Why should you celebrate your second or "re-birthday"?

  • For children and young people, the experience of having a transplant can put strain on family relationships, with long periods of separation, and young siblings feeling worried or sometimes a bit left out while their parents are focussed on helping their ill child to get better! Celebrating the date together as a family can help bring siblings together after a traumatic time, and reflect on what you have been through as a family in a positive way

  • This is good for adults too! Many people like to mark the anniversary by meeting with friends for a little celebration, to toast life getting better - and spend extra time with the people they missed during long hospital stays or periods of isolation. 

  • When you're in hospital for your transplant, planning some birthday activities, if you feel up to it, can help the time pass! Hannah from our team has created our Double Birthday Club illustration as a cross stitch pattern, and we also have downloadable bunting to colour in and cut out!

I like to raise an enormous toast to my lifesaving donor in Germany, all of the amazing nurses, doctors and HCAs involved in my care and to remind myself of how far I've come. I take a day off work, and eat and drink lots of treats with those nearest and dearest to me.

It's the same people who held my hand through all the ups and downs of my journey and transplant, so I see it as a way of thanking them too. I don't really know where I'd be without all those cheerleaders in the run up to, during and after my transplant. So it's big cheers, hugs and clinking of glasses all around!

For me, it's a healthy and timely reminder of how precious life is, and to relish it. It also reminds me of the less good days that are etched in my mind, and to look back on them knowing that they passed, as do most things.

- Helena, celebrating her one-year re-birthday!