Monday, 30 November 2009

Volunteers needed for Round the World Race

The Clipper Round the World Race will leave the UK in September 2011 and travel 40,000 miles visiting 13 countries and involves 10 identical stripped down 68 foot racing yachts. As there is great media interest in this race, the British Transplantation Society are keen to use this unique opportunity to promote organ donation and transplantation on a global stage as well as in the UK.

Professor Steve Wigmore is putting together a team to act as ‘Transplant Ambassadors’ in a relay on each leg of the Clipper 2011-2012 Round The World Yacht Race. Sailing experience is not essential as training is provided and the boats are skippered by professional yachtsmen. What is essential is enthusiasm and reasonable health.

The BTS are looking for volunteers in the following areas:
  • Crew members
  • Organization, logistics,
  • Web design, media
  • Fundraising.

They are especially keen to hear from transplant recipients or living donors who are in good health to man the boat!

Interested? Contact Steve Wigmore ( ) before December 18th 2009

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Gifts of Life

Huge well done to Holly Cocker, a photographer from London, whose photographs grace the cover of this month's Kidney Life magazine, a quarterly publication from the National Kidney Federation. In 2006 the NKF published the Transplant Manifesto, which spurred on the creation of the Organ Donation Task Force to make a number of recommendations to increase the number of organs available for transplantation.

Holly was given a transplant from her best friend Oli last year, and created the Give and Let Live project to highlight the special bond that exists between living organ donors and their recipients. Together with Sarah Milne, a freelance writer and photographer whose son Will had a small bowel transplant also last year, they have created the "Gifts of Life" project.

Holly and Sarah will be working with LLTGL in 2010 on various projects to showcase their photography and raise awareness of both living and cadaveric donation. We are all super excited to be working with them both, so watch this space for news and info about upcoming projects!

ps. Our eagle-eyed supporters will also notice Andy (a.k.a. saxophonist with Big Buzzard and the Organ Grinders, who produced a charity single for us in 2007) along with his awesome donor Maff! You can read more about Andy and Maff on their website Have One of Mine, where you can also still buy our single!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

**Breaking News** Holly Won!!!

Holly Shaw, our super duper North West advocate, just won the national vinspired SHOUT award 2009 for all of her work raising awareness of organ donation!

Congrats Holly! More news and a full update coming soon!


New correspondance address

We love recieving mail! If you fancy sending us a card, a letter about your experiences, a donation or just something to say hi the old fashioned way, please use this address:

Live Life Then Give Life
PO Box 583

Lots of love,

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

We love our lovely Tor

Although we talk a lot about the sterling work that our official advocates do for us in promoting organ donation, raising money and generally being superstars, we also have a network of volunteers that sort out our websites, do research about organ donation, help us out with PR work and generally keep things ticking over

Our lovely Victoria Tremlett, who is one of our featured life-stories, does huge amounts for us even though she is currently struggling as she waits for a double-lung transplant. In particular, she keeps us on our toes and generally helps us organize some of the teeny-tiny bits and bobs that come with running a charity. She is also something of a media star, having appeared on BBC Breakfast news just before the Save Jess-tival to talk about organ donation (and managed to squeeze a heck of a lot into a small amount of time!).

This week, Tor was featured in The Saturday Guardian's 'Experience' section. An emotional, moving account of Tor's life as a cystic fibrosis patient, life on the transplant waiting list and her fears of not seeing Christmas, this article brought us to tears with the powerful message about why we will always continue to fight for organ donation

You can read more about Tor over on her blog, which chronicles her wait for a life-saving lung transplant. Please do pop over and say hello and give her a big hug from us

Monday, 16 November 2009

Holly, of Channel 4's Battlefront fame, just emailed us last week with details of a very interesting bit of help she received from the founder of Bebo, Michael Birch!

Holly met Micheal through her mentor, Oli Barrett, during the filming for Battlefront down in London and after emailing him about the Save Jess campaign, he emailed back with details of a viral website to use on facebook and other social networking sites.

The site, was set up to help people spread the word, so head on over!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Abseil for Life

(Photo credit: AJS Photography)

Last week, our lovely North-West advocate Holly Shaw put an impressive 38-strong team together to complete her abseil challenge down the 100ft
Leasehowe Lighthouse on the Wirral. Abseilers included our Welsh advocate Andrea Evans and the always wonderfully enthusiastic Team Ethan!

None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for Holly’s donor and the fact that their family said yes to Organ Donation. Holly says: “I wanted to do a physical challenge to show what a difference this transplant has made to my life....I will be eternally grateful to the donor and their family for giving me this chance at a new life I intend to make the most of my precious “Gift of Life” and I am keen to continue raising as much awareness as I possibly can.”

So far, Holly and her amazing team have raised over £3,500 for us!! There's still time to sponsor her, by popping over to her JustGiving page at

Thanks to all of the brave Abseil for Life team for facing this daunting challenge on our behalf!!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

An afternoon at Imperial College

Left-Right: Emily, Dr. Anthony Gordon and Pauline

This wednesday afternoon we were lucky enough to find ourselves at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust Clinical Ethics Committee Open Day. LLTGL chair Emily and treasurer Mandy, together with the fantastic Pauline (from our friends the Donor Family network) were invited to present to the committee at a special session on the ethics of organ donation. These kinds of opportunities are really vital to us as a charity, for it is a chance for us to get our message across to the people at the top who can address some of the structural issues surrounding organ donation.

Following presentations from Dr. Anthony Gordon, the Trust's Organ Donor Champion, transplant surgeon Mr. Vassiolos Papalois and the Trust's living donor co-ordinators, it was our turn to work some LLTGL magic with personal stories surrounding transplantation and organ donation.

Mandy started off by showing the LLTGL slide show, which tells of the most powerful aspect of organ donation: those lives that have been transformed by organ donation, those lost and the fear of those still waiting. Pauline then gave a very touching presentation about the donor family perspective. Although she made the point that Donor Families don’t want to be treated as heroes, Emily made the point for, I feel sure, all of those of us who have been lucky enough to have received an organ, that to her (and us) they are heroes because they really have changed our lives.

Emily then gave a wonderful presentation about the reality of life on the transplant waiting list, and the contrast with her life now and, as is her usual style, there was scarcely a dry eye in the house!

Most importantly the feedback from both the clinical staff present and ‘lay’ people reminded us just how powerful it is to hear firsthand experiences of organ donation. Thanks to all of our supporters who share with us their stories, for every single one helps us reinforce why organ donation matters so much.


Friday, 13 November 2009

An encounter with Phil Jupitus!

How exciting is this!?!? One of our supporters, Pete Franklin, was on twitter when Phil Jupitus tweeted:

"Time 4 the 'cap & cake' challenge. Am now in Stop The World cafe in Leigh and will buy coffee & cake for first 2 people to come up to me"

Despite being tied up, 15 minutes later feeling he had nothing to lose and eager to do something for himself and for us, he grabbed some marker pens, a camera and a SaveJess Tshirt. Amazingly, Phil was still there!

Phil bought Pete a double espresso and they sat down for a nice chat. Phil told Pete all about the comedy work he'd been doing and Pete, bless him, told him all about us and the Save Jess campaign! Phil kindly offered his help, including signing a SJ T-shirt.

Pete's encounter has really made his, and our, day!!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

I Hope You Know

Exactly a year ago, Sarah Springett, lead singer of The Floe, gave her boyfriend Paul the once-in-a-lifetime gift of a kidney. In honour of the first anniversary of Paul's transplant, The Floe have launched a campaign to raise awareness of organ donation with the release of their first single, "I Hope You Know"

All proceeds from the single will be donated to The Transplant Trust and all people who buy or download the single will be encouraged to sign the organ donor register. We think this a fantastic way to mark Paul's transplant anniversary, so please forward this on to everyone you know!

To hear Sarah talking about why the single is so important, as well as to listen to some snippets of the song you can check out this video from The Floe:

To read more about the band and find out where they're playing next, you can visit them at their website,

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

LLTGL on the Secret Millionaire!

Finally, we've managed to acquire a clip of our Welsh advocate Andrea Evan's star turn on a Vodafone Ad in between The Secret Millionaire! You can spot her 5 clips in!

Andy, who does a lot of work for St John's Ambulance, received an email asking her to go along to Cardiff Bay to promote the first aid charity. As one of her colleagues had already done a segment asking people to donate themselves to St John's Andy jumped at the chance to mention us! Although she was nervous about how she was going to get onto the giant box, after plenty of giggles she climbed up and said why she would (and does!) donate herself to us!

Andy says: "The filming was pretty fun, however I had to repeat myself- and each time I did it slightly differently, which meant that it took longer to film. Thankfully the sun was shining and it was a lovely day!"

Well done Andy, and huge thanks for all you do for LLTGL!!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Raise money for us with eBay!

What a difference a click makes! You can now raise funds for Live Life then Give Life by selling your stuff through eBay!!

The best part about this is that everyone wins!

  • We get between 10-100% of your final selling price. If you select Gift Aid, the taxman will add 28% to your donation!
  • Your listing stands out from the crowd with a charity ribbon. You can also find new buyers, increase your customer loyalty and watch your bids and sales grow
  • Best of all, eBay will credit back your basic insertion and final value fees, equal to the percentage you donate
This is a quick and easy way to raise funds for us - here's how it works, the 1-2-3 of selling for Live Life then Give Life:

Once you’re ready to sell your item, go to the Sell hub and select ‘Advanced Sell’.

As you’re filling out the details, look out for the charity box just below where you set your price. Select Live Life then Give Life (id 33095) to support and the percentage (10%-100%) of your final selling price that you'd like to donate. The minimum donation is only £1 per listing.

A week after your item sells, MissionFish (eBay's charity partner) will automatically collect the donation from you. You can also manage your donations through the 'My Donations' section of My eBay, under the My Account tab. Any fee credits will appear on your next invoice.

We currently don't have anyone selling for us, why don't you be the first?

Huge thanks to our lovely advocate Louise Lawrence for spurring on to get this sorted!

Friday, 6 November 2009

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...

...and with two people.

Emily here, writing a slightly different LLTGL blog, because we are coming to the end of an era. Well, hopefully only temporarily!
Our fabulous Emma is going off on Maternity leave, which means she is stepping down from the LLTGL Trustee Board for the time being.

It is impossible to put into words the contribution Emma has made to LLTGL up to this point, suffice to say that without her, it wouldn't exist. When we dreamt up the idea of "a little T-shirt campaign" back in 2005 I don't think we ever dreamed we would become a fully fledged, highly successful and rapidly growing Charity!

Emma has invested her heart and soul into LLTGL since its conception, and we will all miss her hugely. She has of course, reminded us that she won't be far away and will hopefully be back once her new arrival is here and the family is fully settled.

Em, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for everything that you have done so far, for all your hard work and dedication, and from me personally, for your love and support throughout the darkest times.

We wish you all the luck in the world and look forward to having you back - don't think you get away that easily!

We will keep our supporters updated with baby news! Please feel free to take the opportunity to leave messages of thanks and good luck for Emma here.
Best of luck Em - we love you!
Emily and all of us at LLTGL xx

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Celebrating a 10th heart/lung transplant anniversary

We always love to hear stories about people who are doing so well after transplant, and especially so when that is a heart/lung transplant!

The lovely Jacqui Mansell, who has always been an incredible supporter of ours, received her transplant 10 years ago and chose to celebrate it with staff at the Frimley Park Hospital’s Knight Centre, who cared for her both before and after her transplant.

Jacqui, aged 62 from Woking, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis in her late 40s, and listed for a transplant in 1998. She received a heart/lung transplant in September 1999 and her own heart was passed on to another person who could benefit.

Jacqui says: “I can’t tell you how nice it is being able to do things like going to the theatre and restaurants without ducking out because I had a coughing fit. I love bird watching but before the operation I couldn’t even go and enjoy the dawn chorus because my coughing spooked them! ....Now I love walking, gardening and going to the gym but mostly it’s just so special to have a normal life.”

Congratulations Jacqui!

Monday, 2 November 2009

And what a night it was!

After merely 2 weeks of frantic planning and preparations, Save Jess-tival took place on Friday 16th October and was a truly fantastic night.

First and foremost, we would like to thank all those wonderful volunteers who worked so hard up to and on the day to make Save Jess-tival possible; it would not have happened without them.

The acts were all superb; new talent Susanna Cork opened the show (this girl is going to be big, watch out for her!) followed by the fabulous comedian Ed Byrne who had the crowds howling with laughter.
Mr Robin K, another new act, did a fantastic job with his very funny self-penned songs and then came our headline act, Natalie Imbruglia. In between songs, she urged the crowds to take the proactive step of signing the organ donation, a plea met with huge applause.

Canadian funny man Glenn Wool entertained next, followed by the closing act the Yeah Yous; a fresh and upbeat new band who had everyone up on their feet and clapping along!
We were thrilled that Jess and her family were able to attend the event, and who better to finish the evening than Jess herself, who wrote a few lines thanking everyone which were then read out on stage. At the end of the speech, Jess wrote "my dream is that one day no one will die whilst waiting for a transplant. Tonight is one step closer to that dream."

Inspired? Click here to donate in aid of the Save Jess campaign and click here to sign the Organ Donor Register.

NHSBT's new hard-hitting campaign

NHSBT have today launched a brand new hard-hitting campaign to try to close the gap between those who say they would accept an organ if they needed one, and those who have signed the Organ Donor Register to say they would give one.

You can view the new campaign by clicking here to visit the website. The new TV ad will be screened tonight for the first time, but you can watch it here.

What do you think? We'd love to hear people's reactions.