Thursday, 30 July 2009

Lou's fabulously original fundraising ideas!

The lovely, lovely Louise Lawrence, one of our South East Advocates, has been a busy-bee lately with various LLTGL-related adventures!
Almost a year ago, Lou was lucky enough to receive a life-saving lung transplant at the tender age of 28 after a long battle with childhood cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. Louise is passionate about saving more lives through transplantation and continues to be a champion for organ donation particularly amongst the Afro-Caribbean community, where the lack of donors is grave.
Lately, Lou has been doing some fundraising for us in her own unique ways! These include:
  • A fabulous swap party! Everyone brought 3 good quality items and swapped for 3 'new' items to take home, including DVDs, shoes, CDs, bags, belts, tops, books and dresses! There was a £3 entry free where £2 of it went to the charity. Lou reckons it was a really great way to raise money, in return for hours of fun! Although Lou had invited a few friends to trial out as it was my first ever swap party, she's planning a bigger and better one for November as it was so much fun! Next time she'll also charge for photographs taken on the day to raise even more funds! If you want to read more about it and see some pictures, head over to her blog
  • Lou also sold her gorgeous handmade 'Inspired Chic Cards' (which you can buy in her Etsy shop!) and generously donated her profits to us! All of her cards have a UKT sticker promoting the organ donation line on the card sleeve, which we approve of, of course!
  • Finally Lou is holding a sponsored tree hug on Sunday 6th September 2009 at Crystal Palace Park, London, where she is being sponsored to hold on to a tree for an hour without letting go! For Lou this will be tough as she continues to this is tough as she has a few mobility problems post transplant, but she is willing to truly test out her new lungs with some friends for help!! All monies raised at this event will be split between LLTGL and CLIC Sargeant for Children's Cancer Care. If you'd like to show your support, head on over to her Justgiving page!
We're not sure where Lou gets her fabulously original fundraising ideas from, but we are totally beaming with happiness from the things she has been doing for us, and think her energy and enthusiasm totally rock! We are assured that her next ventures will involve ipods, funky clothes and watch this space!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Our lovely Advocate Holly Shaw has created a profile for LLTGL on It's a lovely little website whose main aim is to allow people to say thank you to those who have touched their lives.
Holly has also written a lovely little message to her donor which you can read here.

You can go have a nosey at our profile by clicking here. And whilst we're on the subject of thanks, thank you to every single one of you who supports Live Life Then Give Life - you are what makes us who we are.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Three cheers for Dylan!

Remember little Ethan and his awe-inspiring family?

Well they still haven't stopped! Dylan Walker, Ethan's cousin, who is in year 6 has done some fantastic fundraising recently.

Every year at his school, Mytham Primary School in Bolton, there is a year 6 performance, which this year was Midsummer Nights Dream. Tickets are free and instead donations are made to go to a charity chosen by the year 6 children. Dylan put LLTGL forward and it was voted in by his peers.

Parents and other audience members donated money after the performances which resulted in a fantastic £247 being raised!

A huge achievement and effort by a young but inspirational person. We are hugely grateful to Dylan and to everyone at Mytham Primary School who voted for us and supported us, thank you!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Putting the Great in Greater Manchester

July has been a busy month in Greater Manchester to promote organ donation awareness!

LLTGL Advocates Holly Shaw and Carol Beckett were invited to Turton Media and Arts College in Bolton during National Transplant Week. They gave presentations about their stories of organ donation to the year 7, 8 and 9 pupils in the college.
They stressed the importance of the organ donor register and that many more lives could be saved if more people signed up. Around 740 pupils listened to the presentations and they were told that two pupils in the college had received transplants which had extended their lives. A letter had also been sent home to the pupil’s parents to ask them to think about organ donation and to consider signing up to the register.

Carol and Holly found all the pupils very receptive to their stories and they were all very polite and well informed.

Our thanks goes to the Deputy Head Teacher, Tania Lewyckyj, for allowing us to visit such a wonderful school to tell our stories, and to Trevlin Ong, who first contacted LLTGL to invite us to the school.

Carol and her family organised a stand at the school’s summer fair, getting 7 people registered there and then, with many more taking information away with them, including some pupils who wanted to discuss signing up as organ donors with their parents.

On 18th July, Urmston Infant School held their Summer Fair and allowed Carol to organise an organ donor stand. Sister-in-law Michelle Wood helped man the stand and she proved a very persuasive character, as in total 24 people signed up to the organ donor register in just 2 hours! Well done Michelle and thank you to all those who signed up.

Have you been out supporting LLTGL and about spreading the word recently? Don't forget to tell us so we can shout about it here!


Thursday, 16 July 2009

Raising Awareness, Transplant Kids style!

We often get a lot of emails from people asking "How can we raise awareness about the organ donor register?". We at LLTGL think that there are hundreds of ways you can, and that even the smallest of gestures such as writing a letter to your local newspaper has the potential to change someone's life for the better.

One example of what kind of things you can do to raise awareness relatively easily is the campaign day organized by the awesome Catriona Hamilton, from Transplant Kids to coincide with National Transplant Week. Cat launched Transplant Kids following her experiences with her son's liver and small bowel transplant in May 2000 as a way of providing information, contacts and support to families affected by transplant in words that a child can understand. Because of her personal link with transplants, Cat is a strong advocate of organ donation and we are pleased to be able to share her experiences of putting an awareness-raising day together with relatively little effort

Every year for National Transplant Week, Cat always writes a "Letter to the Editor" with her personal story, and this year got it published in 5 local papers, including this one in the Southern Reporter! Because of the letter, Cat managed to accumulate a few star turns in the media, including local radio stations and her local ITV news.

Cat also had organ donation/awareness raising stands outside her local Tesco's and the Tontine Hotel, which were arranged relatively easily with just a phonecall! To load your stall up with information about organ donation, just head over to UK Transplant, where you can order leaflets, registration forms with donor cards, pens, balloons, logo bugs, sweets and window stickers to remind people how to sign up!

The best thing about an awareness-raising stall is that its the perfect opportunity to get across personal stories about why organ donation matters as well as bust some of those popular myths that surround organ donation. On hand at Cat's stall was her son Aaron who, after battling various health problems, is truly a walking, talking advert for the transformative power of organ donation!

Friday, 10 July 2009

A transplant for Gabrysia!

Amazing news!!!

After waiting on the 'urgent' list for a heart transplant since March this year, last night our friends the Filarowski family got the call they had been desperately hoping for: A heart had been found for their daughter Gabrysia!! After a nervous wait, the transplant was given the go ahead.

As these are very early days, please keep Gabrysia and her family in your thoughts, as well as the donor family who made such an incredible decision to give her a second chance.

We wish her the speediest of recoveries.


*****Update from Gabrysia's mum*****
"What a long night and not quite over yet. Gabrysia in process of coming off bypass machine after finally getting the transplant she so desperately needed. Thank you for all the messages of support xxx"

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The secrets to a successful campaign!

We were so excited when an email popped into our inboxes about our North-West Advocate, Holly Shaw's star turn on the front cover of the National Council of Voluntary Organizations!

As many of our supporters will know, Holly has been a massive champion of ours over the last year and has made an incredible contribution of her own (through her Battlefront campaign) that chimes with LLTGL's mission as a charity- namely, getting people to think and talk about organ donation and transplants so more people can have the chance to experience the "gift of life"

The article highlights how Holly managed to make her Battlefront campaign work successfully through the amazing powers of social networking, in particular, through Bebo, Twitter and Facebook. Continuing her sterling work, Holly has been out and about this week in various schools talking about her experiences of organ donation as well as about some of the secrets to her successful campaign that you can read about by going over to Holly's blog .

If you're feeling inspired, and want to get involved with giving talks, promoting organ donation some more or you have a really great idea that you reckon will get people thinking and talking about organ donation, please get in touch! We're also over on Twitter and other places, so come join our party!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

DFN Thanksgiving Service and National Transplant Week

On 4th and 5th July, the Donor Family Network held it's annual gathering and service of thanksgiving. Our Chairman Oli did a very moving speech, and our Advocate Holly Shaw also attended. Holly has written a beautiful blog on her thoughts and feelings about the weekend which you can read by clicking here.

Holly and Wills, a small bowel recipient, at the DFN weekend.

We are extremely proud to be associated with the Donor Family Network and to collaborate with them whenever we can. Please pop over to their website to have a further look at who they are and what they do.

Planting the memory Rose. Photos courtesy of Sarah Milne.

Also a reminder to all our fab supporters out there; this week is National Transplant Week! Please take the opportunity to shout from the rooftops about Organ Donation and together we can save more lives.

Thank you x