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Transplant Unit Annual Reunion

Thought I would just share this with you, last Friday was my transplant units annual reunion. The unit has its own charity, now 25 years old, it helps to make the transplant experience for patients and families that little bit more bearable. It provides things like complimentary therapies, newspapers, those little extras for patients and visitors, it also helps to provide financial help to those who may be in need. And it covers the cost of the reunion at a city centre hotel and the dinner for patients and guests.
There are many fund raising events throughout the year, sponsored walks, concerts and the like. The reunion event also acts as a fundraiser with raffle, auction and tombola.

I was fortunate enough to meet again a lady who had had a transplant 26 years ago and is keeping in good health albeit in her seventies.
At the other end of the scale we shared a table with a young couple and their teenage family. The man had had a transplant a year ago, he was a shadow of how I looked and felt a year ago. He had been having a bad time with infections and depression and was desperate to get back to work.
I reassured him that when we meet again next year he will be a different person and suggested he get in touch with Anthony Nolan and sign up to the forum, I hope he has a look at what Anthony Nolan has to offer.

Do any other transplant units have a similar get together or charity, if you don't maybe you could suggest one, it's also an opportunity to meet some of the staff away from work.

Peter

Comments

  • Peter – that sounds fabulous, and is definitely something I'll mention to my transplant unit.

    I've often thought that all the transplant patients would benefit hugely from having an opportunity to meet and talk to each other (that's something I've really appreciated with Anthony Nolan events), but there doesn't seem to be any approved way to do so. It can be difficult to strike up conversations in the waiting room, too, as you don't want to intrude on someone's space if they're having a difficult, private moment, for example.

    In addition, you spend such an intensive time with the medical staff that it's a shame if you only ever see them for clinical reasons – I'd love to share a toast with my doctors and nurses!

    I know the haematology unit has its own charitable funds, which go towards upgrading the unit, but there's nothing as exciting as this... yet.

    George
  • This sounds like a great idea ,Peter.
    You sometimes don't realise how far you have progressed until you see someone who is further back in the journey than you are.
    My husband has offered to help mentor anyone who is going through a transplant but it is not encouraged in his unit.

    Will mention it in Belfast transplant unit and see what they say.

    Una
  • George

    Good look, get to work on your transplant unit. Our local charity has a web/ Facebook page which I could maybe pass on to you via Amy if she is agreeable, it would give you an idea what it's about.

    I also agree with you that it does help to chat with patients going through similar experiences and that the clinic waiting room is often not really the place to open up if you are not felling well.
    I was probably lucky because of the numbers passing through our dedicated unit, they had a system of pre transplant clinic days, and then different days for post transplant patients as they progressed and got better. On the latter days you did get the chance to chat but not everyone wanted to and you had to respect that.
    And yes it's good to see the staff relaxed and enjoying themselves.

    I too have enjoyed attending a couple of Anthony Nolan events and meeting people from this site and exchanging stories and would recommend them.

    Peter
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