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?
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....
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”.