Funny how an experience can lead to new opportunities…and doing something you never thought you would…or could…do.
I was never keen on speaking in front of people…I grew up watching close family members excel at public speaking.
It seemed effortless and I felt there was no way I could do it too.
But after my husband’s journey of having a liver transplant and his subsequent recovery, we have found that many people are genuinely interested in hearing about what it was like.
Tie that in with a new passion for promoting organ and tissue donation whenever possible, suddenly standing in front of a large group sharing our story was not so daunting.
We have now spoken to quite a few groups since my husband had his transplant however they were mainly through hospital connections…which meant it was more about the transplant experience itself which is a topic we know very well!
But this week, we did our first official event as speakers for DonateLife…and I won’t deny I was quite nervous despite doing lots of preparation and research….
I was nervous as usually it is just my husband speaking, and I am “support” crew running the Powerpoint presentation.
This time, I started the talk with some facts and figures about organ and tissue donation…and I did get somewhat tongue tied at the beginning.
The brain was going faster then I could speak!
But as I got going and relaxed a bit, I realised that this is something I could actually enjoy….and then I began to realise just how engaged our audience when the number of questions asked after my brief overview.
My husband then told his story, and once he finished, once again there were lots of questions asked.
As I sat watching him, it hit me that this was something I really wanted to do…I actually wanted to get up and speak…to raise awareness.
I have also discovered that when you talk about something that you know deeply about because you have lived and breathed it, public speaking is not something to be afraid of.
That girl that usually sat up the back, suddenly wanted to be in the spotlight…to be heard…to make a difference!
The group we spoke to was a rose growers guild, and we really felt so honoured to be invited to speak at their meeting.
They made us very welcome from the moment we arrived.
Many came up to thank us personally afterwards, and I was even given some beautiful roses to take home.
I can smell their beautiful scent as I am writing this…
We left hoping that we have helped provide information about what being a donor entails and how donation can not only save lives, but immeasurably improve them.
If you are interested in having us speak at your event about organ and tissue donation and what it is like to go through a liver transplant, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
If you are not in the greater Melbourne area, contact DonateLife and they will be able to organise a speaker for you.
To find out more about organ and tissue donation, click here to visit the DonateLife website, and if you have any questions, share in the comments below…I will be more than happy to answer them!