So the year is nearly over, and WOW what an eventful year indeed. So many achievements, awards, medals and so on. It has been worth it amongst the health blips over the year. Having a transplant is a life extender, but not a cure as it comes with it's own issues to deal with and fighting when the immune system is low. However, I would not change anything for the world - as it HAS given me life and longer days, months, and years. I still do not take anything for granted, and realise each new day IS a bonus, and one I am so grateful and appreciate my donor for this opportunity.
I decided to mention some items in the months whereby things have happened as follows, and then summarising at the end. Like Jerry Springer's final thoughts - though mine without all that drama ;)
April Awarded as a Chelmsford Sports Ambassador 2012-2013
June Clipper 11-12 - started my challenging round the world yacht race (leg 8) over 4,000 sea miles
July Clipper 11-12 - completed my leg in the sailing race and making history as the 1st woman with a double lung transplant to have sailed the Atlantic Ocean.
6th Year Post Double-Lung Transplant - celebrated at sea (well, was too ill to do so, so had a welcome home sailor tea party and celebration of life back home and with thanks/memory to my donor).
August British Transplant Games Silver Badminton Doubles Bronze in:- shot put, javelin and discus
September Awarded the European Lung Foundation Award
October Awarded Winner in the Active Chelmsford Sports Personality of the Year.
Awarded Winner in the Harefield Hamsters (from my hospital that specialises in transplants) Special Award for my sailing in the Clipper 11-12 race and raising Organ Donor Awareness across the globe
November Awarded as a Runner up in Essex Chronicle Sports Star of the Year.
Awarded as Top 5 Daily Mail Inspirational Woman of the Year Award, which had over 1,000 entries. I felt very humbled to be recognised for all my achievements and to meet Samantha Cameron at No:10. My previous journal I wrote more about this amazing experience.
Final thoughts So, as you can see it really has been quite an eventful year for me. The best news was learning that LAM disease has not spread to my brain, as initially the doctor looking into this, thought I may have a tumour or a stroke as LAM is a circulatory condition affecting various organs. All this due a regular eye test, that followed up with more investigations showing my left eye re: it's circulation had slowed in one eye and looked very different with photos taken to my right eye. Anyways, besides that and being poorly for a couple of months after my mammoth sailing experience...another lucky year for me and I'm still alive!!!!
2013, I hope will be another great year, as I look forward to the World Transplant Games, in Durban South Africa (July). I will be training very hard and even if I come home without a medal, I know I would have given it my all, and simply being there IS a winner! Also, will I finally get to complete my auto-biography that is simply taking a lifetime to complete!? fingers crossed xx
A few mini challenges no doubt throughout the year too and my 1st one being on 6th January doing a 4K run with a lady from Essex Boot Camp (EBC), called Karen. And then another event with EBC later on in the month of February. I know I wrote a little bit about EBC in my last blog (at the very end of it), but I cannot recommend how amazing this is for all round fitness and well being. Please check their website here thanks. I wish words could thank enough all the instructors that I have met so far, and the people that go too - what a load of lovely people! Thanks again to the directors Glynn and James. Also, thanks to all the other coaches Michael Kilbey, Brian MacKenzie, and to Chelmsford Sports Athletic Centre and Riverside Ice & Leisure Centre for the use of their facilities.
Almost time to round up my final journal for 2012. I do still think about all the friends I have lost this year and over the years, never forget, but time helps heal though. I just wish more people would sign the Organ Donor Register to help lives for the future. And I wish my friends still waiting - that no matter what organ they are waiting for, the wait isn't long. xxxx
I wish everybody good health and happiness, and hope all your dreams come true. Please live life and relish each day, it truly is beautiful and I am nervous and excited knowing that July 9th 2013, will be my 7th year post double lung transplant. I hope for good health and to make another year.
Lotsa love to you all, and to all the continued support from each of you's xxx