Hope and Abby went to Covent Garden market and, with the help of a few friends like the wonderful Alexandra Burke, several transplant recipients, a team of people ready to sign people up and the Battlefront team, set a new world record in the number of adults signed up to the donor register in one hour in any one place. The signed up 321 adults in the hour, plus several children and numerous more people throughout the day! That's a potential for 2968 lives to be saved from the 321 alone! They were incredible. The best way to tell you the story of the day is through these pictures...
|Hope and Abby nervously waiting for things to kick off and to address the assembled crowds and press|
|William waits with other transplant recipients to go on stage|
|Guiness official ready to verify the record|
|Claxon, stop watches, sign up sheets, pens... ready!|
|and Jameela Jamil (T4 Presenter)|
|and a lot of media - I couldn't help thinking how daunting that would be for the girls to come on stage to, let alone the crowd!|
|especially when our dear friends Oli and Kati spoke about the wonderful donor who saved Oli's life, meaning they can marry and have a fantastic life together|
|Alexandra Burke and her guitarist performed 'Perfect' and 'Hallelulia'|
|It really was incredibly emotional for everyone|
|After Alexandra's beautiful performance, the 'signing up' team got going...|
|some of the crew signed...|
|as did Matt's little boy|
|and Alexandra's guitarist... as well as over 360 others...|
|after a very tightly measured hour, it was time for the count. Every single form had to be checked by the official!|
|a nervous wait...|
|then celebrations (which I switched to video mode for but can't upload on here right now, will try again) More balloons let off, this time for all those whose lives could be saved by the amazing people who signed up as part of the record.|
It was an incredible, incredible day! Hope had told Alexandra Burke about me, a very special moment as Alexandra's mum has been waiting for a kidney transplant for years and she knows what it is like to have a mum with a chronic and dangerous condition and an uncertain future. Alexandra wanted to meet me and tell me how fantastic Hope is and how proud I should be of her - which I am of course, very much so. She was a lovely lady. Very down to earth and she stuck around the whole afternoon, taking part in everything. The girls were very, very lucky to have her on board. We all had some very special moments with her. It was lovely watching Hope flourish, Wills entertain as ever and Ellie enjoy supporting them (she's a designer rather than front stage girl). It was wonderful having close friend there involved. It was fantastic meeting new people who share that special experience of having lived through the terror and fear of organ failure and the new life that is given through transplantation. It was also really special having Matt and his boys sharing our day and coming with us to talk to Alexandra as part of the family.
I was exhausted at the end of it, so much so that I couldn't even more from the sofa by the end of the evening. Thank goodness we have a snuggly throw over it! Kati shared her and Oli's conception of energy levels as a bottle that gets drained and needs refilling. I like that idea. It makes more pictorial sense to me than spoons. I'll be blogging more on that later... but for now, I'll just leave with these two inspirational girls and their amazing achievement.