This is Aaron. He is twelve years old and received a combined transplant of a liver and small bowel nine years ago. He has been a real inspiration to me as I love to think of William in nine years time, thriteen years old - a teenager - and running around with boundless energy like Aaron. Aaron's Mum, Cat is also wonderful and created the fantastic website 'Transplant Kids' I don't know where I would have been without the transplant kids forum over the past year. You can read more about Aaron and see just how far he has come and why he fills me with so much hope for the future here. As you will see, Aaron is sporty and adventurous. I couldn't photograph him in the mountains doing his snowboarding so chose to reflect his 'urban cool' style instead. It is funny how the things you walk past day after day, hardly noticing or maybe even seeing as something rather ugly, can suddenly catch your eye in a whole new way when looking for locations to reflect a particular mood or style. Today, a big 'ugly' piece of corregated steel in a tatty car park on a Birmingham side street did just that.
William, Hope, Ellie and I spent today in Birmingham to join in the intestinal transplant family day. This was a fantastic day where our wonderful team took the time out to share the current state of the transplant programme with us (which was hugely encouraging and I will blog about that on my 'My Journey With William' blog over the next couple of days) as well as provide useful information sessions, play for the children and a party in the afternoon. To avoid being up at 5am to get there on time, we stayed in the hotel on Friday night. This was the hotel I stayed in throughout William's transplant recovery and I have walked up the road from there to the hospital numerous times through all sorts of weather. It was there that I found the location for Aaron's photo shoot. I am thankful to him, Cat and his brother Jamie for getting up that little bit earlier to make time to take the photos first thing this morning, before the day began. We had some fun doing it and I think it reflects Aaron very well. William certainly enjoyed meeting him and I hope they will enjoy catching up with each other on many more family days to come. In another nine years time, Aaron will be in his twenties and it will be William who is cool and trendy rising teen. We heard a lot today to fill us with realistic hope that this day will come.