Jussie sails with Clipper 11-12

Jussie sails with Clipper 11-12
I sailed the last leg (8) in 2012 - USA,Nova Scotia,Ireland,Netherlands & UK. Travelling 4,000 miles, approx 22 days at sea, with 4 races in this leg.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Team GB Go Go! and Bree

Transplantion is a gift, an extension on life. It is not a cure and complications/side effects from medications can occur. My life is one with a positive attitude through days which maybe harder than others. I live my life and love every day I wake up and still alive. Sometimes, my breathing may be an issue - but I keep going and get on with it! I do what I can and as best as I can.
Sadly, along the way friends loose their battle post transplant with either rejection or further complications after catching a virus for example. We know on the onset these things may happen as immuno-suppressed, but, as I've always said and those who know me well now. I believe I will be the longest living 'blue-rinse' granny double-lung transplantee ;)

So, this brings me onto the gorgeous Bree as in this photo. Bree and I were internet friends for many years through our illnesses, then I got my transplant. Bree kept wishing she would too and I promised her she would get her lungs and on 07/08/09 she did! :)

I travelled to Canada last October (where Bree lives) and made sure we met whilst there. Our silly, giggly times were real and not just online chat or Facebook messages. It was lovely to meet Bree finally and have an awesome inspiring time together. Now Bree has now gone to be with the angels, just under 2 years since her 'gift' due to a viral neurological infection which took her sight and now recently her life. Very sad indeed......

However....please still be inspired for as tragic as this is - transplantation is still a wonderful thing, as gives people like Bree and I extra time on life, that without, I simply wouldn't be typing now to you all. Also, why I continue to raise awareness on the importance of Organ Donation - as seriously you don't need your organs when your body is at rest. And registering online takes a few minutes and goes on to save the future of others - like it did mine. To register click here Register Thank you xx

There are also some people who live for many many years post transplant - there is no rule - no A-Z guidebook, and everyone is different. I would like to mention some friends in this blog who are also part of Team GB and achieving well post their transplants (further down into my write up)

Here we all are as, Team GB going to the World Transplant Games 17th-24th June 2011 in Gothenburg, Sweden for the 18th World Transplant Games. Can you spot me in the photo ;)

"The Summer World Transplant Games take place every two years where over 1500 athletes representing some 69 countries compete at an extraordinarily high level. Many however just come to enjoy taking part at their own pace and welcome the opportunity to meet with other transplant recipients in an atmosphere of fun and friendship" (taken from the WTGF website)
The World Transplant Games Federation is officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee.

On Sunday 22nd May, there was our last Team GB meeting and an early alarm wake up 5.15am was set. My friend, Jason would be collecting me at 6am for a 2.5 hour drive to get to the destination for more training too. Here I am ready for badminton. My events run over 3 consecutive days in Sweden and no doubt I will be shattered after. Just will be needing some R&R (rest & relaxation after). Nevermind, the fact soon after I get home, I have 2 final sailing courses for my Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. And, I will miss the British Transplant Games this year, shortly after the sailing courses finish....as I need say 'NO' and give my body a chance to chill :)

Me saying 'No' to something is unheard of, but, I am trying to learn to say this and have time for me and my precious lungs x

After some hours of playing badminton, we had the last meeting and learnt that 130 transplant athletes were part of Team GB (including the junior athletes) representing our Country in a variety of sports ranging from:- Badminton, Bowling, Cycling, Golf, Road Race, Squash, Swimming, Track & Field, Table Tennis, Tennis and Volleyball and so on!

Quick lunch pit stop, then team photo in our Team GB outside in the sun, and ding dong!! Round 2 of more training. Time for some Squash tips from the reigning champ, Ami. I have to admit I was exhausted and knew I wouldn't be able to do much but mustered on for maybe another 30mins or so until I knew I had to stop.

Shower and then homeward bound and for the countdown to commence until we are in Sweden....

OOps how did this get here, a sneaky peek at me at my local sports track ;)

Ok here are some other athletes from left to right:- Jade, Lisa, Kaylee, Me, and Emma.
Now carry on reading and be inspired :)

Transplant type: Heart
Years Post Transplant: 14 years
Reason for Transplant: born with dilated cardiomyopathy
Sports entering in World Games: badminton singles & mixed, 100m sprint, ball throw, long jump and 4 x 100 relay race.

Transplant type: Double Lungs & Heart
Years Post Transplant: 18 years
Reason for Transplant: Cystic Fibrosis
Sports entering: Badminton & Tennis

Transplant Type: Heart
Years Post Transplant: 24 years
Reason for Transplant: Cardiomyopathy
Sports entering: 100, 200m sprint, Badminton singles, 10 Pin Bowling & Long Jump
Kaylee had her transplant at just 5months old, and is the longest surviving heart recipient in the UK!

Justine (me)
Transplant type: Double-Lungs
Years Post Transplant: 5 years this July!
Reason for Transplant: Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM)
Sports entering: 100m sprint, Badminton mixed doubles & Badminton ladies doubles & Squash

Transplant type: Heart
Years Post Transplant: 9 years
Reason for Transplant: Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Sports entering: 100m, 200m, 50m freestyle swim, long jump & maybe relay race

More athletes Andy on left and Kez on the right.


Transplant Type: Heart

Years Post Transplant: 4.5 years
Reason for Transplant: Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Sports entering: Long jump, High Jump, Squash & 10 Pin Bowling

Some red head -but you already know about her ;)


Transplant Type: Heart

Years Post Transplant: 3 years

Reason for Transplant: Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Sports entering: Discus, Shot-Put, Javelin & 10 Pin Bowling

I also asked my friends if there was anything like they would like to add and it basically mirrors all I live for, and that their donor is very much loved and we are grateful to these donors. We are all proud to be part of Team GB and happy for support from family, friends and all of you's!!

Onto some good news, after returning home today, I recieved a letter saying that I have been selected to be a Sports Ambassador in my Borough and to make 'Personal Appearances' within this role. I feel very honoured and humbled and hope to inspire others with illnesses, disabilities, and awaiting transplants.

So there we go... R.I.P my dear friend Bree and let us all continue to grow strong, be inspired, be positive and treat every day as a truly beautiful thing. Do not take life for granted - and do something good today - tell people about the 'Gift of Life'

Thanks and happy smiles to each of you, and for the continuous support you give me xx

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Crew Allocation Day

Today's headlines as follows in photo below........


This is it! The day we get to find out our crew, skipper, yacht, and let the fun begin! I arrived the night before and met up with various people met so far from level 1, 2 and 3 theory for a yummy meal in Ocean Village.

Do you recognise any of these faces? Are they in your team? Adrian, Cath and crazy moi in middle (top photo) and Sarah, Shona, Paddy, Lesley, Catherine, Chris and then me (bottom photo)

Morning Saturday 30th April...wakey wakey Clipper dudes and dudettes......this is the view greeting us all, paparrazi and more face shot photos required for the Clipper 11-12 website.

Still time to relax before the main meeting and have a coffee with Wendy, Ollie and Wend

352 participants in this room - more people than any of the other years attending a crew allocation day and still not all the people taking part in the race! A 10am punctual start and time to learn more news about the race and hear words of advice from Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. The start of the race is July 31st and will be from somewhere in the Solent - still to be confirmed exactely where. Then to meet the skippers and for them to read the names of who are in their teams. Woo!! I am with a skipper named, Gordon Reid on yacht CV1. With a crew of 49 people doing 1 or more leg (s) of the race and with 8 of those doing the complete race!!! Brave souls indeedy.

I also learnt more about the leg that I'm doing and will be away for about 2 months approx in total (including time at ports) from end May to June & July 2012. I will no doubt miss the European Heart & Lung Transplant Games which normally fall about this time over the Summer - which was a commitment I was prepared to take. The games are in Holland, and ironically - I will be sailing there....I wonder if the dates will be when the actual games take place, then I could say hello to all my friends across Europe/UK too and maybe enter a 100m sprint ;)

And here are some of as Transplant Ambassadors:- Nick, Steve, me, John, TT and Darius ranging from transplant surgeons, transplant co-ordinator and transplant recipients.
I think the word is getting out and about us, and of the 500 people taking part in the Round the World Yacht race, there is a minority of us - seeking to raise awareness of Organ Donation (about 10 within this group) and about half of those actual transplant recipients. But, me being the only double-lungs. Bit surreal for me still, breathing with someone else's lungs, but hope my donor is proud of me.

Once we were informed of our skipper/team, we were all grouped together to hear from Gordon (skipper) about his background, crew roles, pre-race schedule, working out a boat song, boat dynamics and rules, and much much more.
After the meeting at the luxurious De Vere Hotel in Southampton, coaches were taken to Ocean Village to have group photos of our team/skipper - then an overall photo of everyone with some of the yachts there. ELECTRIC - was the atmosphere...cheering...clapping..so many smiles...and the banter had already started.......

Here I am with Callum, TT and Nick as part of CV1 waiting for a coach.

Onlookers had come to support us all - and probably thinking hundreds of crazy people about to embark on sailing around the world, I wish I had the bottle to do that - brave individuals.

And lovely to see Sir Robin Knox-Johnston overlooking on the balcony supporting the new bunch of Clipper 11-12 crew. If he can do it - then so can we!!

And here is the Skipper, Gordon - and 2 crew members on our 'Winning' Team to be!!!

A mass of red coats, buzzing ambience and chants - but, don't worry you other teams. CV1 is proud to already announce that the trophy have our name engraved....we just got wait a whole year to get it!!

Oh and before I sign out to yet another entry....a big shout out to those (who WILL know who they are) who said have read my blogs but never commented or tick 'like' on the Facebook Clipper 11-12 Group. But.....in a space of almost 5 minutes about 4 people said to me...."Oh...your the lung chick...I've seen your photos....I recognise you from your red hair...I know about you"...it did make me smile and chuckle. I'm pleased to know that even though sometimes people may never say anything...that secretly my blog is read. But...you can tick 'like' or comment or request to add me ;)

I still have level 3 practical to do and level 4 - both back to back in July. But, for now as some of you are aware...I'm competing in my 1st ever World Transplant Games in Sweden next month and need keep training for that - eek.

Okies....time for me to say goodbye for now. Loved the weekend, it totally rocked! And fantastic to meet so many new people. Bring it ON!!!

Happy smiles and much love for now

CV1 champions