1 in 3 people will die today whilst waiting for a lung transplant. Introduction to an opt-out system in England is vital for us to develop as a country that is keen to provide people with lifelong conditions an opportunity to have a second chance at life.

As young people we are drawn towards more opportunities to understand organ donation through an emerging generation of bloggers/vloggers who write the details of their transplant journey to their 100s maybe 1000s of followers in the hope of encouraging more discussion into Organ Donation and for more names to emerge onto the register. Emma Jane Kingston was one of those. Back in 2011 I was introduced to her infectious, positive and intelligent personality through both of her Tumblr blog and her YouTube videos. It was clear Emma engaged with her audience on a level like nobody else, she was like any other teenage girl talking about boys, friendships and things which she enjoyed, but little did I know Emma suffered from Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease caused by a faulty gene. This gene controls movement of salt and water in and out of your cells, meaning the lungs and digestive system becoming clogged with mucus. This makes breathing and digesting food very difficult, something in life we often take for granted and don’t realise how much of a necessity it is. A lung transplant is often the only option for somebody with Cystic Fibrosis to sustain a better quality of life. Emma was somebody who made it comfortable and relaxed to discuss the importance of organ donation and it’s why I am so passionate in talking more about it.

Organ Donation is the most selfless acts any individual can perform in their lifetime and by obtaining an Organ Donor card you are able to save the lives of 8 people and change the lives of many more through the agreement to becoming an organ donor. I often wonder why not enough people are signed up as organ donors in recent days with so many positive stories of transplantation emerging through the media. We are surrounded by human beings in the street that may not aesthetically look physically unwell but are in dire need of a transplant to save their life. Wherever we go when our lives come to an end we won’t need our organs, often of which are healthy and needed so desperately by somebody else in the UK. Since signing up to the register when I was around 17/18 it has only played on my mind because I am so driven in raising the profile and awareness of the topic for young people. 

As part of National Transplant Week this week organised by the National Health Service I am formulating together a week long feature of interviews and discussions into Organ Donation, talking to a range of individuals who have had transplants or are on the waiting list and professionals engaged in promoting the awareness of Organ Donation. By achieving this I hope it will encourage young people to have open discussions about organ donation and hopefully encourage more names to emerge onto the register. I really hope you'll join me in raising the profile.

Just recently I got talking to Katie Gammon, I knew of her story and her blog for the last couple of years following her story as she underwent a double lung transplant at the tender age of 15. Katie was determined and really raised the profile of organ donation whilst battling rejection of her lung transplant. I was really looking forward to having Katie be a part of this week after all the work she has done previously with becoming an advocate for Live Life Give Life. Sadly just days after her 17th birthday Katie passed away, I'm speechless with what to say right now and don't think I will ever find the words. Katie was just a naturally approachable, positive and 'normal' teenager who wanted to live her life to it's fullest and I'm gutted another light has gone out. I am assured and positive her legacy and fight will continue through the people she met and lives she touched in her short life. Today marks the day she'll be put to rest surrounded by the people's hearts she touched the most, I urge you'll all spare a thought for her family and friends today. This first post and entire week is just as much a tribute to her as it is to Emma and every other young person who has died before receiving a life saving transplant.

so let's do this,
remember to sign up to be a organ donor you can go online and it'll take you 2 Minutes to complete.

thanks for reading,