Saturday, April 11, 2009

donor day

Oli and I set out bright and early to Spittlefields Market where we set up our stall and attempted to lay out the leaflets in an artistic and eye catching fashion. By handing out the 'tea bag' flyers we seemed to grab people's attention and one by one people started to come over and sign up there and then.

It was facinating meeting all the different people who came over to our desk - some who had been meaning to sign up and had never got round to it, some who hadn't given it a second thought until seeing our desk and some who were unsure and wanted to ask questions about the whole process. I also chatted to a girl about my age who told me a good friend of hers had died last week and had donated his organs and saved a total of 6 people. She said it made his sudden death not feel like a complete waste and the fact that 6 people were now going to live gave her and his family and friends comfort. "At least something positive has come out it" she said.

At around lunchtime Holly S arrived along with her entourage from Channel 4. They filmed our desk for a while and then went to a nearby office who were also holding their own Donor Desk.

At around 4.30pm when we had signed up over 50 people there and then, we packed up and made our way over to the Donor Day drinks which was held at a private member's club in central London. It was an absolutely amazing night - I met so many wonderful people including the lovely Sarah Milne who's little boy William's life was saved by a small bowel transplant last year, Oli Barrett (Holly's mentor), Emily and Holly's families, Oli Lewington (a double lung transplant receipant) and many more who I will stay in touch with.

Holly stood up and tearfully did a inspiring speech where she thanked everyone for their hard work and also her donor and their family for changing her life.

To top the amazing day off Holly then received a phone call from the PM's health secretary who informed her that the PM had not only given her a quote of support but he'd like her to pop round for a cup of tea too! To think that the campaign had started with an idea by Holly a few months ago and now the PM was showing his support and wanted to meet her was incredible! Such an incredible end to the night. Click here to see the article.

As Holly and her mentor both said in their speeches that they want to keep going with the Gift of Life appeal. So stay tuned, it looks like this isn't the end, it's only just the beginning...

left to right - Oli, me, Emily, Maribel and Freya

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