The two photos above are of the gorgeous Rachey...who is now an angel and I will talk about this later in my blog. I am pictured with Rachey here in 2008 when we met for the first time after years of chatting on the internet.
So as above, I attended my first Harefield Transplant Club renunion party for transplantees with their family and friends. I was overwhelmed with the turn out, 94 people and 25 of those actual transplantees (including myself). I have wanted to come along to these weekends, but have always found myself on holiday. But......Croatia done and dusted this year, I was free to come along finally!! :)
The first night was fancy dress with a mask theme and here I am as 'cats eye' and I wore matching black and grey outfit as a theme colour, then paraded with a skull cane and the skull face changed colour.
Do you know any of these people below.......
Below more 'mask' piccies - hope we don't find ourselves as wanted on Crimewatch ;)
I actually won the theme for the fancy dress night...woohoo and below I proudly hold my champagne :)
Good also to have some of Harefield's nurses enjoying in the fun, and Maria (far right) a lovely supporter still since her husband (Carl) passed away. I never met Carl, but learned that he competed in all the transplant games and found out this information taken from NHSBT
He has since shaved two seconds off that time, won a host of medals and trophies and captained the British team at the world championship in Australia in 1995"
Time to sleep now and wake up to a glorious sunny the next day, and have a fab walk along Bournemouth beach front.
Always time for sillyness too.....
You see the jokes and banter continue as Mandy enjoys ballooning ;)
All smiles having dinner :)
I was asked also to be a 'raffle girl' to go round each table and sell tickets....my opening line was, "£1.00 for a strip" needless to say I sold many tickets ;)
And here we are us raffle chikas :)
The evening meal ended with all of us transplantees standing up to recieve an applause, thank you to our donors we are still here!
Dinner finished and time to party and shake some moves on the dancefloor, below photo with Nicola (left) and Diane (right) then me as double - lungs (middle)
Urm....no idea, but seems I needed a rest on the dancefloor - thank you chair for being placed so central. And nothing to do with the chair dancing..........men.....weren't you the lucky ones when taking a breather (or maybe you needed one after)........ to the women who gave YOU a chair dance!!!!
Well, thats a wrap for the Hamsters' weekend, and I had a great time meeting new friends and being inspired and learning of other people's journeys since their gift of life operations. I will definitely go again, especially as next year will be the 30th anniversary celebrations!! Loved it, a truly amazing weekend :)
My dear friend Rachael Wakefield (photo at top of blog when we met in 2008) passed away October this year and was just 23 years old. Rachy battled with ill health most of her life and we became friends after she wrote to me in 2005. I did an article for 'Breathing Space' magazine and she read about my diagnosis with LAM. Over the years that followed a great friendship developed and we supported each other through our highs and lows with our illnesses. We both had double-lung transplants, but, Rachey didn't take to it that well and faced many complications that caused damage to her new lungs. Rachey only had 18 months post transplant, not enough. It is a very tragic loss indeed - but Rachey lived and fought as much as she could. Now Rachey is a beautiful star shining and sparkling bright in the sky. I will miss her and our chats + giggles very much. Also, its been a tough month with more of my friends loosing their battles.......making me realise just how lucky living is.......I am very grateful and appreciate every day I still buzz about.
'What is Obliterative bronchiolitis?
Obliterative bronchiolitis, also known as bronchiolitis obliterans, is a manifestation of chronic allograft rejection, that is, rejection following organ transplantation from another human being. It develops in nearly 50 percent of all patients who receive a lung transplant from an unrelated donor.
Obliterative bronchiolitis is a severe inflammatory response provoked by lung transplantation from an unrelated donor. The inflammatory response causes a large number of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell that fights infection) to come into the graft tissue (transplanted tissue), resulting in fibrosis (increase in fibrous tissue) and progressive narrowing of the airway. This can cause airway obstruction and is a major cause of death in patients after receiving lung transplantation.
The course of BOS, however, varies between individuals. Some patients experience rapid loss of lung function and die in a few months. Others progress slowly, followed by prolonged stability'.