When people used to ask me what my favourite colour was, I would always say it was green. A couple of years ago my family went through the tragedy of losing one of our youngest members and it changed my favourite colour for good.My cousin Michelle and her partner John had to make the decision as to whether or not they would donate their son Ethan's organs. The hospital had been fighting to save Jimmy (Ethan's nickname is Jimmy), but there was nothing they could do. All of us went to the hospital, to be together as we said goodbye. The family room in the hospital was too small for all of us, so the hospital staff moved us down to the library. It was there that Michelle and John came down to us after they said goodbye. One of the most heartbreaking sentences I have ever heard was when John said 'While we're all down here saying no! no! no!, there are five families in this hospital saying, yes!'
Jimmy's favourite colour was yellow. Each year on the anniversary of us saying goodbye to Jimmy, we all wear yellow and talk to people about the life giving gift of organ donation. I'm a registered organ donor, but if something happens to me and my family are asked about organ donation the decision lies with them. That's why there are several important parts to becoming a registered organ donor.
Donate Life has some excellent resources and statistics about organ donation in Australia. There are around 1,500 people on organ donation waitlists at any time. An organ or tissue donation can change the lives of 10 or more people. In 2014, 378 organ donors gave 1,117 Australian's a new chance in life. Less than 1% of people die in hospitals in circumstances where organ donation was possible.
An important thing to do if you would want your organs donated is to register, which Australian's can do here. Organ donation saves and changes the lives of people who are usually very ill or dying because their organs are failing. If you are registered and your family are ever asked if they would like to donate your organs to save someone's life, they will be told that you are registered and that you wish to donate.
If you aren't registered to donate, your family will still be asked if they would like to donate your organs and tissue. They are more likely to to do so if you are registered, but they are even more likely to do so if you have discussed your wishes with them. If you are a registered donor it is important to have the conversation with them. I had the conversation with my mother not long after Jimmy's death, and she said that even though I was registered, she didn't think she would be able to make that decision. I told her all the reasons why I wanted to do it, and I hope that if that time ever comes, she will support my decision. If you want to know about how to start the discussion about your decision with the right people, there is some information here.
Now I've captured your attention with all this talk of yellow being Jimmy's favourite colour, I should tell you why I'm riding such a brilliant bike!
I saw this dress on eBay a few weeks ago and pounced on it, mostly because it is yellow. I paired it with my favourite (now broken) sandals and was hoping to wear it this weekend in Bendigo when my partner took me away for my birthday. We stayed at an Art Series hotel called the Schaller Studio and when we arrived they had these bikes all lined up out the front. I lost it for a couple of reasons. The bikes are Lekkers, which my sister and I both ride, and I had brought along this yellow outfit for pictures! I set the Lekker bike company up on Instagram and Twitter a few years ago, and my next dream bike of theirs was this model but in mint. It's called a Jordaan (your-darn). I'm now thinking I might need one in yellow as well. Lekker is a Dutch word, which means delicious or damn tasty.
Earrings: Retro Rosie Earrings - Modcloth
Beret: (last picture) eBay
Dress: eBay - Alannah Hill
Bike: Jordaan - Lekker
Shoes: sold out - ModCloth
Location: Schaller Studio - Bendigo
Oh by the way, if you're looking at this impressed that I'm riding in heels, do yourself a favour and come over here and read my post: Ride Your Bike in Heels; It's Easier Than You Think.
Love, love, love.
While I was celebrating my birthday and taking these photos, Stephanie Scott was taken from her family and her partner and brutally murdered. As of writing this post, the number of women murdered in Australia this year sits at 30. This particular murder struck too close to home for many women; the fact that she was abducted from her work on the weekend was in the front of my mind when I ducked into my office on Saturday to pick up something I forgot. Her life shares so many parallels with so many young women, it is hard not to feel it. And we feel it. I got a bit emotional when my partner asked me last Friday if my favourite colour was yellow. I said yes, and he said simply that it was Stephanie's favourite colour too. Knowing that, knowing I had this post about my favourite colour coming up, knowing I was wearing red lipstick in it for Red My Lips in support of victims of assault and sexual violence, I knew I had to add this note. I wasn't going to mention Red My Lips in this post, because I felt that Jimmy and organ donation needed the spotlight, but this week, I felt that for Stephanie, I needed to say something. Red My Lips work to change the attitudes that think women can somehow prevent violence by not walking alone in parks, by dressing a certain way, or by changing their behaviour. Once Red My Lips reach their fundraising target for the year, they donate any surplus funds to organisations working to support people who have survived assault and sexual violence. Please consider donating. (donate here)