Inspiring Stories: Transplantee climbs mountain
Lung transplant graduate to climb mountain
A University of Brighton graduate who underwent a double lung transplant is climbing a 19,000ft mountain to say thank-you to donors.
Amanda Chalmers was born with cystic fibrosis (CF) and needed oxygen 24/7 while studying for her Higher National Diploma in Material Practice.
Two years after her transplant, Amanda ran the Brighton Marathon in aid of the CF Trust and she is now in training for an even greater challenge.
The 27-year-old, who lives in Brighton and runs her own jewellery business, is joining 12 other lung and heart transplant patients and two transplant surgeons in climbing the world’s highest active volcano, Mount Cotopaxi in Ecuador.
The aim of ‘Climbing For My Donor’ from 26 June to 12 July is to raise awareness about the life-giving result of donating organs and to raise funds for organ care equipment, used to transport and preserve donated organs and which will increase the number of organs available for those in desperate need.
Amanda said: “No other lung transplantee has ever reached this height and so this will be a world record. We are all very excited about the challenge – it will be our way of thanking all the donors who have helped save our lives, and our way of raising funds and encouraging people to carry donor cards.”
André Simon, consultant cardiac surgeon and Director of heart and lung transportation with the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, is leading the expedition. He said: “It has been a dream of mine to take a group of our transplant patients, and show the world what can be achieved after a life-saving transplant. In doing so, we will raise the bar of expectation and generate significant awareness of organ donation.
“One in five people who need replacement lungs or a heart die whilst waiting for an organ in the UK and there is a huge shortage of available donor organs mainly because people simply aren’t aware of the issue of organ donation or just have not got round to discussing their feelings about organ donation with their families.”
Amanda has amazed her family and friends. She said: “Going from hardly being able to walk up my stairs to being able to run a marathon and climb mountains is something I’m so glad to have the chance to do.
“But I am only here due to the incredible generosity of my donor and their family, and am proof that organ donation truly changes lives. I also want to thank my amazing family and friends for all the support they have given me over the years, and to those who are sponsoring my new challenge.”
To sponsor Amanda, go to https://www.justgiving.com/Challenge12uk-climbingformydonor and for more information on the challenge, go tohttps://www.justgiving.com/Challenge12uk-climbingformydonor