On Saturday, Oli and I joined our advocate Nelly in Uxbridge to walk 5k. Why? Because of the World's Biggest Walk, that's why!
Nelly had organised everything and at midday we set off round her town, decked in bright blue UK Transplant balloons to raise awareness about organ donation. It felt rather strange but great knowing people all over the world were walking at the same time as us and the weather was kind, holding off from raining until we finished.
It was the first time I'd ever met Nelly and her family and I was struck by how tight-knit they were; it reminded me very much of my family, and I know for a fact I would have gone insane without my family's support during the long wait for transplant.
Nelly is of Asian descent, therefore faces a much longer wait due to the critical shortage of Asian donors and the fact that people from that background are three times as likely to need a kidney transplant. Her kidney failure has caused rickets which means she is now wheelchair bound. Yet during the entire day, I didn't once see that girl without a smile on her face.
The walk was fantastic, Nelly's family and friends so lovely and eager to do everything they could to raise as much awareness as possible. Oli filmed the event (with our brand new LLTGL filming equipment - woohoo!) and I tried to look impressive by carrying the boom mic around. It was a fantastic day and I did notice at the end how inspite of a) walking 5k and b) wearing stupid and inappropriate shoes I felt fine at the end. How lucky am I.
Tomorrow, the Oli/Emily filming duo disappear off to Coventry to film a rather incredible couple...they lost their son a few months ago and have agreed to talk to us about why organ donation is so important. I think it will be an incredibly emotional day and I am nervous as I don't want to get too upset and make anything worse for them. They sound like truly amazing people and I am very much looking forward to meeting them.
I shall leave you with a few pics of the Saturday. YAY!
Oli Nelly and myself