Sunday, July 08, 2007

Question: what happens when you get a group of people together who have been affected by transplantation or organ donation in some way?

Answer: This.


Yesterday at hideous-o-clock in the morning, we headed down to Birmingham to make the world’s biggest loveheart. Actually we are unsure as to whether this is officially the world’s biggest loveheart, but it did weigh in at a massive 70kg so we are fairly positive about this fact.

The day itself was absolutely fantastic. Being quiet and understated as always, we clearly wanted to attract as much attention as possible so decided to invite along a fire engine to grab people’s attention (just in case a metre wide loveheart wasn’t going to do the trick. The lovely guys at Blue Watch from Ladywood Fire Station in Birmingham happily obliged and stayed all day keeping both kids and over excited ladies amused. We also had 2 face painters from Sparkles face painting doing people’s faces for free, which I got completely over excited about and had some sparkly pink hearts adorning my face for the rest of the day. Of course amongst all the fun we had buckets full of information about organ donation and transplant, as all of us who had been touched by the issue and were happy to chat to people about it.

I love what I do so much, I get to meet the most incredible and inspirational people. One of our team members donated a kidney to her brother a couple of months ago, and I learned so much from her story. Another lady sadly lost her brother last summer, and her and her family decided to donate his organs. Listening to the other side of the fence is just so awe-inspiring; she is fantastically brave and wants to help us further in the future. We also had a kidney recipient, a lady awaiting a kidney, myself, and Oli who needs double lungs, as well as a scattering of people who were just kind enough to come along and help us out.

The loveheart itself was highly amusing to create and took a good few hours but it looked so fantastic we were all absolutely thrilled, as well as rather sticky from the icing, and somewhat shattered. As we sat in Starbucks drinking some much needed coffee after the clear-up, I thought about Oli and Robyn, both who I have chatted to this week, and both who are so very ill now. They desperately need this transplant; I can’t see much difference between their status’…statistically only one will get it in time. Discussing this with Emma bought tears to both our eyes – Oli and Robyn are such fantastic people, both deserve this opportunity, and we want them to get it so so much. I know I have said this already but PLEASE if you can do anything at all to help raise awareness this week, please do it. The hard cruel fact is without an increase in transplants soon we are going to lose one or both of these friends.

I have created an email which I am forwarding out to everyone I know, it is rather long and waffley but if you think copying and forwarding it on to your contacts might help, please feel free to do so:

Did you know that this Saturday (7th July) marks the beginning of National Transplant Week, run by the charity Transplants in Mind?

Here at Live Life Then Give Life, we are begging everyone to take the opportunity in the coming week to think and talk about the subject of organ donation. Be brave, broach the subject with friends or family, National Transplant Week is there for a reason, to raise awareness and save lives.


Want to help raise awareness but don't know how to start? Here are some ideas....
• Did you know you can sign up to the organ donor register online?
http://www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/how_to_become_a_donor/registration/consent.jsp
Dont forget to tell your next of kin as they may try to override your consent.
• Tell 10. Forward this email on to 10 of your contacts, who knows how many of them might have been meaning to register for years, and this just spurs them on...
• UK Transplant offers a variety of awareness raising materials, absolutely FREE. For more info visit the following link: http://www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/campaigns/get_involved/promo_toolkit/promo_catalogue.jsp?id=5
• Ask your workplace if you can leave donorcards (see above kit) in the foyer.
• UK Transplant provides rolls of stickers. Get them to send you some (Free of charge) and every time you post a letter, stick one on...hey presto! A free, mobile, awareness raising advert!
• Pay a visit to your local chemist or GP surgery armed with posters from your free UK Transplant kit and ask them to display some.
• Check out http://www.transplantsinmind.org.uk/3/365/ for more details on National Transplant Week and how you can help.
• Take a look at our website (http://www.livelifethengivelife.co.uk) and copy and paste one of the real life stories into a bulletin to send to all your friends urging them to consider signing the organ donor register.
• And of course, there is always our T-shirts, available at http://www.livelifethengivelife.co.uk/buy.php all proceeds of which go to Transplants in Mind.


My life was saved by a stranger, perhaps someone who took or was inspired by one of these simple steps listed above. By helping us raise awareness, who knows whose life you might save....

Thank you.



I am going to leave you with a nice cheery slideshow of the day in Birmingham. We had such a fantastic time, as someone wise once said “it’s only work if you aren’t enjoying what you do”.

14 comments:

MoO said...

God Emily if I had realised earlier I would have joined you!! I live a half hour drive away from Birmingham and am really miffed!

You all look like you had a wonderful time, and I have already ordered lots of leaflets, stickers and posters from the link on your blog!

Looking really well, lots of love from MoO and Grace xxxx

Anonymous said...

Emily, you are on the BBC News website today - your picture is on the front page

Emmie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emmie said...

I love the slideshow, we must put that one the main website! Was so much fun, though am feeling mighty tender today LOL. Such wonderful people and wonderful memories xxxx

P.S: I think you may find you went up to Birmingham from London rather than down ;o) Love you! xxx

Anonymous said...

Good to see you today. The little children were wonderful. I hope 'The Dress' is everything you dreamed it would be.
LOL
C's m-in-law

Jac said...

So glad the Love Heart Challenge was a big success!! Goodness knows what you will be getting up to next...

Higs,
Jac xx

Jayne said...

I was only able to read your post once my heart rate had returned to normal. My speakers were for some reason on full blast. When I clicked on to your blog I was greeted with music so loud, that the windows tried to pop out and I nearly had an accident of the unpleasant variety.

Anyway, the Love Heart looked very good, glad you had a good day promoting the cause.

xx

swissfriends said...

what a fun day was had by all - sticky icing notwithstanding. Good for you.

Oli and Robyn well in our thoughts; don't consider the statistics, just consider they MUST get the transplant, no question.......What difficult times for all of you; worrying and sad news mingled with good news. Keep up the fight and the wonderfully good work.

all love,
Janet

Katie H said...

It was so great to see you looking so well on R&J last night - you were fantastic.

I'm wearing my I'd Give You One t-shirt to work today in the hope of getting people talking about organ donation - hopefully we'll have a few more people registered before the end of the day!

Katie x

holly cocker said...

awesome work emily!! just one question...who ate the love heart afterwards?! xx

Kat said...

Yey! Saw you on Richard and Judy last night, looking very well and smiley! Then I had a text today from a friend at uni who told me she'd just recognised you on the news!
Love always xxx

Michele Corston said...

Hi Emily,

Saw you on r&j last night looking fantastic. Someone at work was wearing a tshirt today spreading the word which as got me in the mood to purchase a tshirt.

Good luck for the future and your wedding.
Best wishes
Michele.

Lizzie said...

i'm not convinced i wouldn't have had a little taste of it anyway, despite the kneading by numerous hands and proximity to the ground. My sugar addiction is getting a bit ridiculous!
well done everyone, fantastic work involved! :-)
xxxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Em,

Thanks for all the hard work you've been doing this week! The love heart looks fantastic!!!
Just wanted to ask if you've been getting my emails? I've sent you a couple but not heard back, i know you've been INSANELY busy which is probably why but wanted to make sure they'd reached you.
All my love keep well
Tor xxx