Hi, I'm Anna. I'm 14 years old.
In November 2017 I collapsed at school during a PE lesson and was rushed to Worcester Royal Hospital and was then referred to Birmingham Children's Hospital for loads of tests. I was immediately stopped from playing hockey and all other sports,. That was so unfair as I also enjoyed football, netball and did after-school dance club too.
In January 2018 I was diagnosed with Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, an incurable heart disease. I need a heart transplant and was referred again to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London.
On May 25th 2018 - I was placed on the Heart Transplant waiting list
... still waiting... along with 40 other kids and some tiny babies, in the UK, for our 'gift of life'
ISSUE: Children needing organ transplants need child-sized organs so that they fit and there aren't enough child donors. It's perfectly natural for parents to want to protect their children after they pass away and any decision to donate organs is usually made at the time of bereavement - the most traumatic time.
Family refusals account for more than 50% the available child donors. At the same time 25% of children on the heart transplant waiting list never get their gift of life.
This is a problem we can fix in order to improve donation numbers and save the lives of children just like me.
FACT: A single child donor can save the lives of up to 9 seriously ill children and with tissue donation can help to improve the lives of around 40 more.
Child donors only ever pass away in hospital, usually following a major trauma and only when they have been diagnosed as brain dead and life support needs to be withdrawn.
SOLUTION: Your child can be a hero to multiple recipients and literally hundreds of others... their parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, school friends. Your babies hearts will not die, but continue beating experiencing life inside another and creating memories which will be cherished like no others.
Families just need to talk about donation... ITS THAT SIMPLE... talk about donation and understand each others wishes and include the wishes of your children. Have that conversation which allows you to agree what you would want to do in the unlikely event that you are asked about donation.
MY FUNDRAISER: It feels strange that my mountain bike has been locked away gathering dust for so long, that I have outgrown it.
I met with Mike Field of OnBikes Electric Bikes in Worcester. He has been amazing and has kindly given me an electric mountain bike. Getting back in the saddle feels amazing. Staying active (without getting completely breathless) is so important, and will help me recover after transplant.
I am not wasting this chance to ride a bike again so on May 24th-27th I am going to ride my incredible eMTB 212km around Worcestershire - that's the same distance from my house to Great Ormond Street Hospital and my Dad won't even be able to keep up with me !
GOSH is a truly amazing hospital and the consultants and nurses there are looking after me really well, keeping me safe. GOSH is part funded through GOSH Charity. I am keen to raise funds which will allow them to continue doing great work in saving and improving the lives of children with rare diseases and life threatening conditions
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
I appreciate anything you can donate.