THE GIFTED LIFE STORY

Gifted Life is a not for profit organisation using all forms of media to focus on raising awareness and support for mental health trauma in transplant recipients while creating peer support networks and endeavouring to increase organ donation rates. Our vision is for all transplant recipients to obtain a level of high self esteem and support as they manage both ongoing and unexpected treatments, pre and post transplant, with the assistance of an educated and accepting community.

We aim to do this by creating multi-platform programs that support recipients on their transplant journey, enhancing their emotional wellbeing throughout the process and heightening awareness to increase organ donation. This is achieved through our care/necessity bags, Love You Love Life days, keynote speaking, social media engagement and video production distributed through youtube.

After receiving a double lung transplant in 2010, Gifted Life founder Lauren Rowe received a second chance at life with only weeks to live. Suffering from Cystic Fibrosis since birth, Lauren spent her life in and out of hospital and after her transplant experienced a range of reactions. The physical, psychological and emotional journey was challenging but immensely rewarding enabling her to fulfil many things she’d hoped and dreamed of, but after four years of a wonderful transplanted life, she was told her lungs were rejecting. It was through experiencing the anxiety, guilt, depression, body image issues and PTSD that over 90% of recipient’s go through that she decided to create a call to action and help fellow recipients cope as best they can through the process.

CLINICAL PHYSCHOLOGIST MEG GOODISON FARNSWORTH PHD SAYS...

“The transplant recipient is often thought of as ‘lucky’ but this luck comes with a bag of side issues. One of those issues in the bag is mental health problems. Transplant recipients’ mental health needs do not significantly change post transplant. The big difference is post transplant recipients’ mental health needs can be minimised due to the perception of them being “lucky” and the pressure to always be grateful. Mental health management interventions are an essential component of post transplant recovery, but also are needed for ongoing management, as recipients continue to live with a life limiting disease. Awareness and increased easy access to mental health services needs to be addressed for this very vulnerable population. Lauren who has always lived her life with immense courage is just the person who can open to be a valuable advocate for more mental health resources not only for the recipients but also their families.”

WHAT WE DO

NECESSITY BAGS

NECESSITY BAGS

It is not uncommon for transplant recipients to be unexpectedly admitted into hospital straight from clinic or emergency. During this time, recipients are generally coming to terms with news about their health and understandably forget the little things they need. Wanting the recipients to feel the best they possibly can under the circumstances, we supply ‘Necessity Bags’ to the hospitals who in turn, give to the patients in order to lift spirits.

The necessity bags are filled with small practical items for use during their time in hospital. The bags contents can vary depending on donations, however, we strive to include a toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, shaving crème (for boys only), razor (for boys only), mug, milo or tea satchels, mints or chocolates, loofa (for girls only), notepad, pen, hand sanitiser or wipes, socks and lip balm..

These items are purchased with money donated or often given to us in bulk. If you feel you’d like to help either financially for through product donation, please contact us.

CARE BAGS

CARE BAGS

Post transplant is not always an easy road as rejection, cancer, renal failure, infection and other health problems may occur. When this happens recipients can feel alone as they cope with their new state of health. Our ‘Care Bags’ are posted by mail or hand delivered to the recipient’s house giving them a little TLC. These bags include items to encourage expression, positive mental health, self love and are created on each individual need. However, a generic bag would include a colour therapy book, pencils, journal, handmade blanket, hand knitted scarf, bath/shower products, candle, CD, DVD, book, tea cup and saucer.

AWARENESS SPEAKERS

AWARENESS SPEAKERS

Some recipients love to share their stories in the hopes of inspiring others like them and to help others understand what its like. We know many recipients available to tell you their story and experiences at schools, corporate events and to hospital staff. If you’d like to book a speaker please contact us.

LOVE YOU, LOVE LIFE

LOVE YOU, LOVE LIFE

We want our female recipients to love life, experiencing it to its fullest but we know that’s difficult if you don’t love yourself. “Love you, Love Life” gives female recipients the opportunity to gather at a five star venue for a day where they learn skills to feel good regardless of body changes and drug side effects. The whole day is a chance for female recipients to talk to each other in an open and friendly environment.

The day includes:

  • Makeup application taught by professionals to cover scars, swollen cheeks and any other concerns.
  • Skin care for dehydrated skin and sun exposure.
  • Fashion styling by Antoinette from All About Style for new figures, bloated stomachs and fashionable sun protection.
  • Lunch, dessert and morning/afternoon tea.
  •  Recipients realising and reaching their potential post transplant.
YOUTUBE

YOUTUBE

NEW VIDEO EVERY THURSDAY

Gifted Life’s YouTube channel is hosted by our founder Lauren Rowe. She explores various topics concerning life as a transplant recipient through skits, vlogs, interviews and serious talks that not only entertain by educate everyone about organ donation and transplant while reminding other like her that they aren’t alone. Clips are uploaded every Thursday and can be watched via the Youtube channel with the latest work displayed on the media page of this website.