Twelve days of blogs. On this last day of Christmas, an invitation to a celebration. A huge jump into what for many in the organ transplant world is the highlight of the year, the Westfield Health British Transplant Games. This year they will be held in Nottingham, 1st – 4th August.
If you’re a donor, or you’ve received a transplant, there’s a place for you to participate as a competitor. You don’t have to be a practised athlete, just someone who wants to have a go and give it your best. Any age. Teams are registered through the hospital that carried out your transplant so ask for your hospital’s Team Manager and sign up to come along.
You could also participate as a volunteer, or a sponsor or fundraiser. (More info.)
Or you could just come along anyway. Come and watch, come and support, come and cheer people on. Sign up for the 5k or 3k Donor Run (or Walk!), a colourful and fun adventure for the serious and not so serious, all proud to raise awareness of the incredible world of organ donation and life-transforming transplants. Watch the social media for the Games and pass the word along. Just come and be grateful that it’s all there, miraculously, for all of us if and when we need it.
Or come to say thank you, one more time, for the donors and their families. You’d be joining in with the loudest and longest thank you of the Games…
You may have given your consent to be considered an organ donor yourself. Donating blood, plasma, or bone marrow are also options as life-transforming gifts. And letting your family, your loved ones, know what your wishes are about organ donation is as important as ever. Without their consent it couldn’t happen.
If you’ve already done all that with your family, and you don’t need to make it any plainer, don’t stop there. Start a conversation somewhere else. Have fun with it. Wear a badge. Hang an organ donation air freshener in your car and give someone a lift. Use a lanyard at work that invites the conversation. Carry a rolled up copy of the Organ Donation Times (there isn’t one – you could start it?). Have your head, arms, or whatever tattooed with something that will start the conversation – some people have, seriously. As one friend of ours says in the name of her new Instagram account for organ donation awareness, “Skip the small talk”.
However you do it, wherever you are in any of the blogs these twelve days of Christmas, somebody, somewhere, could already be saying thank you for you. From the deepest place in their hearts and minds. Even if they don’t know you. You may be, or become, a donor. Or you may be the “single word that can make a heart open”, the ripple that becomes the crashing wave of someone else’s gratitude. Live Loudly Donate Proudly…