For I am grateful

My kidney is 12 today,

Only 12 years in me.

It belonged to someone else

Older than me.

 

I am ever so grateful,

For I feel someone thought of me.

When signing a form

To guarantee,

That someone should live

When they should die.

I will ever be grateful,

As their memory will never die.

 

A faceless face.

A nameless name.

Someone alone,

Someone loved.

Someone who is anonymous,

But will always be known.

 

For the legacy they leave behind,

A gift, specific for me.

To let my life continue,

As normal as it can be.

 

With medication,

Day and night

Night and day.

Appointments

Needles and blood tests.

Results upon results,

A check-up is needed

To keep me on my toes,

To keep me healthy.

 

But all of that is a small price

To be here and alive.

To be normal and free to roam.

I am grateful not to be stuck

To a dialysis machine.

For there are many that are.

Waiting for months,

Waiting for years.

To know the truth of freedom

To see the world.

 

For I will always remember,

The reason to why I roam free.

For someone died and

They saved me.

For today is an anniversary

That is rather bittersweet.

 

For the strands of life and death

Are connected, entwined,

Interwoven forever they will be.

The legacy I will leave behind is the same

That was given to me.

So please remember and think about it please.

That the decision you give,

Should impact a life

However small it will be.

To save a life.

To love a stranger

Who I will never meet.

 

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Proposed opt-out donation system

In Manchester, England the Conservative party held a party conference. Within that it was announced that the government want to implement a change in the organ donation system to change it to an opt-in (current system) to opt-out. For myself when I read this change to the system I was indeed very happy to hear it.

The one thing that I have found disparaging is the reaction from people who have never gone through needing an organ transplant or have a loved one who needs one. The comments that I have seen on social media have been disgusting comparing it to a body snatchers scenario, which will be very far from what it will be! Reactions of saying that the government is owning your body after you die is simply not true. You make a decision on whether you want to be part or not. Similar to the system now but the opposite way round.

Did you know? Wales have been in the opt-out system since 2015. 

So it is not a new idea, in fact there are many countries globally that have an opt-out system. Looking at the differences between the two systems was a project I undertook in college for a dissertation.

Also for those who are worried about the state-owned body, there are many levels to an opt-out system and of course there will be many consultations on the matter, I am sure many of you will have an opinion or two to share about organ donation.

Did you know? Many European countries have an explicit opt-out system already. Check out this list:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • France
  • Italy
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Sweden

There are countries that have a tacit condition to organ donation. I was not sure of the word myself so I had to look up the meaning. It is as follows tacit means understood or implied without being stated. There are many European countries that have this.

But there are three countries that opt-in. The UK is one (exempt Wales), Denmark and Germany.

For myself I am in favour of a change in the system, but still giving people a choice. I know there are many people out there who keep saying they want to be an organ donor, but forget to sign up. It will save many lives as waiting for something that may or may not come is terrible. Plus it could give many people hope that might not have been there before.

As I say I am in favour of an improved system. A system that could improve the lives of so many. But before decided whether you want to opt-in or opt-out please research it properly before making a decision.

There are many charities happy with this decision as they know it will benefit and impact someone’s life with a decision of want you want to choose. In or out.

In the meantime tell your loved ones your choice and spread the kindness!

 

 

 

Challenge yourself with small changes

Currently I do not have a job, not for lack of wanting but more of struggling for the opportunity. So because of this I decided that I needed to do something to keep me active. An opportunity came in the way of becoming a volunteer.

The only time I have ever volunteered was for open days for a few hours and nothing more serious than that, so for myself to do this was a big step as I have had confidence issues and self-doubt of where I wanted to be and if I was on the right path. When a general message went out to see if anyone wanted to volunteer I took the plunge. I am glad I did. That was back in March of this year. Since then I went to two workshops to get to grips with what the volunteering would entail, got to know some fabulous people. Gone to many meetings and helped to create posters, events and taken many a minute of a meeting.

From my volunteering I have noticed a big difference in myself. I have grown in confidence and feel like I have got back to an older, but more improved version of myself. I have gotten my creative bug again which seemed to disappear. What I love is that I am growing as a person. I am not just helping myself, but also the community I am within. In helping myself I can enable myself to help others a lot better, for that I am grateful.

For me it was becoming a volunteer that has helped me. But for you it might be something else. Whatever it may be, do it. Take the plunge and just do it. You never know what may come of it and how helping yourself first will also help others in the long run. Maybe you have always wanted to blog/vlog and was never sure to what to say or write, just do it!

If you are not happy, make a change no matter how big or small, it is a change. It always starts with a baby step and in a few weeks, months or years time you might start running for miles and not stop to you end up to where YOU want to be! That is what counts your own happiness.

Inspiration comes from anywhere

Currently I am on holiday, but there is always inspiration for a writer.

I find on holiday you will come across people you will never meet in everyday life. People from other places, languages, cultures and customs.

I find as a writer being in a different environment helps the mind to not go stale or in essence suffer writers block. Which I have had often before this break.

Even the activities are diverse from home. You seek adventure more. You find passions anew or rejuvenate old ones.

For me it has been an eye opener to freshen the mind and once again have a crystal clear clarity!

Transplant anniversary

Today is my 11th anniversary since I had a kidney transplant.

The reason for the post is because it is something that inspires me everyday because it is something I have to live with everyday.

I was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2004 at the age of 12. I then went onto dialysis at home for six days a week, nine hours a night. I had this for 13 months until I got the phone call on the 7th November. On the 9th November I went down to surgery to have the transplant. I was very nervous, excited and scared at the new life I would have of not being ill and making a road to recovery.

That was 11 years ago. Since then I finished school, went to college and graduated university in 2013. For me to keep going and to keep surviving I have to take medication everyday and night for the rest of my life. I have to go to hospital appointments a few times a year as well as for check ups. In all honesty it does get me down but I am so grateful to the donor and their family. As their kindness in making such a tough decision in a difficult time has helped me live my life so far and I will continue to do so. If it was not for their decision I would not have had the transplant and achieved as much as I had without the kind thought.

With that in the kindness of a stranger with a life changing decision, think about it! Are you an organ donor? Has it ever crossed your mind? Yes or no? Either way let your family or friends know if you do and if you do not, but I hope you do register and become an organ donor, no matter where you are in the world.