Thursday, February 6, 2014

One Year On...



One year ago today, a very brave and generous grieving family made the decision to donate their loved ones organs.

That decision saved my life.


There are no words to explain the gratitude that I have for being given a second chance at life. This year has been one like no other that I've ever lived through.


Physically and mentally getting through a transplant is really difficult and very emotional. I could never have made it through without the support of my family and friends. I can't even imagine not being around to see my nephews grow up!


I was able to celebrate another birthday, and help with another successful Hottie Challenge.

Amazingly, I've now been back at work at my day job full time since October. I been to Sydney twice for work.and I've been to Brissy and had a stall at Finders Keepers.

I took part in the Melbourne Marathon and the Great Strides Walk.

 But the best thing is that I can now get out and just ENJOY living!

None of this would ever have been possible without my beautiful shiny new lungs and that amazingly selfless gift...

I think about my donor every day. While I'm able to celebrate today with my family and friends, my donor family will be marking a different anniversary. I hope that they can find comfort in knowing how truly grateful I am.


Last year, I was still in hospital recovering during DonateLife Week. This year, I'll be taking part in the FilmLife Film Workshop Weekend, and also promoting organ donation via the Tour de Transplant and Tour de Chat.


I have a very good friend who is still waiting for a heart. I truly hope and wish and pray that his call comes soon... and please, whenever you can, make sure you have the chat with your family and friends.


32 comments:

yardage girl said...

Busy blubbering here :: so very, very happy for you Cam. What a year it's been! xx

Melissa Gaggiano said...

The things some of us take for granted, like walking, 'breathing', through your eyes become a precious thing. Given a new perspective I realise that even when I am having a bad day, I have a lot to be grateful for, with the air that I can breathe.
I am not much into prayers. But when you were waiting and waiting for your own miracle, I hoped real hard for you every day.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

It is so great to see those photos of you living life :D doing things that "normal" people take for granted and its great to see you embracing everything you have and living life to the full :) I wish more people would tell loved ones they want to donate their organs if something were to happen, it can change so many people's lives

Jane from Lil Pip said...

Goodness I'm tearing up too ....

Fiona said...

So happy for you and all the positive changes the last year has brought. I hope the thought that part of their loved one lives on in you and maybe others is some comfort to your donor's family. It's so lovely that you think about your donor every day.

Copper Patch said...

Cam, I'm so so happy to see you living life the way we are meant to. Well done to the donor family for being selfless at a time of immense grief. I hope your long years are filled with bacon, coffee, sewing, orange and pink things, fun, happiness and all that brings you joy.
Abbe xx

Catherine said...

Happy one-year anniversary Cam - it is so wonderful to see how your life has been transformed in the last year x

Jennie said...

I don't even know what to say Cam. In tears here too. You are amazing. We are all incredibly grateful to your donor and their family for making that decision. Sending you all the hugs today.XXXXJennie

Rie said...

I'm so happy for you Cam, so glad you were given a new lease on life.
And hugs go to the anon family who celebrate a different, sadder anniversary this year.

Tas said...

Gak, woman. You have me in tears. Those photos are amazing. Has it really been a year?

I am constantly horrified by the poor donor organ stats here in Australia. My nephew lost his best mate in an accident a few weeks back, It was a tragedy but 5 lives were saved. I wish every family could find the strength and understanding to make the decision that will bring some sunshine out in the midst of the clouds.

shell said...

As an ICU nurse in a busy hospital, I see (and nurse) both sides of the transplant process...the families who make the amazing gift whilst coming to terms with the end of life of a loved one, and the families rejoicing at the chance of a different life with their chronically ill loved one, and its lovely to see you down the track making the most of your life

Amanda said...

That is wonderful Cam it is so lovely that you are have a second chance and you would be making your donor family proud of their gift.

Bec said...

Congratulations on your lungiversary Cam!! I think you have such a great attitude towards your donor family. Wonderful. Another beautiful lady I know got the call last week and is in the acute recovery stage of her heart & double lung transplant. I wonder if you would share your thoughts on the donor/recipient system here in Australia? Prior to her surgery we had talked and she said that she would love the chance to personally thank the family that saved her life if/when they wanted the same. I'm not sure if her thoughts will have changed since she got 'the call'. Having gone through it all I wondered how you felt about it all?

JaBCreations said...

Cam your zest for life is inspiring and it's wonderful to see you making the most of your shiny new lungs. Looking forward to reading about your future milestones. xx

Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

Tears in my eyes! You are amazing Cam and making sure to make the most of your new lungs and lease on life.

Jodie said...

We all owe a debt to your donor family Cam, they gave us you !!!!! You are indeed superpops!

Bron said...

Beautiful....what an amazing year you have had....the donor and family would be glad you are doing well. Xxxx

Cath @mybeardedpigeon said...

Seeing you riding that bike Cam, one of the best things ever. So happy for you . Xxx

sweettidings said...

You are an inspiration in every way Cam! Wishing you a wonderful year and brilliant good health!

Swirlyarts said...

Oh I just cried reading that. I'm so pleased that you got another stab at life and yes I have had the chat with my family and all of my organs will be donated (if usable) when I die. Here's to the next year :)

The Creative Beast said...

Happy Anniversary to you Cam! Or should I say Happy 2nd Birthday, because it almost seems like a rebirth receiving your new lease on life with your new lungs. Your pictures really show your abundant JOY and gratitude for the life you are living so fully and I think that is the best way to honor the donor of your lungs =-)
Glad to see your smiling face celebrating LIFE!

A Family Downunder said...

Tears in my eyes, I cannot possibly imagine your joy. Your story has been and continues to be an inspiration:)

barbara woods said...

our niece had a heat transplant 7 years ago, now she has 2 grandchildren to enjoy, she was in her early 40th

Merrilyn Sim said...

Congratulations Cam.
It must have been a difficult decision your donor family had to make and is a wonderful gift they have given you.
Imagine what this year is going to bring!!!

Megan said...

Look at all those wonderful active photos! You are just amazing Cam. I know your donor family would be thinking they couldn't have had a more deserving person come into their lives.

Jenny from Ohjoh said...

What an inspiration.
Congratulations Cam!

Cakelaw said...

Congratulations!!! You have lived an amazing year - so happy for you.

Bronwyn said...

So so lovely to see such happy photos of you and your family and friends.

Karin said...

Happy Anniversary to you. Wow, you look just great and it's so wonderful to see all the photos. I'm so happy for you. Much love to you. Karin

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