Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Posted by Oli on Thursday 19th July, 2007

So how many phone calls/emails/texts have I received today to tell me I’m not actually in the Mirror?  OK, actually only about 5, but that’s not the point.

You work feverishly to have such a rubbish quality of life that it merits the attention of a national newspaper, manage to persuade your nearest and dearest that they should be happy to pose for a picture for millions of people to see when they normally balk at a family snap, tell the whole world (possible exaggeration) that you’re going to be in the paper and then it turns out you’re not.

Feeling foolish?  I certainly am.

Honestly, they really did call me to tell me I was going to be in it today.  I won’t say they promised, because that would be a lie and also, let’s face it, who expects tabloid papers to keep their promises nowadays?

Still, they are a very friendly bunch (the two of them I’ve actually spoken to, and the lovely photographer who came round), so I’ll not hold it against them and I’m sure it’ll go into an issue soon.  The trouble being, of course, that by the time I know it’s in that day’s paper, it’ll be too late to let most people know.  You win some and other get away from you, I guess. (there must be a more pithy way to say that…)

I’ve spent today almost entirely in bed again, still catching up from the whirlwind of Tuesday, but still grateful for the chance to do what I did and very much glad I didn’t opt-out – thanks Mum!

Although there’s no official statistics yet for the number of people signing up to the organ donor register recently, I’ve been reliably informed through a source that there was a huge boost in numbers attempting to sign up through the organ donor website and the telephone line.

Once official figures are confirmed, I’ll be sure to pass them on here, but on initial inspection it looks like through National Transplant Week and the hubbub of Prof D’s announcement earlier in the week has really driven home the message of organ donation and its importance.

This is no time for complacency, though, and we must continue to encourage as many people as we can to sign up to the register.  The Opt-Out system, even if it does get through Parliament (which it failed to do just three years ago), more than likely won’t be in place for at least another couple of years.  Without more people signing on to the organ donor register, people like me, Robyn, Jen and thousands of others face losing their lives for the want of a donor.

Although the press spent a lot of time and energy focusing on the Opt-Out portion of Prof D’s report, the full text reveals a true grasp of the infrastructure, education and training needs of the transplant system if it is to improve, not just the need to find more donors.  You can read his full report here, Chapter 4 being the transplant section.

It’s encouraging to see that all the necessary issues have been flagged up and that hopefully they will receive the attention they urgently require.  As the system improves, so, hopefully, will donor rates and less people will die needlessly waiting for their second chance.

I’ll leave you with the most pertinent section of the report, from our current position.  If you haven’t signed the register, take two minutes and do it here now.  If you have signed the register, why not use the two minutes to send an email to someone who may not have and encourage them not to wait for Opt-Out, but to use their autonomy and Opt-In.

“Increasing participation in the NHS Organ Donor Register is critical to improving the current poor position.Targeted campaigns, including options at the time of issuing of drivers’ licences, at general practice registration and in the commercial sector, such as via the Boots Advantage Card application, have led to an increase of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Such ways of increasing sign-up should continue to be devised and applied.”


One Response to “Dropped”

  1. Emmie said

    I was gutted about the Mirror hun, especially as I’ve never had quite such a concrete assertion from a newspaper that it was going in before. I will ring them tomorrow and try to find out why it didn’t go in and when they expect to reschedule it for. Martyn also has your PR now and is working on tarting you about – a fact I will be subtly dropping in to the Mirror people in the morning ;o) Keep shining brightly, you really are a star and are helping get those people on the register all the time! xxxxx

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