Marcia at the end of a five mile walk and looking fantastic
The weather has been glorious over the last few days and I have been able to enjoy it while working on the Gifts of Life Project. On Sunday, I went along to a sponsored walk in aid of a holiday fund enabling patients to continue with dialysis in a specially adapted and staffed holiday home. I have already introduced some of the people I met who are waiting for new kidneys. Rahul and Marcia have already received their gifts and were enjoying their new gifts of life to the full. Rahul has received two transplants. The most recent was donated by his brother who now lives in Singapore. He was very pleased to tell me all the things he, his brother and brother's family have achieved in life since then. Marcia is a beautiful and elegant lady. I have a lovely portrait of her which will be revealed when the exhibition opens. Her kidneys failed when a sudden immunological illness attacked them. She received an urgent transplant very quickly.
I enjoyed the sun in the park again on Tuesday when I went to meet Nelly. Nelly is a Live Life Then Give Life advocate and you can read more about her story here - although she is no longer waiting for her new kidney as she received it in January this year. The first thing that struck me about Nelly, and that I got to discover more and more through the day, was that she is full of fun and very playful. She kept asking me for jokes (my knowledge of which is pityful and I really must learn some new ones as they were useful in getting smiles and laughs). I was not surprised when she said that she really wanted to take the photos in her favourite park where she likes to play on the swings. There are more images of Nelly in the project gallery here Thanks to her Dad arriving home early, it was possible for us to get there. Nelly uses a wheelchair because of physical disabilities caused by her kidney disease. She has been able to walk short distances without her crutch since her transplant. It was lovely spending time with Nelly. She has had some ups and downs since her transplant. A few weeks ago I asked people to tell me their life story in 6 words to collate as an accompanyment to the images in the exhibition and photo book. Nelly told me hers on Tuesday. Life's a trampoline: Up and down. That sums up perfectly how it has been for Nelly, and reflects her playful personality too. Let's hope there are a long stream of ups from now on.