Monday, 28 March 2011

Celebrating three years as a registered charity.

Three years ago today, LLTGL became an official registered charity. We have come so far in those three years and in some ways it seems a long time ago, in others, it seems only yesterday. Back in 2008 - our first year as a charity - some of our most memorable moments include our wonderful Jess spreading the word across the country by appearing on Noel's HQ, Nelly, our London advocate at the time, organising her own segment of the world's biggest walk, which Oli and Emily joined her and her family in completing (you can see the video here). That year we also had our very first advocate and trustee away day, and Holly's Battlefront project commenced; a project that would conclude in 2009 with a personal message of congratulations from the PM on the Downing St website! The biggest highlight that year was of course being named "Campaigning Team of the Year" at the Charity Times Awards - we were stunned but extremely proud!

2009 was another very busy year, with Holly's Donor Day capturing the hearts and minds of people all over the country. Team Jac braved gail force winds and icey rain to do the coastal walk and raise over £20,000 for LLTGL in May of that year, and the ever-inspiring Team Ethan joined the fight to raise funds and awareness, which they continue to do to this day, despite their gorgeous little boy loosing his fight just one month after his transplant. When the film My Sister's Keeper came out, Advocate Andrea Evans encouraged people to write to their local cinemas asking them to display donor leaflets in the foyer during the peroid that the film was shown. Andrea also managed to star in the Vodaphone "who would you donate your time to?" advert, getting Organ Donation a wonderful plug on TV! Emily featured in a short awareness film as well that year, entitled "I'd Give You One" after the cheeky LLTGL slogan T-shirt.

Our wonderful Jess was by then extremely ill and in September 2009, a twitter campaign entitled "Save Jess" was launched, which quickly gained attention of news channels and celebrities from across the UK. Following this, Save Jess-tival was swiftly created and took place in October, with the beautiful Natalie Imbruglia spearheading the event, and Jess taking her place as the inspirational and very special guest.

2010 started very sadly, when we lost our lovely Jess on January 12th. All at LLTGL were shaken by this hugely sad loss, but we knew we had to motivate ourselves to continue the fight that Jess had dedicated so much of her time and energy on. That year LLTGL Trustees attended several key talks and conferences, including the BTS conference, and the ETCO conference, where Emily addressed over 500 delegates from all over the globe. Yet more wonderful fundraising events took place, including Ts in the Park who selected LLTGL as the charity to benefit from their event that year. That Christmas, our Tor's Xmas Wish twitter campaign got attention from a variety of celebrities including Philip Schofield, Sarah Brown, and Peter Jones.

As well as these key events, LLTGL continues to regularly run media campaigns, support transplant patients, run educational talks and presentations, give talks as guest speakers at a variety of events, distribute Robyn's Rainbows, and many other things on a day to day basis.

None of the work we have done over the last 3 years would have been possible without the help and support of so many people. From past Trustees who have helped us achieve so much, to volunteers who give up their time and energy to support us in what we do - our charity is strong because of you.

We are excited and optimistic about the next three years, and hoping that they will be even bigger, even brighter, and even more successful.

With love and thanks to all our wonderful supporters,

The LLTGL Trustees


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Welcoming Kirstie as our newest ambassador!

We are delighted to welcome the lovely Kirstie Mills as a new addition to our LLTGL Ambassadorial team.
Kirstie is 21 years old and has just been told she has been accepted onto the waiting list for a double lung transplant.

Kirstie has already started campaigning fiercely and is showing the world that she's a force to be reckoned with! She's doing a fantastic job and we're honoured to have her as part of the LLTGL team.

A quick shout out to our other fabulous ambassadors - Tor and Rachy - who despite lots of health complications and issues, continue to work incredibly hard helping us raise awareness and spread the word about organ donation.

We are extremely proud of our Ambassadors, of their tireless hard work and dedication to the cause, and are so grateful for everything they do for us and for all those waiting.


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Kirsty's Hero

Our Advocate and Team Glasgow member, Kirsty Geddes has had the opportunity to record the single My Hero by the Foo Fighters. 26-year-old Kirsty was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just 9months old – she received her double lung transplant in February 2009 after waiting for 8 months on the transplant waiting list.

Kirsty sang the song at Team Glasgows Masquerade Ball (where they raised a fantastic £12,000) in memory of her donor - the lyrics 'there goes my hero...he's ordinary' are so fitting for all those people who have donated organs. Ordinary people who have signed the organ donor register doing an extraordinary thing.

The single costs £3.49 (inc postage) and is well worth it. All proceeds will be shared between us here at Live Life Then Give Life and The CF Trust. Kirsty says “I am hugely grateful to my family for the strength they have given me both pre and post transplant and she is very excited to be part of LLTGL. I feel a duty to try and make this gift of life possible for so many others who are in the position that I was, just over a year ago”

You can get a sneak preview of the single and watch the youtube video here.

Contact kirstys[dot]hero[at]gmail[dot]com to get your copy. Thank you x

Monday, 21 March 2011

Clipper Round the World Race

A while back you may remember us blogging about the Clipper around the world race asking for transplant recipients to come forward as volunteers to take part. One person who did this was our loyal supporter and kidney recipient Holly Cocker.

Holly has volunteered to be part of a team of 10 people - all who have been affected by organ donation - and all of whom are doing a relay around the world to complete the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Holly will be taking part in leg 7 which will take place next year to raise awareness of what an amazing gift organ donation is.

Holly will be sailing 5129 miles from California - Panama - New York. Up until last week Holly had never sailed before and she is currently taking part in a very physically and mentally demanding program to get her up to shape in the world of sailing.

She says about the challange:
"This is something I could never have dreamed of doing before my transplant - I feel incredibly lucky to be part of it and am willing to give it my all to hopefully encourage others to sign up to the Organ Donor Register and to spread the word about organ donation. As we reach different destinations we will be publishing organ donation through the press and showing what we can do."

To follow Holly's journey and find out how you can support/sponsor her please visit her blog. All of us here at Live Life Then Give Life wish you the best of luck in your adventure Holly!

Photos Holly Cocker ©

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Lorna Legs it for Live Life Then Give Life!

Lorna Little is a 38 year old Legal Secretary from Forres, Scotland. On the 13th March Lorna ran the Inverness Half Marathon, she decided to run for us here at Live Life Then Give Life as she knows a couple of people who have benefited from a new lease of life due to organ transplantation, one receiving a lung transplant and the other a liver.

Lorna says "I, myself, am on the donor register but am aware of the severe shortage of donors so I wanted to do something not only to raise awareness but also to raise some money for the charity and the invaluable work they do. I think it is so important for charities like LLTGL to be given a voice and reading some of the heart wrenching and inspirational blogs on your website brought a tear to my eye and motivated me to do something about it. It also gave me the determination to reach my goal in my first ever half marathon."

There's no stopping Lorna now who says "bring on the next challenge" so watch this space. Lorna has raised a fantastic £330.00 so far.

Thank you Lorna, It is down to people like Lorna fundraising for us that we can continue the work that we do, supporting people on the transplant waiting list, eduacting people about the importance of transplants and encouraging people to sign the Organ Donor Register.

If you would like to support Lorna then please visit her Just Giving page:

If you are planning a fundraising event, or have raised money for us, get in touch via our website so we can shout about you here on our blog!


Monday, 14 March 2011

Daybreak spreads the word about Organ Donation.

We were recently contacted by the lovely Kirstie Mills, about using her story to raise more awareness.

Kirstie is 21 years old and has Cystic Fibrosis. She lives in Exeter with her fiance, and is currently undergoing her final transplant assessment tests, with the hope of getting on the waiting list as soon as possible. Kirstie is a very beautiful eloquent young woman and has started keeping a blog to try to convey to people what life is like for her at the moment.

Emily got in touch with ITV's Daybreak about Kirstie's story and they decided they wanted to feature her! Unfortunately Kirstie was too ill to travel up to London on the day, so Emily went in her place to talk about transplantation and raise awareness about the chronic shortage of donors.

The interview was shown on Friday morning and they also showed some very moving footage of Kirstie talking about her blog and her current health status, which was filmed by her local ITV news and which you can see here.

A big thank you to Daybreak for helping us spread the word, and of course to Kirstie for allowing us to share her story. All of us at LLTGL are wishing her the best of luck for her assessment and hope to hear that she's on that waiting list very soon.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

World Kidney Day 2011

Today marks World Kidney day, it is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).

The mission of World Kidney Day is to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

Other Objectives are:

Raise awareness about our "amazing kidneys"

Highlight that diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Encourage preventive behaviors

Educate all medical professionals about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD.

Stress the important role of local and national health authorities in controlling the CKD epidemic. On World Kidney Day all governments are encouraged to take action and invest in further kidney screening.

Check out the World Kidney Day website for more information, especially their 7 Golden Rules to reduce the risk of Kidney Disease.

Our trustee Holly went along to the Royal Liverpool Hospital to speak to staff and patients there and hand out leaflets etc. She provided her photo and a quote to show what a difference her transplant has made to her life for their display she says

"Life since my transplant is barely recognisable. I have my health back and I am enjoying the freedom from dialysis and the fact I can do normal everyday things that people take for granted. I have been to places I have never been before, experienced things I have never experienced before and met people that I would never have met previously. I have got my independence back and I am able to be me again! I work hard, play hard and I am loving every moment of my new life. I went to uni, now have a job, and live in my own apartment! None of this of course would have been possible without my donor and the generous gift they gave to me – the gift of life, for which I will be eternally grateful."

There were stands telling people about Organ Donation and how to sign up to the Organ Donor register, a stand about the local kidney support group, one to test your blood pressure and one held by our lovely friends over at the Donor Family Network.

Happy World Kidney Day from us all here at LLTGL x

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

More fantastic fundraising.

You may have read in one of our previous blogs that Terry is running the Bupa 10k run in memory of his nephew Jack, well here we have another chap donning his running shoes and running for us in May!

Andy Shaw knows only too well the effect organ donation can have on a family as his sister (our very own trustee Holly Shaw) received a kidney transplant in October 2008 after 3 years waiting. Andy supported his sister as she was waiting on the transplant list by visiting her whilst she was on dialysis, ringing her everyday and making her laugh (usually at the most inappropriate times!)

Andy says “I am taking part in this run as this is a charity close to my heart. Live Life Then Give Life supported Holly whilst she was waiting for her transplant so it’s time for me to give something back to them.”

Andy believes so much in the message that we are trying to spread that he even has a permanent reminder of this on his back, in the form of a tattoo!

Good luck with the training Andy, and thank you for doing this for us! x

If you want to support Andy in his efforts please visit

Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Fringe

On Sunday 13th February 2011 I was invited to attend a Girl Guiding event called “The Fringe” which is part of Innovate. Innovate is a national forum for Girl Guide members aged 16-25 years old to discuss and contribute to the direction of Girlguiding UK. Approximately every eight months about 150 members meet up to contribute their ideas in workshops designed to move Girlguiding UK forward.

This event was held at the Dunkenhalgh hotel in Accrington, and was a packed weekend for the girls, throughout the event they raised money for us here at Live Life Then Give Life by doing silent auctions, selling balloons, giving donations and holding a medieval themed night.

The event culminated in “The Fringe” which was essentially a market place for the girls to walk round the stands and look at things that may interest them as guides, whether it be new adventures or new badges to obtain. This is where we set up our stand and chatted to the girls about our work and what we are all about, they were really receptive and friendly.

It was great to hear that most of them had already signed up to be Organ Donors whether it had been through their driving licence, Boots advantage card or online. A few of them that hadn’t already signed up took the opportunity to do it there and then!

Believe it or not I saw someone I knew as I actually used to be a girl guide myself (yes this is true, many moons ago!)

The event and the amazing girls managed to raise a fantastic £314.17 for us, we are so thankful for their hospitality and ongoing support. If you want to do a good deed today why don't you follow in the footsteps of the Girl Guides and sign the Organ Donor Register.

Thank you x

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Cake Bake!

Well its been and gone again as quick as a flash – Valentines Day and our yearly Valentines Cake Bake weekend!

Lots of you used Valentine's Day to do a good deed and make a difference this year by holding RED themed cake bakes up and down the country! Whether you used this opportunity to raise awareness of organ donation, educate your colleagues or encourage people to sign the Organ Donor Register you all did an amazing job.

  • Rachel Ellis held a tea party and raised a fantastic £47.00!
  • Abby Barker raised a wonderful £25.00 Thanks to her colleagues at University Campus Suffolk Library for helping to eat her cakes and raise money at the same time.
  • Zara Ilic baked some scrummy looking cakes and sold them to her family and friends raising a fabulous £30!
  • Our Trustee Holly held a cake bake at the Nursery she works at and the staff, parents and children raised a fantastic £38.38!

If you held a cake bake and want a mention on our blog please send details and a photo to info[at] Also if you didn’t manage to hold a cake bake but want to show your support there is still time to donate on our Just Giving Cake Bake Page here:

Well done and Thank you so much for your support as always!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

For Jack...

Manchester entrepreneur and GödelTech MD, Terry Bland, is running the Bupa Great Manchester 10k Run on 15th May in order to raise money for charity us here at Live Life Then Give Life and raise awareness of the importance of organ donation, in memory of his nephew, Jack Mclean, who died last week on his 19th birthday from a fatal brain bleed.

Jack was out celebrating his birthday at university when he suffered a bleed in his brain. After a three hour operation he was pronounced brain dead and his life support switched off. He had always wanted to be an organ donor and because he had made his wishes clear to family and friends, his organs were able to save the lives of five other people.

Jack aged just 19.

Terry said: “While it is a tragedy that Jack was taken from us so suddenly, his family is taking some comfort from the fact his generosity has given the gift of life to five other people, and helped another four.

“It vital for those wishing to donate organs after death to tell others, and it is much easier these days as you can register your wishes online with the NHS Organ Donor Register.

“Live Life Then Give Life’ does such an important job in making people aware of the significance of organ donation, as well as supporting transplant recipients. It is a fantastic charity and I hope to raise at least £5k for them, in memory of my nephew, through the Great Manchester Run and other activities I’ll be taking on throughout the year.”

Those wishing to help Terry achieve his target can donate via his Just Giving page:

We were also delighted to hear that Live Life Then Give Life is also the official GödelTech charity for 2011.

We are of course thinking of Jack, Terry and the whole Family. If you want to do something amazing like Jack did after his death, then please consider signing the Organ Donor Register.

Thank you