It’s exactly 2 months today since Phil’s transplant, and so far it’s very much a case of so far so good. He’s got a couple of niggling infections, and we had a minor scare last week when his creatinine levels started inching up, but everything is looking pretty much under control right now. The whole family went to the beach yesterday and had a kickabout in the park. It was a bit painful for me, but for Phil it was – literally – all just a walk in the park. He enjoyed it so much he was demanding to go back today!
Being Phil, of course, he is already looking ahead to bigger things… He has now started writing to British Members of Parliament as part of his new campaign (officially ‘launched’ tomorrow) to promote organ donor registration. Phil is launching his online campaign because of the long waits for transplants faced by some children who don’t have compatible relatives.
Last week he emailed all 17 MPs in Hampshire, as well as the leaders of the 3 main political parties. In his letter, he said the reason he had launched the appeal was because “1 year on dialysis is not fun. 5 years must be horrible.” He added: “Being a donor is just like recycling!”
The very first reply he received also elicited his very first new donor! Caroline Nokes (C, Romsey & Southampton North) wrote back within minutes saying: “I have registered online just this minute”! A number of other MPs got back quickly saying they were already registered donors. They include Steve Brine, MP for Winchester, who is not only supporting Phil’s campaign but is asking the government to promote organ donation through high-street pharmacies.
The “Luis’ List” campaign website is now live at http://www.luislist.co.uk. It publicises the fact that there are 10,000 people in Britain waiting for organ transplants. It will be updated weekly as new endorsements are received.
The new Eastleigh Lib Dem MP Mike Thornton is among other politicians who have confirmed to Phil that he is a registered donor, as is George Hollingbery (C, Meon Valley) and Phil’s own MP, Caroline Dinenage (C, Gosport). Dinenage also invited Phil to the Houses of Parliament. The office of David Willetts (C, Havant) wrote back saying “we are sure that if David is not already he will want to consider doing so”.
Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy PM Nick Clegg (the latter via an automated reply) have both acknowledged Phil’s letter, although haven’t yet said whether or not they are donors. Unfortunately there hasn’t yet been a reply from Labour leader David Miliband.
Others to have acknowledged Phil’s letter but not yet respond are James Arbuthnot (C, NE Hampshire) and Mark Hoban (C, Fareham).
A number of MPs haven’t yet replied. They include Gerald Howarth, Maria Miller, Desmond Swayne, Sir George Young , Penny Mordaunt, Mike Hancock, John Denham and Alan Whitehead. An automated acknowledgement was received from Damian Hinds.
Phil is now going to be writing to politicians from all over Britain. He is contacting them alphabetically, starting this week with those whose surnames end in the letters A and B. Once he has finished writing to every MP he will then start targeting celebrities and sports stars.
If you would like to follow up with those MPs who have yet to give their answer and ask them if they would like to join “Luis’ List”, you can find their contact details at http://www.parliament.uk