Organ donation is the ultimate act of human kindness, offering hope instead of despair to those awaiting a transplant. This unselfish act of kindness changed the quality of my life.
Born with poor kidney function, I suffered renal failure at the age of nine and was hooked up to a dialysis machine to survive. After waiting three years I received a kidney transplant thanks to the generosity of someone who made the selfless decision to donate the 'Gift of Life'.
My transplant took me from simply existing to living. It enabled me to finish school and go on to university graduating with a Bachelor of Laws degree at the age of 21.
Following my transplant, I embarked on a mission to promote organ and tissue donation in the community so more people like me could experience that life changing impact a transplant has to offer. After years of advocacy work, I was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship. This enabled me to travel overseas to study international models of donation.
On returning from my fellowship, I founded the Organ Donation & Transplant Foundation of WA (ODAT) in 2008. ODAT provides education, promotion, support and advocacy on all aspects of Organ and Tissue donation in WA. Since becoming a DonateLife charter signatory in 2009, ODAT has achieved many great things for Organ and Tissue donation in WA through its programs and events.
Unfortunately last year, my transplanted kidney of 16 years failed and I am on dialysis awaiting another transplant. To all organ and tissue donors and their families, I have to say you are special. Special is a word that is used to describe something that is one of a kind, so 'special' is a word that describes you best.