This weekend, I celebrate four years of new life and give thanks to the person that has given me this chance.

Thanks to my transplant occurring after midnight, it means I can enjoy two totally separate days:

The first day is dedicated solely to my donor, to give thanks, pray for their family and think of what they have done for me and everyone in my life by being so selfless at the worst of times.

The next day can then be exclusively a day of celebration, a day when I can allow myself to rejoice in the gift I’ve been given and the things it’s allowed me to do.

This time of year is always a reflective one for me. Four years ago today, I had no idea whether or not I’d make it past Christmas and, if I did, when the end might come. I’d reached rock bottom, my ultimate nadir, and I was just about ready to give up.

The call, when it came, didn’t feel any different to the four previous calls I’d experienced until the moment the transplant coordinator came into my room and told me, finally, that it would be going ahead.

Although I’ve tried, almost every year, to express the gratitude I feel towards my donor and their family, no words will ever be strong enough.

At times, when I’m at my lowest, I feel unworthy of the gift I’ve been given. I feel pressure to be the best I can be, to do things that I would never have been able to, to be remarkable in every way and to do amazing things. To not achieve the impossible sometimes feels like a betrayal of my gift.

Then I think of the world I live in, the people I love and who love me in return, and I realise that each and every day I’m here, sharing my life with the people around me, is enough to be proud of and aspire to.

Everything else is a bonus.

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