Imagine you're 13 and someone said your mum was dying. Without a liver transplant she wouldn't survive till Christmas. Imagine knowing that to save your mum, someone would have to give the ultimate gift of life. This was my family's reality some years ago.
As Mum's condition grew worse, she clung to the life she had left, but slowly it was slipping away. Then at midnight we received a call that changed our family forever as a donor liver had been found. Mum went straight into surgery and it went well. While there were still many post-transplant challenges, Mum met them all and returned to near perfect health.
This moment forever changed my life. Between the dedication of Mum's medical team and the courageous and selfless gift of life from the donor family, I wanted to give something back.
In 2005 at age 15, I saw the Tour de France and an idea hit me - a ride to raise awareness and get people talking about organ and tissue donation. Two years later I completed the inaugural Awareness Ride during Australian Organ Donor Awareness Week, cycling over 1,800 km and raising much needed awareness. Then in 2009 another cycle ride took me from Cairns to Brisbane, helping to further spread the word about organ donation.
Recently Mum needed another transplant, and again thanks to a kind selfless donor, one was found. They say each donor can help the lives of up to ten people and I knew that if I could change one person's perspective on organ donation, then indirectly, I might improve the lives of ten.
I encourage everyone to think about organ donation and talk about it with your family. Imagine if your discussion or decision resulted in saving one life, or even ten. To you, I'd be forever grateful.