About Live Loudly Donate Proudly: Aims and Goals
Live Loudly Donate Proudly has three main aims;
Education: We are aiming to have Organ Donation on the national school curriculum. So we can teach young people, in an age appropriate way, the benefits and amazing life saving gift that Organ Donation is. By teaching people before their minds are filled with doubts and misinformation, we can make Organ Donation the norm instead of the exception.
Communication: Live Loudly Donate Proudly begun on Facebook, and we truly believe in the power of social media, when it’s used for good. By communicating with people all across the world, Organ Donation can become an international issue. By doing this, we are showing that Organ Donation doesn’t have to be a cultural or religious issue, and there is no reason not to be an organ donor!
Conversation: ‘Open Conversations about Organ Donation’, this is our mission. To create a safe space, where people feel comfortable to discuss uncomfortable issues. Where there is openness to talk about death, dying and illness, and that this will, in turn, lead to discussions about Organ Donation. When people know what their loved one’s opinions and wishes are regarding Organ Donation, it reduces a lot of the stress at an already stressful time. We can make this an ordinary conversation, that leads to an extraordinary gift!
About: The Name & The Logo:
The Name; Live Loudly Donate Proudly, came from two ideas. The first was to be loud about your wishes for after your death. We want people to feel able to share their opinion about donating their organs after death, so that the conversation becomes easier.
The second idea – yep you guessed it – was to be proud about being an Organ Donor. To be able to literally save someone else’s life, is such an incredible gift to give, that we should all be so proud of our ability to do it! The two ideas work in tandem, the louder we are about organ donation, the prouder we can become of signing up, or talking to our family and friends about our decision.
The Logo for the campaign came about from a few different ideas, and an artist from Rathlin, Anne Henderson, putting those ideas into an image. There is something that seems so natural, to me at least, about Organ Donation, so we really wanted the logo to include something from nature; hence the leaf pattern. The three leaves being so connected came from the idea that the donor is really what life springs from. They connect the transplant recipient and their family with the donor family so strongly, that we wanted to portray that connection. Finally, the circle that encompasses it, symbolises the circle of life, and how intertwined we all are with one another. Coming back to nature for the colours, was really because of the beauty and wonder of life that nature highlights, and how that represents the beauty and wonder that a donor can bring, through saving lives.
About: Our Founder
My name is Lucia Quinney Mee. I am currently 17 years old, and I have been in and out of hospital for over half of my life now, since I was eight years old. I started this campaign, because I felt so strongly that more needed to be done about raising awareness of organ donation, that if I could help just a little, then it was worth it. There will be a blog post with my whole story, however I will tell you the shortened version now.
So, I was eight years old when I became extremely ill very suddenly, and was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where I would undergo my first liver transplant. I was incredibly lucky, as at the top of the Super Urgent Transplant Waiting List, a suitable donor was found within a matter of hours. Even at this young age, I remember my amazing doctors sitting down with me to explain what a transplant was and what would happen to me. I remember being amazed that someone else dying, could save my life. After the recovery process, myself and my family wrote a letter to the Donor Family, to try to express our gratitude. Due to confidentiality reasons, we don’t actually know if they wanted to read it but it’s good to know that they could have.
For a year after my transplant, I dealt with many complications, and was in and out of hospital for a lot of that year. It became clear that I would need to be re-listed for a second liver transplant. Again, I was very lucky, and only waited two months for my second liver. This one lasted longer, six years and seven months to be exact. It enabled me to compete in the British and World Transplant Games, to carry the Olympic Torch and to do my bit in raising the profile of Organ Donation. That liver took me to Spain, Florida, Sweden, it gave me the most wonderful experiences, and I met some really amazing people along the way.
But it was always a little troublesome, and the longest I was ever out of hospital was ten months, and that was only once, in general I was in every few months, sometimes twice in one month. This had become part of life, and was very normal to me. However, January of 2015 came around, and a few days after celebrating my 6th anniversary of my second transplant, I was taken into intensive care in Belfast, with a very serious kidney infection, which then turned to sepsis. The liver was put under great stress, and never recovered. In May of that year I was re-listed for my third liver transplant.
This was where the idea for the campaign came in. I thought that if I wasn’t going to be at school or doing any other activities, I really needed something to do. So I just started writing my ideas down one day whilst in Birmingham Children’s Hospital – I had paper blue tacked to my windows and wall where I would make notes and draw mind maps. This then turned into a campaign plan, and from there, we got a group together to start the ball rolling.
At this point, I was beginning to get very, very ill. The first week in September I was brought over to Birmingham to be kept on eye on, as I was too ill to be at home really. Before I left, myself and my wonderful friends, filmed the first video for the Facebook page, and the page went live in the following days. This coincided with National Transplant Week. Then on the Wednesday of that week, 9th September 2015, a donor was found for me – and I went down for surgery, to receive my third transplant.
The recovery process (again a separate blog post) was tough. But the news about the campaign always made me smile, and gave me somewhat of a focus whilst trying to get my strength back. Since then, the campaign has been going from strength to strength, and the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook page are all doing pretty good. I hope that this website, and the work that surrounds it, will help many more people to have open conversations about Organ Donation. This whole subject is one of immense importance and can be one of the greatest gifts you could give to another person – life. Let’s be the change we want to see. Let’s do what we can to help each other. Let’s Live Loudly – and Donate Proudly!
See ya soon,