Monday, 28 December 2009

A break from our break due to amazing news!

Our gorgeous Advocate Jessica Wales has been very very poorly recently and sadly spent Christmas day in hospital. We've all been extremely worried about her but incredibly, at the 11th hour, that call has finally come and Jess went down for transplant in the early hours of the morning.

Updates will be posted on the Facebook support group "Jessica Wales Rocks My Socks" but any major changes will be reported on here.

Jess was a very poorly girl and the first few days are critical, so please keep her and her family in your thoughts. We are also thinking of some very special people right now; the person who signed the Organ Donor Register and their generous family who decided to say "yes" and offer that gift of hope to Jess.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

A Christmas break

Just a quick blog to let our fab supporters know that the team will be having a well-earned Christmas break from today until Monday 4th January.

Any urgent Media enquiries will still be picked up via email.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2010.



Sunday, 20 December 2009

Christmas tears and dreams

Firstly we hope that all our LLTGL supporters have a wonderful, happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Secondly, we would like to extend a huge thanks for everyone who has raised money for us, shared their stories and done sterling work in raising awareness of organ donation this year, however small.

Christmas and New Year are always bittersweet for us at LLTGL as it is a time we reflect on the feelings of joy and sadness we have experienced this year.

There are so many celebrations to be had, for Bethany, Gabrysia and Nelly will be spending the Christmas they thought they'd never see with their families.

This year will sadly be the first Christmas without many of the people who had fought hard to raise awareness or organ donation whilst they waited and hoped. We are thinking of the family of Ollie Faulkner, the gorgeous little boy whose kidney never came in time for him. This is the first Christmas that the family of Helen Miller will be spending without her. Baby Ethan's family will also be spending their first Christmas without him. Although he received his liver this year, it came too late and his poorly body couldn't cope.

Then there are those still waiting: Jess, Rachy, Paul and Tor who are potentially facing their last Christmas. This is Jess's fourth Christmas waiting and dreaming that the next year will be the year she is given her chance at life.

Please don't let it be their last, or the last for the other 8000 people waiting for a transplant this Christmas.

Please sign the organ donor register
Please tell all your friends and family
Please spread the word

Together we can use 2010 to fight for more transplants and more organ donors to prevent the needless deaths of people like Mary Hand, Robyn Tainty, Ubaid Ali, Richard Grannell and all of the other friends we have loved and lost.

Friday, 18 December 2009

A Christmas Fundraiser

Last week, the lovely Charlie Coe raised more than £700 and got people signed up to the organ donor register to celebrate the 6 month annversary of her double-lung transplant!

Charlie, 23, has Cystic Fibrosis and was placed on the waiting list 6 months ago after her health declined rapidly in November 2008 and she needed oxygen 24 hours a day. Waking up in the morning was a struggle and just doing the housework was such a great effort.

After an incredible 2 days after being placed on the transplant waiting list Charlie got her call. She says "I can not describe how good it felt to wake up and breathe how other people breathe...I have been making up on lost time going out with my friends, my husband and taking my dog on long walks. I have a whole new life!"

To celebrate 6 months of her new life, Charlie threw a huge party and used the opportunity to raise awareness of the organ donor register. It was a great success!

If you've been out and about raising money for us, or simply doing small gestures to help raise awareness of organ donation and transplantation, please get in touch with Jen !

Love as always,

Friday, 11 December 2009

Doing some serious business at the ICAP Charity Day 2009

We were extremely honoured to have been invited to the 17th annual global Charity Day hosted by the world's premier interdealer broker ICAP. Every year, the company holds a charity day involving all employees across the globe. It is a huge affair and has so far raised over 100 million pounds for charities across the world over it's 17 year history. It is also an event that attracts the cream of A list royalties and celebrities as they come along to thank staff on behalf of the charities they support and represent.

This year, LLTGL were there because of a very special lady and her husband. Tim McCarthy worked in the IT Network at ICAP for 4 years. In July, 2009, he died in a motorcycle accident. Tim was a blood donor and on the organ donor register and four people had life saving transplants thanks to the decisions he made when he was alive.

Sarah and some of Tim's colleagues decided to honour Tim at this year's charity day by encouraging employees throughout the huge organisation to sign the organ donor register. Sarah is an incredibly brave and inspiring woman and was there herself to talk to people about Tim and organ donation. She was joined by her sister, Tim's parents and the two donor co-ordinators that supported her on the day of Tim's death and ever since. LLTGL were invited to come along to talk to people about organ donation and share our own stories.

Advocates Audrey Eade and Nehal Shah joined Sarah Milne on the chaotic trading floor alongside staff dressed in every manner of fancy dress from Andy and Lou from Little Britain to knights, dragons, polar bears and everything in between. Each team had a theme and not only dressed themselves but also their areas. As we toured the building talking to people and handing out leaflets, we walked through action man camps, curry houses, hospitals, jungles, spaceships.

LLTGL were given our own special area on one of the trading floors, transformed for the occasion into a regatta. Nelly, Sarah and Audrey encouraged people to visit by offering Pimms and a chance to race against Olympic rowing medalists in an interactive rowing machine race.

Several celebrities wandered in and out throughout the day, and we bagged 30 seconds with Kevin Spacey, just enough to tell him about organ donation and give him a form, which he put in his pocket and promised to read. We also managed to get forms to Jo Brand, Des Lynam and Kelly Brook. The GB Olympic Rowing team also promised to sign the register. Sadly, we were all disappointed to have missed the chance to talk to Jedward, as whether or not you managed to catch a glimpse was the talk of the building!.

Despite the fantastic party atmosphere the real job of the day was to "Make Every Deal Count" and make as much money as possible. A massive 11.5 million pounds had been raised by close of play. For LLTGL, the main job of the day was to tell as many people about Tim and Sarah and encourage them to make today the day they make the same decision Tim did. Over 100 people visited our regatta to sign the organ donor register in his honour, and hundreds more took leaflets home to consider their decision.

As ever, we encouraged people to talk about organ donation with their family and friends in the hope that the ripple effects from one man and his courageous wife will carry on . Every single employee in the London office was given a leaflet about Tim and organ donation, with the web address and phone number to register.

It was an unmissable opportunity to spread the word about organ donation, so our thanks go to Peter Lewington and his colleagues at ICAP for organising it and to Sarah and Tim's family for being so brave in doing this in his memory.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Fifth Plinth Project.... in Cambridge!

Despite missing out on a chance to shout about organ donation from the top of the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square over the summer (though Clare, Andy and Tim did just that!) we were happy instead about bagging our place on Cambridge's very own Fifth Plinth!

As part of Cambridge's Mill Road winter festivities, our advocate for the Eastern Region, Audrey Eade, was given a spot to do what ever she liked, Antony Gormley styleee! Using the moment to her advantage, Audrey braved the cold and wind to spread the message about organ donation
Audrey had a helping hand from her beautiful son who was born when Audrey was in the late stages of liver cancer. Following his birth, Audrey was lucky enough to receive a donor liver. Knowing that his mum's life was saved by a generous donor, he distributed donor cards and information leaflets, telling anyone who would listen that transplants save lives.

Even simple gestures such as these can make a huge difference in getting people to think and talk about organ donation. There are a million ways to spread the message: Let us know what you've been up to!!

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Downing Tweet Christmas Party

Last Friday saw an exhilarating night at 10 Downing Street, for chairman Emily, advocate Holly Shaw and PR guru and photographer Sarah Milne took in cocktails and canapes in the presence of Sarah Brown and Prime Minister Gordon Brown

In order to support maternal mortality campaigns and @WRAGlobal, Sarah Brown wanted to draw together a diverse bunch of people who use Twitter for the power of good. We were really excited therefore that our high-profile Save Jess twitter campaign (spearheaded by Emily and Sarah) and Holly's wonderful Battlefront campaign were successful enough to be recognised in this way.

It was such an awesome opportunity to mingle with people from all walks of life: from other ordinary people like us who run charities and support networks to people in PR with an interest in social networking, political bloggers, writers, broadcasters and best of all, Sarah Brown herself.

To read more gossip from the night, head over to Holly's, Sarah's, and Emily's blogs for their accounts

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Please vote for Emily, our 3 Minute Wonder!

Tissues at the ready....

Award winning creative film-maker Rob Hindle contacted our chair Emily a few months ago about making a documentary for Channel 4's 3 Minute Wonders, an entry for a competition called "It's good to know..."

The film, "I'd Give You One" is now up on 4docs website. Be warned, it is extremely hard-hitting. Rob has put together a film that takes us through the emotions that Emily, chair and co-founder of Live Life then Give Life, faced as she waited for her transplant and subsequent recovery.

It opens with the terrible choice that awaited Emily as she lay dying: Either we weld your lungs to your chest cavity so that you can breathe, but that will be permanent and you will die within a year; or you can wait to have both your lungs transplanted, which may never happen and if it does, you are likely to die before you ever get it...

If you can, please can you register so that you can "love" it (by clicking the tab with the heart next to the screen) - the more love it gets, the higher up the list it goes. The winning documentary will be shown on Channel 4.

With love and tears,

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The LLTGL Christmas media campaign

The Christmas Media Campaign is one of the cornerstones of our work here at LLTGL and one we have always had lots of success with over the years. Our aim is to highlight that Christmas is a particularly poignant and emotional time of year for all people affected by organ donation and transplantation: Those waiting for transplants who fear it may be their last; those who have had transplants who remain alive to celebrate with their friends and families; the families of those who died waiting; and to honour donor families who will be spending Christmas without their loved ones.

This year, our friend Sarah Milne will be co-ordinating our Christmas campaign. We are already off to a good start with Rach Wakefield's story on newswire, but we need more! If you are interested in being featured in the LLTGL Christmas campaign please message her with a brief summary of your story and a Christmassy quote about what this Christmas means to you.

With love as always,

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Pics from the vinspired awards...

Head on over to Holly's blog for a full write-up and pictures!

Well done again Holly, from all of us at LLTGL !