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Friday, 2 December 2011

Guest Post..Add a little Sparkle to someones life!!!

Hey lovely ladies, heres a bit of a different post for you today, its written by a very very special friend of mine, doing an amazing campaign..beware this post may contain alot of celebrities, my Abby's known for meeting a few to say the least ;) xx

"Hey, its Sophie's friend Abby here, she has asked me to do a guest blog about the campaign I'm doing. But first of all, I wanted to explain why I'm doing it, and why its so important...

My sister was born with a genetic disease called cystic fibrosis but she managed to have a fairly normal childhood, just taking medication and having the odd spell in hospital. But things changed when she went to University, her health started to deteriorate and she started coming home with different things, a night time oxygen concentrator, a wheelchair, and then daytime oxygen. By the time she finished Uni she was on oxygen 24/7, she had hardly any energy and any small amount of exercise, even something like washing up, would completely knacker her. In 2005 she was listed for a double lung transplant, we kept our phones on us all the time and waited for that call to change everything. She was given a year to live without transplant but a year later, we were still waiting. Her health started to get worse and she began having lung collapses, in the summer of 2006 she had repeated lung collapses in one day. We were rushed up to the hospital in the early hours of the morning and basically told to say goodbye. She got through the day but that night when we went home we were told if there was one more collapse overnight, there was nothing more they could do.
We went home devastated but thankfully, she got through it. She was in the hospital for the whole summer, when she came out I began helping out as a sort of carer. I would go to her house at lunchtime or in my free periods and do little things she didn't have the energy to do, like cooking lunch or getting her medication. Sometimes I'd just sit with her and keep her company. We celebrated Christmas that year but all thinking it was probably our last one together as a family.
But in January, a few days after new year, the call we had been waiting for finally came. I didnt believe it was actually happening until she came out of surgery. We had a long and difficult recovery, but when she came out she started to get better and better. I wanted her to have the transplant so that she'd survive, but I could never have imagined how well she would be. In November that year she got married, an incredible and emotional day for us all. Since then she's worked as a music teacher, become an aunty and a godmother, won awards for the charity she set up whilst waiting, and achieved so many other things. 
em on her wedding day!!
Ems charity

My friend Hope applied this year to run a campaign for the Channel 4 show Battlefront which features young campaigners trying to make a difference and change the world. Her brother had a small bowel transplant when he was 4 and we have known each others stories for a while, having met through the transplant community. She applied to do a campaign to raise awareness of organ donation, she asked me to help out and we've ended up running the campaign together.

with mentor Alexander Burke
It's been a very busy six months and quite difficult at times, its been very emotional for both of us as its such a personal issue, if our siblings' donors and families hadn't made the choice they did, we wouldn't have our siblings here today. So every person we get signed up really matters to us, because we've seen how it saves lives and transforms them. We teamed up with Alexandra Burke who agreed to be our celebrity mentor. Alexandra's mum is waiting for a kidney so this is such an important issue for her. She is in the position our families were in a few years ago, waiting for that call which could change everything.

We've been to festivals, met and gained the support of celebrities like Gok Wan, the Made In Chelsea/TOWIE/Hollyoaks/Skins casts, Tinchy Strider, Scouting For Girls, Chipmunk, the Young Knives, Shayne Ward, Nicola Roberts and of course, Alexandra who has been amazingly supportive and even gave us a shout out on stage at the Norfolk Spectacular.
We are still waiting for the grand total but we know we've signed over 1000 people up to the organ donor register directly through our campaign. We hosted an event in Covent Garden where transplant recipients shared their stories, Alexandra sang and we broke a world record for most sign ups to the organ donor register in an hour. We've also met the minister for health and have another meeting booked with her, and the minister for electoral reform who we pitched an idea to, to put the option to be a donor on the new electoral registration forms. It has been an incredible six months, Battlefront ends soon but we are going to continue the campaign and have lots of plans for the future. At the moment, 3 people die every day waiting for organs. But it doesn't have to be that way and we want to change it. If this post has affected you, there are a few things you can do to support us….

1. Watch the show!! 8.50am on channel 4 (or 9.50 on plus one for those who like a lie in ;-) )

2. Like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter- 
3. Most importantly, sign the organ donor register, if you do it through this link- and in the 'where you heard about us' please select Battlefront
Please, please consider signing up, its the reason I still have my sister here today and Hope still has her brother. Also, it can happen to anyone, it could be you or a family member of yours that needs one next and trust me, if it was, you'd want to do anything to make it happen.
Thanks for reading =)"

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  1. What a lovely post!
    I signed the organ donor register a few months ago after always meaning to for ages. Most people who know or I have mentioned it to greet it with either 'why would you do that?' or 'oh that's great, I keep meaning to'. It seems to be underestimated how easy it is to sign up... It's great people are raising more awareness :)

  2. :D..when iv'e been helping abby get people sign up theres been such a range of responses..thing is one person can save nearly 11 proud of my abby :) xx