Henrik Gunnarson, Sweden

Heart transplant – Spring 1999

Henrik Gunnarson, Sweden

Henrik Gunnarson, Sweden

Henrik has loved coming to TACKERS camp with his father and younger brother, Hans. At camp Henrik has enjoyed skiing but decided that snowshoeing was his favourite activity. The family have found it a positive experience especially networking with other families whose children have also had transplants. They cannot wait to come back next year and his father, Per, has even enquired about becoming a camp counsellor! Henrik and Hans will be learning English and French in the coming year so that they can get even more out of TACKERS 2005.

At school Henrik’s favourite subject is mathematics and his homework at camp was to write a travelogue reporting on what he did at TACKERS. After school Henrik goes sailing and has recently joined the Sea Scouts.

Per is very proud of Henrik and believes that his greatest achievement is making it through the operation. Henrik was only four years old when he had his transplant and he has been very mature about it.

This is also available in: French, German

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Phillip Bates, USA

Lung and kidney transplants (July 1993 and August 2003)

 Phillip Bates, USA

Phillip Bates, USA

TACKERS 2004 was Phillip’s third time at camp. He loves the snow, skiing and the interaction with the other children. He says that the kids here ‘get it’ and do not freak out about the medicines, scars and tubes, like the children at school do. Also, all the children give support to each other as they have shared the same experiences.

At school, Phillip likes anything related to science and loves participating in scientific experiments. Outside of school, he enjoys watching television; his favourite video game is Pokemon; and he loves studying animals.

Phillip’s mother, Terinda, believes that camp is a wonderful experience and worth the long journey as it is an opportunity of a lifetime. She wishes that there could be more funding so that other American children can come to TACKERS as many transplant children have not been out of their own state.

Regarding organ donation, Terinda thinks it is sad that anyone has to wait for a transplant but it is even sadder for children as they have to put their lives on hold.

This is also available in: French, German

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Leonie Snowden, UK

Heart and lung transplant – April 2003

Leonie had suffered from cystic fibrosis all of her life, which prevented her from attending school full time and had resulted in her being too tired to do anything else. Since her transplant, Leonie has been able to do everything and enjoys playing football, going horse riding and shopping with her friends. Leonie has now finished school and works in telesales but in September she will go to college to commence her training as a masseuse.

At camp, despite finding the skiing hard work, Leonie has seen it as a positive experience and has also enjoyed the dog sledging and meeting new people. Leonie believes that organs should not go to waste and go to people who need them.

This is also available in: French, German

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Amy Wild, UK

Heart transplant – 2002

Amy was unfortunate to have a virus attack her heart, which resulted in an emergency heart transplant. She has been able to resume the life she had before and enjoys swimming, running and participating in P.E. at school. Amy likes everything about camp, including the skiing, dog sledging, swimming and going to the karaoke discos. When Amy arrived at the airport to come to TACKERS she did not know anybody and was very nervous, but now she has made lots of new friends and believes that TACKERS is a great opportunity for herself and others to talk about their transplants. Amy believes that organ transplantation is very important because it helps to save people’s lives.

This is also available in: French, German

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Laura Kane, UK

Heart transplant – 1996

Laura Kane, UK

Laura Kane, UK

Laura suffered from cardiomiopathy heart disease and after having two pace makers fitted, it was decided that it would be best for her to have a heart transplant, which was a success. Laura was delighted as she had already missed a year of school.

Laura enjoys playing sport, listening to music, going shopping and catching up with her friends. At the World Transplant Games in 2003, Laura won two gold medals for the long jump and 100 metres sprint. She also won gold medals in the same two events at the British Transplant Games 2003.

TACKERS 2004 was Laura’s second camp and she has enjoyed making new friends and seeing friends again from last year’s camp. She believes that it is important for people to carry donor cards.

This is also available in: French, German

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Emma Gibson, UK

Kidney transplant – June 1996

Emma Gibson, UK

Emma Gibson, UK

Emma was diagnosed with Henloch Schlien when she was ten years old and was put on dialysis for six months leading up to her transplant. Prior to her transplant, Emma found her diet very frustrating as she couldn’t eat chocolate, bananas, potatoes, salt or food with potassium in.

Emma’s transplant went well and she is currently studying for her ‘A’ levels in Art, Textiles, and English. She enjoys going out, listening to music, drawing, playing football and going shopping. In 2003, Emma attended the World and British Transplant Games, where she won a bronze and gold medal respectively.

Emma has now been to two TACKERS camps and enjoys catching up with old friends, having a laugh and improving her skiing and snowboarding techniques.

This is also available in: French, German

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Barbara Jereb, Slovania

Liver transplant – 2000

Barbara Jereb, Slovania

Barbara Jereb, Slovania

Barbara had her liver transplant at the age of fifteen, after suffering from liver disease for three years. Before her transplant, Barbara was very shy but now she is much more confident and enjoys going to school everyday, participating on school trips, dancing, and skiing.

She finds everyone at TACKERS really nice and likes it that the counsellors don’t get angry if you go wrong when you are skiing! Barbara has also enjoyed making her banner for the closing parade.

Barbara is surprised that a ski camp for transplant children is possible and is happy about the opportunity that she has been given to come to Switzerland. She would like to thank Roche for sponsoring the week.

This is also available in: French, German

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Kelly Wood, UK

Heart and Kidney Transplant – 1988

Kelly (right) is currently studying for her GCSEs and her favourite subjects at school are Mathematics, Science, ICT and Design & Technology. In September, Kelly will go to college to study ICT and full technology. After school, Kelly likes to hang around with her friends, listen to music, and go shopping for new clothes. At camp, Kelly has had a great time and has enjoyed skiing, banner painting and making friends.

This is also available in: French, German

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Louise Wentworth, UK

Heart transplant – March 1993

Louise was born with multiple holes in her heart and until she was old enough to receive a transplant, the doctors had to keep re-patching her current heart. At four, she had her heart transplant.

Louise likes to play netball, basketball, practise gymnastics, and at school P.E. is her favourite subject at school. At TACKERS, Louise has enjoyed skiing, the snow and meeting new people.

This is also available in: French, German

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Rebecca Spain, UK

Heart transplant – June 2001

Rebecca (left) required a transplant due to an enlarged heart. Since her operation, she enjoys P.E., horse riding, swimming, going on roller coasters and walking her two dogs, Rosie and Sophie.

Rebecca has enjoyed skiing, being in the snow and dog sledging at camp. She finds the staff friendly and has enjoyed getting to know other children who have the same life experiences.

This is also available in: French, German

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Hannah Swift, UK

Heart transplant – October 1996

Hannah Swift, UK

Hannah Swift, UK

Hannah contracted cardiomiopathy and it was only three weeks from diagnosis to her transplant. Her transplant was successful, however she subsequently developed lymphoma, a blood cancer. She is now studying beauty therapy at college and likes swimming, clubbing and meeting up with her friends. In 2003, Hannah competed in the World Transplant Games where she won two silvers and a bronze medal in badminton, shot put and ball throwing.

Hannah has been actively involved with the media in talking about her experiences, having appeared on British television on GMTV and ‘The Salon’ programme and was also featured in the British teenage ‘Dare’ magazine. In 2002, the ‘Make a Wish’ charity made it possible for her to model with the girls from ‘Big Brother 2’ for ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine.

Hannah finds TACKERS camp a positive experience as you can talk with people who have had the same experiences rather than being an individual who stands out at home.

This is also available in: French, German

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Kaylee Davidson, UK

Heart transplant – October 1987

Kaylee Davidson

Kaylee Davidson

Kaylee was the youngest baby in the UK to have a heart transplant. This was due to a virus attacking her heart. She is currently attending college and is studying performing arts, dancing and drama. She would eventually like to become a dance teacher. In her spare time, Kaylee enjoys dancing, socialising with friends, watching television and listening to music. In 2003, Kaylee participated in the World Transplant Games, which took place in Nancy, France. She competed in the 80 metres sprint, badminton, bowling and ball throwing. She achieved a silver medal in bowling and a bronze medal in badminton. Kaylee has now attended a TACKERS camp twice and has enjoyed improving her skiing skills and meeting other transplantees.

This is also available in: French, German

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Darren Mitchell, UK

Heart transplant – March 2000

Darren Mitchell, UK

Darren Mitchell, UK

Darren had not been well all his life and became suddenly sick when he was 12 years old when he had trouble keeping down any food. After some investigations, it was discovered that Darren was suffering from cardiomiopathy. Whilst Darren was waiting for his transplant, he could go to school part-time but could not participate in any of the school’s activities. He now enjoys playing football, rugby, golf and going fishing. The only thing he has been advised not to do is to go on roller coasters. At camp Darren has enjoyed learning new skills, such as skiing, snowshoe walking and skiing backwards! He believes that it is important to make people aware of organ donation, as donors are able to help someone else.

This is also available in: French, German

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Hannah Pudsey, UK

Heart Transplant – February 2001

Hannah Pudsey, UK

Hannah Pudsey, UK

Hannah had congenital heart problems and although she was able to go to school, she could not participate in any sport and was unable to walk very far. Hannah went back to school six months after her transplant. She is currently studying for her GCSEs and would like to go to college to study drama and become an actress. In her spare time, she likes to socialise with her friends. This was Hannah’s first time at camp and she enjoyed skiing, meeting and socialising with new people, and not being different from the other children.

This is also available in: French, German

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John Parsons, UK

Heart transplant – October 1994

John needed a heart transplant as he was suffering from cardiomiopathy heart disease and the most frustrating part of his experience was that he did not always know what was going on. Since his transplant, John has been well and has check-ups every three months. At school, his favourite subjects are art and P.E. His favourite hobby is playing and watching football and he supports Liverpool and Coventry. This was John’s first time at TACKERS’ camp and he has enjoyed skiing and has made it up to the top of the slopes on the mountains. John has made new friends and likes it that at the TACKERS’ camp nobody puts pressure on you and you can go at your own pace, as everybody is the same.

This is also available in: French, German

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Ajay McCellen, UK

Heart and lung transplant – Summer 2001

Ajay needed a heart and lung transplant as he had suffered from cystic fibrosis all of his life. He was unable to go to school and although he could sometimes ride his bike, he was unable to do anything else. After his transplant, Ajay took one year off before he went back to school. He now enjoys playing football, riding his bike, running and participating in P.E. at school. Ajay liked everything at camp and found the whole experience to be very funny. He says it is nice to do what you want and has enjoyed skiing, T-Shirt making, table tennis and wandering around the shops with his friends. Ajay’s attitude towards organ transplantation is that if the person has the opportunity, they should take it.

This is also available in: French, German

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David Goodman, South Africa

Kidney transplant – February 1999

David Goodman, South Africa

David Goodman, South Africa

David was born with only one kidney, which was in his pelvis. He only found this out when he was twelve years old, and unfortunately this was damaged having played contact sports, such as rugby and football all his life. He was put on dialysis for six months and although he could go to school, he was rarely there and could not do any sport. His mother kindly donated one of her kidneys and after 18 days, David was out of hospital and back at school six weeks later. He now enjoys skateboarding and surfing.

At camp, David liked snowboarding and hanging out with the counsellors. He believes it is good to see transplantees together and other children doing so well. In South Africa, transplantation on the black market is becoming a problem as few people are donating their organs, except for kidney donation within families. Additionally, poverty is an issue problem, as many citizens can neither afford nor have the medical aid or insurance and there is no state system.

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Delise Cassarino, Italy

Kidney transplant donated by her mother – February 2003

Delise Cassarino

Delise Cassarino

Delise had suffered cancer of one kidney when she was two years old and the other kidney when she was five and a half. After two years of dialysis and chemotherapy, Delise was put on the transplant list but her mother, father, grandmother and uncle were all willing to donate one of theirs. Delise’s mother, Romina, was told after many tests that she would be able to donate a kidney to her daughter.

Before her transplant, Delise was unable to run around, play tag, or ride her bike for a long period of time and could only attend school part-time. She was also very annoyed that she was not allowed to eat any chocolate!

Romina was able to leave the hospital five days after her operation and Delise was back at school after six weeks.

The best thing about having a transplant for Delise is being able to eat chocolate again and wee! At the weekend, Delise goes for theatre training where she spends three hours singing, dancing and practising drama. Six months after her transplant, Delise performed at the Palace Theatre in a Motown production. Delise also enjoys being able to swim without having to put on plastic bandages to cover her catheter tube.

When Delise grows up she would like to be a dentist in Italy as she has been told that they can make lots of money!!

This is also available in: French, German

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Adderly Buckland, UK

Liver transplant – May 2003

Adderly Buckland

Adderly Buckland

Adderly suffered from hypato-bilary syndrome where her liver was unable to generate enough oxygen to her blood, preventing her from breathing properly. She was put on the transplant waiting list in November 2002 and received her transplant six months after that. Before her transplant, Adderly was put on oxygen at night and could only go to school part-time and was unable to participate in any sports. At times she could hardly walk to her classes as she lacked energy.

Three months after her transplant, Adderly was back at school and now lives as she did before she got ill and likes to play badminton and netball. At camp she has enjoyed trying out skiing for the first time and is looking forward to the fancy dress night. Adderly likes sharing her experiences with people like herself and says the camp has a really nice atmosphere.

Adderly believes that it is a shame that not enough people donate their organs, because if they did, they would be able to help save many more patients.

This is also available in: French, German

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Jamie Wilding, UK

Liver transplants – January 2001 and November 2002

Jamie needed to have a transplant as he had raised enzyme levels in his liver. He was able to continue with his life as normal and go to school but was always feeling tired and out of breath. It is probable that Jamie had always suffered with this liver disease but it was only detected two years before his transplant. Jamie had to have a second transplant as the artery in his new liver collapsed and it also had deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In total, Jamie missed a year of school and when he returned, he had a month to prove to his teacher that he was able to keep up with his classmates and stay in that school year. Jamie proved that he was a fighter, remained in his school year and enjoys playing football and hockey.

Although he found the skiing at TACKERS a little tiring, he thoroughly enjoyed it and found everybody friendly. Besides learning to ski, Jamie is pleased that everyone at camp understood what has happened to him without him having to explain.

This is also available in: French, German

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Kathryn Morris, UK

Liver transplant – June 2002

Kathryn needed to have a transplant, as her liver was unable to function properly which resulted in breathing difficulties. For a couple of months, she was so exhausted, unable to walk and could only manage to go to school part-time in the afternoon. Kathryn waited for three weeks for a transplant and made a speedy recovery, leaving the hospital after four weeks, and returning to school seven weeks after that. She now likes being able to go to school full-time, play rugby, football, and meet up with her friends.

At TACKERS, Kathryn has enjoyed talking to other people who she can relate to and making new friends. She says that the camp has a very nice atmosphere.

This is also available in: French, German

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Anne Berken, Germany

Kidney transplant – February 1997

Anne Berken

Anne Berken

Anne (right) had to have a kidney transplant as her own kidneys were too little, which meant that she was a very small child, with little appetite and was having trouble maintaining her weight. She was so weak that she spent most of her time asleep. Anne was on dialysis for two months, in and out of hospital and the whole experience was a very steep learning curve for her parents. Following her transplant, Anne was in hospital for six weeks and she found it very frustrating not being able to move much after the operation. However, she went back to school after a couple of months and scared her mother by climbing trees.

Anne is now very sporty and likes badminton, athletics, dancing, riding her bike and walking her dog. At the World Transplant Championships in Nancy in 2003, Anne won a gold medal in the singles badminton and silver in the 80 metres sprint – another TACKERS’ participant beat her!

Anne has been to a TACKERS camp twice and likes to ski, meet other children, discuss what medicine they have and share each other’s problems. She recognises that most people do not understand what transplantees are capable of doing and comments that in Germany, people are much more eager to receive a transplant than donate an organ. For people with kidney problems, this is not as bad as they can have dialysis, but for people in need of other organs, this could be a problem in the future.

Anne would like to thank Liz for making the camp possible so that all the children can be here and believes that she is a strong woman.

This is also available in: French, German

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Sara Cartoulius, Sweden

Liver transplant – June 1999

sarah_cartoulius

Sarah Cartoulius

Sara had suffered from autoimmune disease for most of her life without knowing it, until the age of 11 when she was suffering from a continual sore throat. Too unwell to go to school, she went for tests in Stockholm and it took two months to discover what was wrong with her. Her mother, who is a nurse, looked after her for four months whilst she waited for her liver transplant. Sara was unable to eat any protein and could only have a vegetarian diet, which she hated! Sara’s operation went well and she left hospital 20 days later and spent the next year getting better. Unlike before, she is now able to enjoy going to school, skiing, swimming, meeting up with her friends and eating meat!

Sara has enjoyed meeting other children who have had transplants at TACKERS as they have the same life experiences. She has also improved her English and made new friends, especially with Theresa, her roommate.

Sara was lucky as both her parents are nurses and they were able to educate her on the success of organ transplantation. Her message to other people waiting to have a transplant is “It will be okay, and there is no need to worry”.

This is also available in: French, German

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Andrea Barrett, Austria

Heart transplant – February 2002

Andrea_barrett

Andrea Barrett

Andrea had cardiomiopathy heart disease (which she had to spell for us!) and received her heart transplant after being on the waiting list for two months. Before her transplant, Andrea would not have been able to do one hour of skiing and at TACKERS she has been on the slopes all day long. She was also unable to ride her bike. Today, Andrea can ride her new bike faster and quicker and also feels much more active. At school, she enjoys writing on the computer and art classes and at home helping out her mother.

When Andrea was first told that she had to have a transplant, she thought that organs were kept in a drawer, but her mother then explained and she understood what it is all about. Her donor was a six-year-old boy, and she is pleased that he was able to help her have a better life.

Andrea has loved coming to TACKERS camp, learning to ski and making new friends. She has also been composing poems for the people who are on room inspection. Andrea certainly knows how to get people on her side and she has become much more independent and confident.

This is also available in: French, German

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