Monday, February 21, 2011

Donate Life Week 2011


I'm a couple of days late, but this week is Donate Life Week in Australia.

It's the perfect time to not only join the official Organ Donor register, but to sit down and have a discussion with your family to ensure that they are aware of your wishes.

Just in case you don't know my story, there's a very good reason that I'm so passionate about this issue..... so here's the very short version:

I'm 36 years old and I've had a chronic lung disease since the age of 15. I was then diagnosed with panhypogammablobulinemia about 11 years ago which just added further complications.

At the age of 28, I was told that I would need a lung transplant at some time in the future. That was a huge bombshell and the first time that I really took the time to think about my future (or lack thereof). Well that was eight years ago now, and I've managed to keep plodding on with my own very dodgy barely working lungs, connected to a never-ending supply of oxygen.

I often think about what it would be like to be able to breathe again - to ride a bike, to go for a run, to walk up a hill, to go shopping, to pick up my nephews, even to mop my floors! All those normal things that I can't do.

At this stage, I need to keep my own dodgy lungs for as long as I possibly can. But, I'm hoping that when the time arrives that I can't go on any longer, I'll receive the ultimate gift.


There are over 1700 Australians waiting for an organ transplant at any time, and the wait can be anywhere between 6 months and 4 years.

The Donate Life website is a wonderful resource full of information, including the family discussion page.

Please spare some time this week and have that conversation....

18 comments:

delia hornbook said...

when i read your story the last time it filled me up it has done so again, we take so many things for granted in life your story wakes you up so to speak. You are such an inspiration, big hugs dee xx

Make mine Mid-Century said...

Oh, Cam. I've always wondered why you keep racing back to hospital ... but I never asked because that's rude.

I will discuss this with my husband. It is incredibly important ... what use are we if we can't give what we no longer need to someone on earth who needs it?

What's the point of burying healthy, life-giving organs?

You're a gem and a champion.

Stephanie and Carlos said...

Oh Hun... see I didn't know anything and how long have I been following?! My golly... where is the rest of your story if you posted it? We lean towards the cancer foundations as Carlos Mum and my step mum both passed away from brain tumours. I am an organ donor though so YAY...

Big hugs and lots of energy!!

xo Steph

Felicity said...

Thank you for sharing your story so candidly.
I've had the donate section ticked for the longest time but I know that it's really important to ensure that your family members are also aware of your wishes.

We've had this discussion so that if ever that fateful day may come, someone else can benefit.

xx Felicity

willywagtail said...

I truly hope things work out for you. Unfortunately my body has a retrovirus so would be no good for anyone. I'd hate to pass on this unremitting tiredness to someone else. Cherrie

Tanya said...

Cam, gee, what you have has a really long name, doesn't it? I knew bits of your story but didn't realise you are on oxygen fairly constantly. Thanks for helping us understanding the importance of this by sharing your story and making it more real.

Stomper Girl said...

I agree, thanks for sharing your story. I'm a signed up organ donor. I'm a firm believer ever since I saw Jesus of Montreal, I thought the metaphor of part of him living on and helping others quite beautiful.

Jennie said...

Big hugs to you Cam, thank you for sharing this with us.

I've just got my Australian drivers licence, in which we both ticked YES.XXXXOOOO

quilary said...

That's a lot to deal with, I didn't realise why you had the odd trip to hospital every now and then.
Our children know we are organ donors and as each of the older ones had gotten their licences they have ticked the box as well. I hope your post gets a few more names onto the donor lists!

Taylor Made said...

Like the others I didn't realise how serious your condition was ...you manage to accomplish so much with such a tough battle....you are an inspiration.

Naturally Carol said...

I really hope there will be a set of lungs ready for you when you need them. Was it South Australia that was thinking of making organ donations the regular thing instead of an exception..like you would have to apply not to be a donor instead. That seems a sensible idea..if it's true.

Michelle said...

Thanks to your appeal a couple of years ago I signed up and threatened Scott with haunting if he went against my wishes. He's not on the register but he is so getting donated should something happen to him! He know that. So thank you for getting this out there. I think you totally rock. xoxo

mandapanda said...

Hi Sweetheart, already done!! I'm an organ donor, so are my parents, and we all know each others wish of giving life should one of ours be taken away.
BIG HUGS!!!!!

teddybearswednesday said...

Oh beautiful Cam, thank you for sharing such a personal issue. I'm moved by your honesty , openess and you situation
I hope those lungs are waiting for you when YOu need them!
Thank you again ( already signed up and discussed)
sending you love
xo

Leonie said...

I think you rock too!! xx

Renae said...

I never realised there's so much you can't do. I admire how motivated you are when it comes to doing the things you can do instead of becomming too focussed on the things you can't.

Carly Findlay said...

You are amazing. Thank for sharing.

michelle said...

inspiring as always cam.