get stuck into. Its strange that I have all the knowledge from my assignments and lectures at uni but not much hands on experience but I'm sure it won't take me long to get the hang of things.

I've had a busy few days, as well as the job, but I will update about that in a separate blog. Before my transplant I used to find it hard to blog about things, as my life was not "normal" it revolved around hospitals, diets, needles, medication, clinics and now there's not enough time in my day to sit down and write about all the things I have done, places I have been and people I have met!

I still can't believe I'm not a student and actually have a job. Of course none of this would have been possible with out the generosity of my donor and their family, and I hope that I make them proud in my new venture.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Old Friends... New Friends...

I had another fantastic night away in Huddersfield last weekend... Its a really lovely village where we go, just outside Huddersfield. Everyone knows everyone, its quite strange to travel an hour down the road and feel like I know so many people and feel so at home, its really great!

My friends boyfriend put us up as usual... he's a fab host, and I managed to bag the bed again, so I didn't have to sleep on the sofa. The only thing about Huddersfield is that everyone seems so tall! Check this picture out:


I did the driving, I probably had a few too many drinks so was feeling it the next day, we didn't leave to around 1 o clock. I hope we go back soon, as I am in love with the nightclub called Camel and will need another fix of it soon enough!

On Saturday I had the privilege of meeting up with Tony Salmon and Sam Marston (check out Sam's blog here) and their lovely daughters Bethany and Eloise. We met in Blackpool at an open day at Donna's Dream House, they do fabulous work for families of seriously ill children, offering them free holidays at the house including passes for the attractions in Blackpool. Bethany received her life saving liver transplant just over a year ago, and my is she looking fabulous! Before this, the family didn't know what the outcome would be for Bethany so took the opportunity to take her to Donna's Dream House. The house became more famous when it recently appeared on Secret Millionaire, and the chap Gary that gave them money is still involved to this day and was there himself on Saturday.

We spent the day giggling and chatting, we looked round the house including the new roundabout and the fabulous state of the art cinema! Then all of a sudden this man came looking for Bethany and Eloise and asked if they wanted a horse ride, I said to Sam excitedly is it a real horse, she gave me the most rediculous look and said of course not! We followed the chap as he led us to the back of the house and there it was in all its glory a PINK horse and carriage (yes a real horse, and when I say pink, I mean the carriage not the horse). To say I was excited was an understatement, luckily there was room for me to jump on too (I would have insisted on them coming back for me to have a go if there wasn't haha!)



Bethany and Eloise decided we were all princess' I was named sleeping beauty at first but then they quickly changed me to Belle. We had a fantastic time, and we finished off the day by me treating Tony, Sam and the girls to sausage and chips on the sea front!

Me and my favourite princess's

I still can't quite believe how far I've come since my transplant... jumping in a car and setting off to Blackpool on my own (aided by my trusty satnav on my Blackberry) just would NEVER have happened before. Turning up to the house with around 50 people stood in the garden and me waltzing in on my own... would NEVER have happened! Last night I went to Manchester for a night out with about 3 hours notice... this wouldn't have happened before. I am thankful for everyday, I feel more independent, more confident and a lot more happier than before.... as someone I know very well says...

This is my life and I choose to love it!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Roadshow...



I attended the NHSBT Roadshow in Liverpool on the 11th February...

My passion for organ donation and transplantation is still there (if you can't tell by now) in fact I think its stronger than ever. Since Jess died I feel I need to do as much as I can to promote the plight of others on the transplant waiting list, I know that this is what Jess would have wanted in her own words, which she said on many occasion about the Save Jess campaign "If this doesn't save me then at least it will help others." That was her, she was always caring about others, I want to be just like her, I do care about others but always feel I can do more. I want to keep campaigning, doing as much as I can for Organ Donation so that others don't have to lose their battle whilst waiting, so families don't have to go through what Jess' family are going through, and for selfish reasons, so I don't have to lose anymore friends along the way.

The roadshow was a perfect opportunity to do put all of the above into action! I spoke to people about why they should sign the Organ Donor Register, I told them my story (I always think this helps people to understand and see in person the difference a transplant can make)... I encouraged people to sign up there and then using one of the 3 laptops available. There were lots of volunteers on hand to answer any questions, including my transplant co-ordinator, Kate (who called me in for transplant) Here is a picture of me and her. She apologised for making me so upset when she called bless her!


The team were fab and made me feel so welcome, the press photographer came down and I and the team had to give the Tin Woman a heart... check out Save the Tin man if you haven't already and I also did a Radio interview from the van with Radio City. The purpose of the "Prove it" roadshow is for people to prove the believe in organ donation by signing up, 96% of people would willing receive an organ if they were in need of one but only 27% of the British population have actually put this into action by signing the register. A total of 380 people signed up there and then that day... so far the roadshow has signed up 4,400 people! I am glad I played a small part in making it happen... I will be attending the Manchester Roadshow on Friday which I am very much looking forward to.



Thats it for now... Love, x

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Campaigning...

So I have been quite busy on the old campaigning front recently, with the talks etc. I also have done two radio interviews over the past few days one was pre-recorded for City Talk and the other was a phone in show (that I knew about in advance) on Radio City 96.7 so rang into that.

The presenter is Pete Price... I have spoken to him before about Organ Donation, in fact the last time we spoke I mentioned Jess as it was in the lead up to Save Jess-tival. Pete is dead set against Organ Donation but is willing to talk about it, he never really says why he is against it, I think its because of all the myths and misconceptions floating around. He comes across really ignorant, I don't know if its his manner or whether he is just asking the questions that the public want to hear the answers to!

Anyway I think the interview went well, I found myself talking a lot rather than being asked questions... I think this is probably the best way to deal with Pete.

I am doing another radio programme at 7am tomorrow morning for Radio Merseyside 95.8... you can listen live here (if you are up that early!) The purpose of this interview is to talk about me, my story but also to talk about the NHSBT Roadshow that is coming to Liverpool tomorrow. I will be attending from 10am-12, talking to the media and the general public about Organ Donation and why people should sign up! I am really looking forward to it, I am hoping to attend the Manchester Roadshow which is on the 19th February... with Racheal Wakefield :) any excuse for a catch up and a gossip hey!

I start work on Tuesday 16th (which is my dads birthday sadly) it will be a 10 hour day and then I think I have a staff meeting too, so no birthday tea out which is a shame!
I will be working 20hours a week... 10 hours on a Tuesday and 10 on a Thursday... it will be tiring at first I guess but I am really looking forward to it! At least I have monday and friday off, so will have long weekends and will get to see Abigail still for one day a week! This will also be good because my clinic appointments are usually on a Monday (I told the manager about this in the interview, so she took this into consideration!)

Thats it for now. Love x

Monday, 8 February 2010

Donor Day 2010...

Ok so you will all be pressing me for dates and more info... but the truth is I haven't got round to organising and putting any solid plans together.

So here is where you come in... Open forum... how do I make Donor Day bigger and better than last year?

Your thoughts?

Do you want to be involved?

I would love your ideas... I am meeting up with Oli Barrett my mentor at the beginning of March and so we will be having a brainstorming session and throwing around some ideas.

So get in touch... and get involved! Email me if you don't want to comment: holly@lltgl.org.uk

Thanks in advance

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Final Farewells...

I wrote a statement about Jess for the Battlefront team, they have put it on my page which you can view here.

There is also some video footage from ITV Meridian of Jess' funeral which can be seen here.

Its still hard to believe Jess is not here, Facebook is empty without her, my phone is empty without her and my life is more empty without her.

I will leave you with some pictures of the flowers we got Jess.


And all of the beautiful flowers...


x R.I.P x

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Talking, Talking, Talking...

I have done lots of talking in the past couple of days... Both professional talking... and gossiping!



On Tuesday I did a talk at Arrowe Park hospital (another one of my 101 goals - public speaking), it was in front of Donor coordinators, transplant coordinators and Intensive Care staff. I was a bit nervous but they were all lovely and made me feel at ease, there was only around 20 of them. I talked about my story, Live Life then Give life and life since my transplant. A fellow speaker was David Nix from the Donor Family Network it was great to catch up as I haven't seen him since The DFN meet up in September. I enjoyed giving the presentation (trying to make it humurous yet emtional) and the audience must have enjoyed it as I have been invited back to do 3 more throughout the year! (which I will attend if work permits, seems funny writing that!)

It was really interesting to hear more of the Donor Families side of the story as well as the Intensive Care Staff's view of how to break bad news. Some of these topics are discussed in this interesting Times article if you want to take a look. I can't bring myself to comment on it as I may let my mouth run away with itself... some of the comments about the article are so ingnorant! Such as transplants shouldn't take place becuase "the planet is already over populated" and "Organ donation is a money making scheme" I really would love to hear how these people would feel if them or one of their loved ones ever needed an organ transplant.

I have also been asked to attend the NHSBT roadshow in Liverpool, this will involve me talking to the media and encouraging people to sign the Organ Donor Register. In preparation for this I have been asked to do a pre-recorded interview for Radio City Talk 105.9 tomorrow at 3.45pm which will be aired on Sunday between 7-8pm. Hopefully it will go well and persuade people to think more about tranpslantation and Organ Donation.

Today I had a lovely afternoon meeting up with the wonderful Rachael Wakefield... she is currently waiting for a double lung transplant after fighting hard to get herself active on the transplant list.


You can read more about her story here. She is such an inspirational young lady, we have the same sense of humor and so had a right giggle! Although I may or may not have suggested lighting the candle in the middle of the table... but soon changed my mind once Rachy reminded me she was on her Niv (Non Invasive Ventilator) that was blowing out Oxygen at the time... oops! You wouldn't believe I got a double B in Science at GCSE!

We are going to make meeting up a regular thing, which is fab... I gave Rachy a photo album as a little present to open today (as well as a birthday present, which if you are reading this, you must save till your birthday missy!) so I am hoping we can fill this with lots of silly photos of our antics... and the start of a very long friendship!

Its definitely good to talk...

Monday, 1 February 2010

New Job!

I am now employed...

What a scary thought! I can't remember if I blogged about my interviews or not... I definitely Facebooked about them and received lots of good luck wishes which really spurred me on so thank you for them!

I went for a formal interview on the 25th January which went ok, lots of questions were asked and I wasn't sure that I answered them in as much depth as they might have liked, thankfully they asked me back for a practical interview which I did on Friday. I had lots of fun, the kids were painting, building, singing and drawing. I read them (all 27) a couple of stories... which I think was quite brave as I have never worked in a nursery so haven't had to keep that many childrens attention before.

I got the phone call today that I got the job! I was so excited... I really can't wait. I have to take in my degree certificate on Thursday and discuss what hours I will be working. I will start off part-time and hopefully end up doing fulltime sometime this year!

I will be working at the Kids Unlimited Nursery in Warrington... its 1.5miles from my house so it will only take me 10minutes getting there, I will start off in the pre-school room ages 3/4 and see how I get on but I may be moved.

So there you go... one of my 101 in 1001 complete... I also acheived one on Saturday when I went to see the fabulous Jimmy Carr... he was very funny but extremely rude! He got lots of funny heckles and one man proposed to his wife in the audience!

In other news I am off to do a talk tomorrow at Arrowe Park hospital about me and my transplant! I am a bit nervous but I am sure I will be fine once I get there and get started. Luckily my Transplant co-ordinator and the Donor Co-ordinator will be there and I also will get to catch up with David Nix from the Donor Family Network again which will be nice.

Will leave you with a couple of pictures of me from today, we went out for an all you can eat chinese to celebrate me getting the job!


I certainly wouldn't have been fit enough to work whilst I was on dialysis and so Of course none of this would be possible if it weren't for my Donor and their amazing family who said yes to Organ Donation. Be a Hero today: Sign the Organ Donor Register!

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Time to say goodbye...

These blogs just get harder and harder to write.... I just can't find the words... they simply aren't there. I have written this blog about 5 times and deleted but I am just going to go for it.

The Wednesday morning we woke up in the Travelodge room, knowing that it was going to be one of the hardest days of my life. Mum and Dad went out to explore Margate while I took time on my own to get ready. I never go out without make up (vain or what) so today would be no different, I opted for no mascara and false eyelashes, pretty smart idea in the end....

Mum and Dad returned, we got changed (I put on my Jessica jewelry) and away we went. We pulled up outside the church and spotted Aunty P from the Donor Family Network and so we parked the car and went for a cup of tea in a local cafe, we were soon joined by Emily and Matt, we chatted away about Jess as we looked through the fabulous tribute book Em had made for Jess' family. Me and Em exchanged some presents, I gave her a sparkly frame with a picture of me, her and Jess in it and she gave me a gorgeous scented candle.

We left the cafe and headed for the church, conversation stopped and we came to a standstill as we saw Jess' beautiful pink coffin being placed onto the white horse and carriage... the horses baby pink plooms gently swayed in the breeze. Me and Em stood for a few minutes, holding hands with tears in our eyes...

We were greeted at the church by people that we had only chatted to via the internet, many people came over and introduced themselves to me, I must have seemed rude... I didn't really engage in conversation... I was in a little world of my own. We stood outside for about 15 minutes, not sure why this was, I just think people wanted to stand together and share memories or in our case make small talk... with Matt making inappropriate comments that made me giggle at the most inappropriate times... lets face it though Jess would have been giggling too, I am sure she would have forgiven me!

We headed inside and took our seats. I was sat inbetween Emily and Matt and my parents sat behind me with Aunty P... There was silence in the church, apart from a few late comers who clunked the big heavy church door which resulted in everyone turning round... after what seemed like hours... but it was more like 15 minutes... Savage Garden's - Truly, Madly, Deeply began playing (Jess' favourite song) and the undertakers carried the pink coffin down the aisle... From the first few notes of the song... everyone was in tears, it brought back memories of Save Jess-tival and memories of Jess herself. Her family followed behind and as her coffin went passed I spotted Jess' name on the back of it in a star... and beautiful pink flowers draped over the top.

Jess had chosen all the songs and hymms, we sang Let Me Be a Channel of Your Peace and Be Thou My Vision. A few days after Jess died Emily sent me a beautiful poem in the hope that it would bring me comfort, it really struck a chord and made sense to me, she also sent it to Jackie (Jess' Mum) this was read out at the funeral... the words are so appropriate:


What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those that loved you.
It's not a matter of circumstance, but of choice
In the face of adversity you chose to live a life that matters

That last line particularly rings true with Jess... she will never be forgotten for her determination and inspiration.

Emily and Matt held my hand through the last part of the service, I was conscious that I was snotting all over them but they didn't seem to mind! I really couldn't of got through it without them.

The tears kept on flowing (I knew the no mascara was a good idea) Jess left the church to Kathrine Jenkins "Time to say goodbye" I get a lump in my throat every time I think of it (I hope the link works, I haven't listened to it myself, I can't, not yet)... and I will never be able to listen to this song in the same way now. It really was beautiful but heartbreaking and there wasn't a dry eye in the church.

We left the church just in time to see Jess being carried away by the horse drawn carriage... as they trotted off down the road we looked at each other and said right lets go to the cemetery, we then realised that none of us knew where it was, and none of us had a postcode for it... we jumped in our cars quick and thankfully caught up with the cortege. Jess' coffin was in sight the whole way there, it was a kind of comfort to know that we were all sharing her journey to her final resting place... she would have been giggling at the fact that the whole cortege went through on red lights (not without some horns papping and dirty looks from other drivers) I felt like saying this is Jess.... do you not know who she is...!!!

We reached the cemetery and gosh I was regretting wearing my patent black heels (Jess wouldn't have wanted anything less though) so I kept up the pace and walked... (it felt like miles) Em held my hand the whole way... we made it to Jess' final resting place and as we did the horse let out one almighty fart... another moment I am sure Jess would have found particularly funny! We walked over to the graveside and watched Jess' coffin as it was lowered into the ground... "Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust" was said... I have only ever seen this on TV programmes.... the tears flowed again. Jess' family threw pink flowers on to her coffin and started to disband, Jackie caught Emily's eye and broke down... she then looked at me gave me a kiss and the hugest hug... and we shed a tear together.

Matt had given me and Em a sunflower each and I brought two pictures... one for me and one for Em so we said our goodbyes and threw them on top of the coffin... as we walked away... mine and Em's heels got stuck in the mud and we could hardly move... Em blamed Jess for this, saying thats exactly what she would have wanted to happen! I couldn't help but smile. We looked along the big line of beautiful flowers and there ours were, it really was prefect, a white heart shape with a Pink J in the middle.

I caught the attention of Jess Dad and he gave me a hug... we stood around for a while... not knowing what to do... not wanting to leave. Jackie came up to me and Em and invited us back to the wake... Mum and Dad felt a bit awkward but Jackie made a point of saying they were invited and welcome... shes such a strong lady, we all know where Jess got her strength and determination from now.

We headed back to Jess' house... the last time I was there was when we filmed for Battlefront... it was so surreal to be there without Jess... pictures of her where dotted around everywhere. There were people everywhere but it somehow felt empty as Jess herself wasn't there! We didn't stay long but it was so nice to be asked back... I had a long chat with Jackie... I hardly knew what to say, but she made it easy for me, she was so relaxed and welcoming... as I left she thanked me for what I had done for Jess... I hadn't done anything! I felt like saying thank you for giving me Jess, for letting me be her friend and for everything she has done for me... I am a different person, a better person, for knowing Jess and I will never forget her.


Forever in my heart... rest in peace darling x

Monday, 25 January 2010

Special Jewelry...

I was going to take some pictures of my Jewelry that the fabulous Danielle made me to remember Jess by... but she has taken some lovely pictures and posted them on her blog here so I will point you there instead. Jess really would love the pieces wouldn't she?

Other news... I went for an interview today at a local nursery, its actually the same nursery my niece Abi goes to! I think it went as well as it could do, the manager asked me questions, I asked her questions and I have to go back to do a practical interview on Friday from 9.30am-1.30pm! I won't find out if I have been successful or not until the following Friday!

I am setting off to Kent tomorrow for Jess' funeral, I have to go to Liverpool first to have some blood taken and then my parents will drive us all down... I can't believe that we are having to say our last goodbyes... still seems so unreal.

I know Jess will have the fabulous send off she deserves... and no doubt pink will make an appearance too!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The world doesn't stop...

It's hard to think that the world doesn't stop just because Jess is no longer with us. I was speaking to my friend Sarah Milne on the phone the other day and something rang true to me... because I didn't see Jess everyday as she lived far away it almost feels as if she is still there. I think it will hit me more when we have to say our final goodbyes on Wednesday.

It was left to me to sort the flowers out for Jess (I am surprised I was trusted haha!) this was good as it made me feel like I was being useful and doing something to help. The flowers are from myself, Emily, Sarah, Matt and Pops. I chose a white heart with a pink J in the middle and pink ribbon around the edge of the heart... it had to be pink, nothing less for Jess!

On one of my blog posts about Jess the lovely Danielle made a comment... we got chatting over twitter and email and I said I would like some custom made jewelry to wear to Jess' funeral, perhaps with Jess initials on. Danielle came up trumps and my lovely jewelery arrived in the post... it's pink of course! I will take pictures and post them up soon... theres a ring, many sets of earrings... 2 broaches and a necklace! Jess would have loved them!

Other things that have been happening... I have got myself a Job interview at a local nursery, its actually the same nursery that my neice goes to! I am hoping that goes well, I need to get myself into work or I'll get bored! I am also going to be going down to london to stay with the lovely Charlotte Hogg from Engage First and she is going to teach me all she knows about networking, social media and campaigning... and I am sure a few cocktails will be consumed as well!

I have also signed myself up for a 250ft high, 100ft long zipwire from the top of the Royal Liverpool Hospital, to raise money for their eye unit and Linda McCartney Centre this will take place on either the 20th or 21st of March and I will let you know how you can sponsor me nearer the time if you would like to!

So I think that is it for now... I probably won't update now until after Jess' funeral... please keep her and her family in your thoughts this week and please sign the Organ Donor Register in Jess' memory! Thank you x

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

My 101...

So here is my 101 list... If you can think you can help me out with any of them, then do let me know! I hope I achieve all of them or at least most of them and in the process make my donor and Jess proud! For each of the ones I don't manage to complete in 1001 days I will donate at least £2 to Live Life Then Give Life.


1. Go to Paris
2. Go to New York
3. Watch 26 movies, each starting with a different letter of the alphabet
4. Go camping
5. Complete a scrapbook
6. Read the whole of the Twilight Saga
7. Snorkel in the sea
8. Go to a music festival
9. Visit friends who I’ve promised I would visit
10. Climb Snowdon
11. Learn to play poker
12. Network
13. Go rock climbing
14. Go to a museum
15. Visit an Art Gallery
16. Watch a sunrise
17. Watch a sunset
18. Write a blog at least once every 2 weeks
19. Do a 5k
20. Swim a mile
21. Complete an adrenaline challenge
22. Learn to cook a Sunday roast by myself!
23. Lose weight
24. Sign people up to the Organ Donor Register
25. Go to the Ballet
26. Get a job
27. Lay in a field and watch clouds
28. Go kayaking
29. Help a stranger
30. Dye my hair pink
31. Give up chocolate for one month
32. Throw a dinner party
33. Go to see a comedian Live
34. Spend a whole day with my dad doing what he wants to do
35. Spend a whole day with my mum doing what she wants to do
36. Go ice skating with my brother
37. Go to a spa
38. Write a letter at least every other month
39. See a musical in the west end
40. Get a new Passport
41. Go on a family holiday abroad
42. Get my mum flowers for no reason
43. Go to the Zoo
44. Play Jail Break with Pops
45. Dust off my flute and play for one hour
46. Go on a date
47. Kiss a stranger
48. Get a tattoo
49. Get a massage
50. Read a Shakespeare play
51. Watch a horror movie
52. Spend 24 hours not using a computer
53. Spend 24 hours not using my phone
54. Go surfing
55. Bake Bread from scratch
56. Attend a murder mystery
57. See a band live that I’ve never seen before
58. Go to the gym at least 5 times a month
59. Kiss in the rain
60. Watch fireworks
61. See a shooting star
62. Take a risk
63. Tell my mum and dad I love them at every opportunity
64. Eat 3 things I’ve never tried before
65. Ride a motorbike/scooter
66. Take a photo everyday for one month
67. Move out of home
68. Build a snowman
69. Swim with Dolphins
70. Take a spontaneous trip
71. Make a new friend
72. Give up diet coke for a week
73. Teach my Niece something new
74. Get eyebrows waxed at least every other month
75. Sing Karaoke
76. Own a pair of Jimmy Choos
77. Raise money for charity
78. Go for a picnic
79. Build a bear for my niece
80. Leave a note in a library book for someone to find
81. Learn a poem by heart
82. Make fudge
83. Ride a horse
84. Eat in a Michelin starred restaurant
85. Stay in a Hilton hotel
86. Watch a film from the year of my birth
87. Ride a rollercoaster
88. Public speak
89. Go on a peddlo
90. Meet a famous person
91. Go to a fancy dress party
92. Carve my name on a tree
93. Go tubing
94. Visit Northern Ireland
95. Go to a proper cocktail bar
96. Watch a whole football match
97. Go on holiday with my friends
98. Cook a three course meal from scratch
99. Fall in love
100. Keep a diary of how and when I achieved the 101 goals
101. Go out for a meal on day 1001 to celebrate my achievements

You can keep up with my progress here. My finishing date will be Wednesday, October 17, 2012!!! I will be the ripe old age of 25! Scary!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

101 Tasks in 1001 days...

So the last couple of weeks has taught me that life is too short and we shouldn't take things for granted so when I heard about the Day Zero Project I thought I would give it a shot...

Day Zero is a unique challenge that inspires you to set and achieve your personal goals in life.

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple challenges such as New Year's resolutions or a 'Bucket List'. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

The website seems to be down at the minute but you will be able to keep up to date with my progress here. I will blog as much as I can about how I am doing and include photos as well!

I will let you know what my tasks are in my next blog...

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Feeling...

Helpless
Guilty
Angry
Sad
Lost

I want to text her. I want to speak to her.

I'm feeling like life is unfair at the minute, why did she have to be taken? Why did she get her second chance for it all to be taken away just days later? Why did I get my transplant before her? I could have survived years on dialysis, my situation wasn't life and death so why me? Luck of the draw... there is no rhyme or reason for these things.

I'm probably being selfish writing all of this down, but hey this is what blogs are for isn't it? If I am feeling like this, I can't begin to imagine how her family is feeling right now.

I received a christmas card off Jess before christmas, she was always thinking of others and insisted on sending me one, I told her not to bother and she replied Yes I want to, you are my friend. Jess was typically like that, always caring for others, asking how you are when she was the one struggling and needed the attention. This will be the last card I get off Jess... the day I received it I typed a twitter update saying please don't let this be the last christmas card Jess sends me... encouraging people to sign the Organ Donor Register so this wasn't the case...little did I actually know that it would be. I will now treasure this card that she took the time to write to me.

A couple of weeks ago after she received her transplant I bought Jess a cheap tacky present, It is now sitting on my desk, its hard to know that she will never get to see it. (It might be best that she doesn't it was pretty cheesy!)

As you can probably tell I'm finding it hard to write everything down that I want to, its hard to find the words.

I've bought my first ever with sympathy card... I should be buying Jess a Happy transplant card! I've had to dig out a black dress... I should be getting out a little black dress for us to go out together not to be going to her funeral!

Even though she is no longer with us, she is still doing her thing and raising awareness about Organ Donation... see some articles here.

http://news.sky.com/sky-news/content/StaticFile/jpg/2009/Sep/Week4/15386040.jpg

This is how I will remember her, always smiling, never complaining.
Courageous, inspiring, generous, caring, funny.

Song of the day today is I Wish by R Kelly, (the chorus) with the lyrics...

"I know you're in a better place, And you know I can see your face. I know you're smiling down on me, Saying everything's okay."

Thursday, 14 January 2010

I'll be missing you...


I don't even know where to begin... I have never felt so down, I try to put on a brave face but inside I'm heartbroken. Heartbroken because I've lost a dear friend, heartbroken for her family, and heartbroken for all the things she will never get to do. As I write this, I am listening to I'll be missing you and tears are running down my face. These particular lyrics stand out above all others... "Till the day we meet again, In my heart is where I'll keep you friend. Memories give me the strength I need to proceed... Strength I need to believe."



Jessica died peacefully on Tuesday (12th Jan) with her family by her side. She was just 20 years old. I still can't believe that I am actually writing it, I don't think it has fully sank in yet. That I will never get to see her again, hear her voice or have a laugh together.

Jessica had received her long awaited double lung transplant a couple of weeks ago but the wait had been too long and her body wasn’t strong enough to cope. She had been awake following the operation, and was aware that she had her transplant; she got her dream that she had been waiting for 4 ½ years but she will not be able to live it due to major post transplant complications. I am pleased in a way that she was aware that she had had her transplant, she probably felt relieved and maybe even started thinking about thinks that she would be able to do in the future... I hope this gave her some comfort.

We became close during and after the filming of Battlefront and I will always treasure the memories I have of her, I am so proud to be able to call her my friend. We had plans together for when she got her call, things we would do...

She was going to come and visit me, I had already thought about where I would take her (shopping obviously) and what we would do. She said I could visit her anytime for walks and an ice-cream on the beach (I so wish we had lived closer I could have taken her up on this offer.) I told Jess that I would do the Hydroactive Addidas Challange this year with her when she got her new lungs, so I determined to do it this year (yes the whole 5k, maybe not running) in memory of her.

So many things left undone... I wanted to see her live her life, I wanted to see her without her oxygen on. I wanted to laugh till we cried (for the right reasons this time), I wanted to sample a whole cocktail menu with her... I wanted to dance till our feet felt like they were going to fall off... But this will never happen.

The world seems different right now, its lost a very special person. I walk past shoe shops, thinking which ones she would like... I hear songs on the radio that remind me of her, yesterday I heard Glorious by Natalie Imbruglia and today Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden...

Jess touched everyone’s lives that she came in contact with. Her death won’t be in vain; during her time waiting, she inspired thousands of people up and down the country through her campaigning, incredible attitude and passion for life.

Jess’ wait was just too long, and I intend to make her proud and continue my work with the campaign and the Charity Live Life Then Give Life, for which we were both advocates, to try and change the world of Organ Donation, so 3 people a day like Jess don’t die needlessly. If you do one thing today... please sign the Organ Donor Register in memory of Jess.

At 9pm Yesterday hundereds of people accross the country raised a glass to Jess, I set off a floating lantern... it looked beautiful floating up in the snowy sky with a message to her.



















Of course my thoughts are with her family and everyone who knew her at this sad time.

“The stars that shine the brightest burn the fastest”.

Rest in peace beautiful lady... you can breathe easy now. Thinking of you every day & Love you always, Holly x

PS – I promise to be less of a kidney person now Jess x

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Jess


I can't bring myself to write about the fun we had... and the plans we had... will leave that to another day when I am more composed. Until then...



Breathe Easy Jess, you really were one in a million and will be sorely missed by everyone who loved you x

Monday, 11 January 2010

Helpless...

Feeling very helpless as Jess is currently in quite a bad way, things aren’t looking good as she has had a major setback. Get updates on how Jess is doing and show her some love on her Facebook group Jessica Wales Rocks My Socks! She needs everyone’s thoughts and prayers right now.... more than ever.


Now Jess... get your arse in gear and show the docs, your family, friends and me... what you are made of! Keep fighting sweetie... Much love always x

Saturday, 2 January 2010

5 years ago...

I'm still feeling in reflective mood seen as its new year... I think I can be forgiven!

It's a whole 5 years since I was diagnosed... how time has flown! I was told on the 3rd January 2005 that I had kidney failure and on the 5th January 2005 I started dialysis... Time stood still for a little while so we could all come to terms with it... I took a break from college and gave up the job I loved (working at my local cinema), my parents gave up work to look after and support me.

So many things were different in my life before that day:
  • I went to college
  • I had a job
  • I didn't drive!
  • My brother wasn't married
  • Abigail didn't exist
  • I hadn't met my University friends!
  • I hadn't heard of Live Life Then Give Life
  • I hadn't heard of Battlefront
  • I hadn't had any contact/experience with the media
  • I had visited number 10 - but only a fake version at Granada Studios!!!
  • I only knew what dialysis was because I had watched Kirsty from Home and Away just start it
  • I only knew what Organ Donation was through signing my driving license
  • Ironically, before I was diagnosed I watched the channel 4 documentary on Emily... who knew that In 5 years time I would be able to call her a friend!
  • I was thinner!
  • I had never had my blood pressure taken
  • I had never spent a night in hospital
  • I had never had blood tests
  • I didn't have any scars
  • What was Twitter?
  • In fact I don't think I even had Facebook - how did I survive!?

In the world things were different....
  • We had a different pope
  • We had a different Prime Minister
  • We hadn't won the 2012 bid for the Olympics yet!
  • The London underground bombs hadn't happened
  • Micheal Jackson was still alive
  • There was no recession

In Januaray 2005 the number of people on the Organ Donor Register reached 12,000,000 today 16,754,593 are on the register as I type this... I hope to be typing (In another 5 years time) that the whole 96% of people who agree with Organ Donation have signed the register as well! (who knows where I will be... maybe a house and man... one thing is for certain I will still be campaigning and I will still have a love of shopping, specifically shoes and handbags!)

On 5th January 2009 I wrote this blog about the day I got my call for transplant! Most of the significant events in my life happened during 2009 as I wrote about them in my last blog...
Other highlights or significant events of the past 5 years... Going on the Transplant waiting list (Aug 2005) meeting my university friends (2006), Andy and Fiona getting married (2007), Starting this blog (well my life on dialysis blog, Jan 2008, my first ever post here), Abigail being born (Sept 2008) and me receiving my transplant (Oct 2008).

Me being diagnosed with Kidney Failure... 5 years ago... has totally changed me as a person (for the better I hope) I became a stronger person, I grew up (a little bit) but my confidence did take a knock. I found reward in getting out there and trying to make a difference, I would never have contemplated doing this before, I was probably too wrapped up in myself (shopping no doubt). Me receiving my transplant and being given a second chance has changed me again... my confidence has been regained, I have met more amazing people, I have done things I thought I would never achieve... such as graduating!

Most importantly I realise what I was taking for granted 5 years ago...

I can walk down the street, go shopping without feeling tired. I can be spontaneous, grab my car keys and go out whenever/wherever I want. I can enjoy time with family and friends, I can eat what I want and drink what I want! I can go to the gym... (although I may complain about it)... I can experience a hangover...and a million other things!

This wouldn't have been possible with out the support of my fabulous family and obviously my donor and their special family that said yes to Organ Donation at their time of grief, I am and will be eternally thankful.

Anyway I hope this blog makes sense... What I am trying to say is I have come full circle, I am enjoying life like I am 17 again (no pun intended regarding the film!) The world has changed and I have changed as a person. Being diagnosed with Kidney failure was pretty crap... spending time on dialysis was even crapper (is this a word?) but I wouldn't change it for the world... it makes me who I am today! :)

Friday, 1 January 2010

New years goals and resolutions...


Happy New Year!

Ok so last year my goals were to...
  • To make the most of my “Gift of Life” and enjoy being free from dialysis
  • To go on holiday (I haven’t been abroad since I started dialysis)
  • To go back to Uni, complete my dissertation and hopefully graduate with my friends
  • To visit Emily T in London and go shopping!
I did all of these to some extent, I definitely enjoyed being free from dialysis and made the most of it. I went on holiday to Devon, first holiday with Andy, Fiona and Abigail. I went back to uni, completed my dissertation and graduated with my friends! I also went to London for the advocate weekend and saw Emily... although we didn't have any time for shopping! :(

Highlights of 2009.... It has been a fantastic year... 2010 has got a lot to live up to! (In no particular order)
  • Donor Day
  • Getting thousands of people to sign the register
  • GMTV, Sky News and Metro Newspaper
  • The airing of my Battlefront programme in May/October
  • The quote of support from Gordon Brown
  • Donor Family Network meet up
  • Dissertation!
  • Graduation
  • Vinspired National Award
  • Abseil for Live Life Then Give Life
  • Parties and many nights out
  • Save Jess-tival
  • Making new friends, Catching up with old friends
  • I stayed away from home, in London and Huddersfield
  • Visiting Downing Street - meeting Sarah and Gordon Brown
  • Jess receiving her transplant

This years resolution is to continue making the most of my Gift of Life, making my Donor family proud... also I want to get fit, go to the gym more and lose weight!

Other plans for the year are...
  • To continue to raise awareness about Organ Donation
  • Continue my work with Live Life Then Give Life
  • To go on holiday abroad
  • To get a job
  • To go away with friends for a weekend
  • To go to Ireland for a wedding in April
  • To Organise and pull off Donor Day 2010
  • To see Peter Kay, Jimmy Carr and Derren Brown
  • Go to London for pleasure not work.... to see Em
  • I am coming to see you too Pops... so a trip to Newcastle!
  • MORE SHOPPING!

Thanks for your love and support in 2009, especially to my wonderful parents... I've certainly had an amazing time!


Heres to a healthy and Happy 2010 with an increase in the number of transplants taking place and less people losing their fight because of the lack of Organ Donors. Hoping all my friends get the second chance I have been given...


Please make it your New Years Resolution to sign the Organ Donor Register!