Celebrating National Volunteer Week with Mary Bawden

Mary Bawden – Liver Recipient, DonateLife Volunteer and Star Athlete!

Mary Bawden

At DonateLife Victoria, we value our volunteers every single day, helping in so many ways to get the message out across Victoria.  But in National Volunteers Week we want everyone to know!

Mary Bawden received a liver transplant 10 years ago and has never stopped helping others understand this incredible gift through volunteering with DonateLife Victoria and Transplant Australia, as well as being as active as possible through sport!  Check out her motivation and story here. 

“I am humbled and blessed at receiving my “second life” when so many die waiting for a transplant. This knowledge drives me to make the most of my life and in doing so honouring my donor’s gift. I wake up every morning amazed and thankful that I am part of this miraculous world.

“I’ve been a Community Champion for DonateLife Victoria for many years now,” Mary says. “I willingly and proudly participate in any activity that encourages organ and tissue donation and educates the community about this issue. I particularly enjoy DonateLife week and the University O Weeks.”

“I have attended 5 Australian Transplant Games, including in Melbourne in 2014.  I was chosen as the face of the Games by Transplant Australia for Melbourne which gave me many opportunities to speak about Organ and tissue donation and share my story,” says Mary.

While post-transplant there have been many challenges, Mary feels strongly that overall life is wonderful.  Her particular highlights have included seeing her three children happy and successful, sharing in the lives of her five grandchildren, spending time with family and friends and traveling overseas.

“I find that the community is very happy to hear about transplantation and are open to discussion. My talks to community groups are also very rewarding as I am able to share my story and also dispel any myths.  More recently I took part in the making of Micro stories which will be used on social media to promote transplantation.”

Mary has one particular message to get across that inspires her to keep volunteering. “Without the generosity and courage of my donor and her family, the brilliance and medical expertise of the Austin Hospital Liver Transplant Unit and the unwavering support and love of my family and friends, none of this would be possible.”

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer with DonateLife email donatelife@redcrossblood.org.au

For more details on organ and tissue donation visit www.donatelife.gov.au

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