Kerry is already making a big difference fronting a poster campaign by the charity Live Life Then Give Life. The cheeky posters show beautiful Kerry with the slogans, ‘Would you give her one?’ and ‘I’d give you one’
Kerry is facing a race against time to receive a life saving double lung transplant. Her life is currently a cycle of medication, hospital visits and treatments.
Kerry is beautiful, positive and giving. Her dreams can be summed up easily. They are to marry her fiancé and go about her day without being short of breath. Outside this she has dreams to travel and continue with her education, two things she can’t do at present due to her health. She dreams of a wedding where she will not require oxygen and where she can walk down the aisle to be with her very supportive fiancé, who she describes as ‘her everything’.
At the age of just twenty Kerry faces an uncertain future. She has end-stage cystic fibrosis diabetes, arthritis and liver disease. Kerry was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at six months old but did not begin to become ill until she was thirteen. At eighteen her health deteriorated rapidly to the point where today she needs a double lung transplant. In October 2010 doctors told Kerry that without the transplant she only has eighteen months to live.
At a recent hospital appointment she was told that her lung function was at the lowest it had ever been (just 19% of that of a healthy person). “I try to have a positive outlook and maintain a big, huge smile on my face as every day I wake up I am so thankful that I am still alive” Kerry tells me.
Her positivity is what is really striking on hearing her speak. You can hear the smile in her voice and you can’t help but hope this plucky young woman receives the transplant she deserves.
Kerry does fear years of prolonged ill health but is determined to go ahead with a transplant and seeks to follow her dreams.
“They say you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice. If I sat and complained every day, or had a negative attitude, and didn’t even think about what could be, I wouldn’t be living I would be dying”. Kerry goes on to say, “the bitter truth is that there are not enough organs to meet the demand. But I want anyone unsure about becoming a donor to know what a difference they can make”.
“If I can make just one person learn more about cystic fibrosis and sign up to be a donor then it has been worthwhile” Kerry tells me and she is certainly doing this. She is a shining example of taking the lemons life has dealt her and turning them into lemonade. Her efforts are influencing the increase in numbers signing the donor register.
Sadly three people in the UK die every day waiting for a transplant and this is simply because there are not sufficient donors.
Almost all of us would accept a transplant if we needed one but only 29% of people are on the donor register. If you would accept one then consider giving one.
Go to www.uktransplant.org.uk
For more information on the Live Life Then Give Life campaign go to www.lltgl.org.uk
To read Kerry’s blog go to http://kerryalexxx.blogspot.com