WOW! Inspiration and Humbleness from a Volunteer at the World Transplant Games 2019

Posted on 25 August 2019
WOW! Inspiration and Humbleness from a Volunteer at the World Transplant Games 2019

For my first experience of volunteering at a big public sporting event I would say that was beyond awesome!

Most of us do not appreciate how lucky we really are with what we have in our lives, with our health, with our families and loved ones around us.

Being accepted onto the Team19 of volunteers for the World Transplant Games on my home turf was a great honour, having the opportunity to meet some fabulous people and show visitors from around the world how fabulous the North East of England is, not only do we have some amazing places to visit, but we have great sporting facilities for many events, in addition to some amazing people who are kind, friendly and welcoming to those who may have never visited the UK before and listening to feedback from some of our guests it appears that we certainly managed to do just that, many of whom were so thankful of our help and support.

Taking a week away from my normal life to support and direct people who have travelled miles to either participate in these games or to support loved ones was an absolute honour. Listening to stories and experiences from our worldwide guests often brought a lump to the back of my throat as I resisted the urge to shed tears, the challenges and trauma some people have faced through ill health, the decisions of others who have lost loved ones, and the overall pride in hearing of how one families sadness has enabled another family extended happiness through the giving of vital organs to those in need.

I am the type of person who strives to help other people where I can. Helping someone gives me a great element of satisfaction. I have always said that when I have gone, I am happy to donate whatever organs are healthy and useful to someone in need. Beyond being on the organ donor register I never gave much more thought than that.

During the week I have talked to people who have given organs to those in need, and they were competing as Living Donors. There were competitors who had received a donor organ from someone less fortunate and lost their lives and then there were the families of those who had lost loved ones but those loved ones had donated to enable someone have a second chance of life. Some of these in need of a donor organ only had days to live, yet through the kindness of others were standing in front of me waiting to compete in their chosen sporting event.

There was many a moment where I was lost for words. The most memorable was of the gentleman who travelled from USA who explained he was the recipient of a heart transplant 10 years ago. He then proudly introduced me to his female travelling companion as the mother of the original holder of the heart. What could I say to that? I simply had no words but WOW!

I looked forward to every volunteer shift I was allocated, to have the opportunity to hear more of people’s experiences, to feel the positivity and inspiration from those who were able to make the best of their second chance at life through the kindness of others.

The Newcastle Gateshead World Transplant Games 2019 may have ended now, but my desire for future volunteering opportunities has not. 

As a final word from me to you… I am on the donor register and I have told my nearest and dearest of my wishes, so when the time comes for me, I hope these words make the decision easier. I would hope to be able to help people as much once I have gone as much as I hope I do in my life.

For more information please see and tell your loved ones so they don’t have to make the agonising decision at the most emotional time. #PassitOn #WTG2019

Spoken humbly from the heart of Sarah Parkin, a proud Team19 Volunteer

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Association of Nanny Agencies Morton Michel Civil & Corporate
Sarah Parkin runs Kids Deserve the Best Nanny Agency, providing support to families with their childcare requirements including wedding day childcare, babysitting and emergency childcare. Area of coverage includes the following regions across the North East of England, Gosforth, Great Park, Jesmond, Heaton, Killingworth, Shiremoor, Longbenton, Holystone, Forest Hall, Morpeth, Cramlington, Ashington, Blyth, Ponteland, Kingston Park, Westerhope, Whitley Bay, Tynemouth, Monkseaton, Wallsend, South Shields, Tynedale, Hexham, Prudhoe, Stocksfield, Corbridge, Consett, Rowlands Gill, Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Washington, Sunderland, Durham, Wearside, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland.