This week is National Organ Donor week, or Transplant Week if you’d rather the shorter version.
It’s a massive week for me, a chance to talk about the thing that I am most passionate about and, hopefully, to inspire people to sign the Organ Donor Register.
It’s only Monday morning, but already I’ve had three pieces go out: a short news piece on BBC Radio Northampton, a 3-minute news piece on ITV Anglia and a 15-minute chat on BBC Three Counties Radio yesterday morning.
Whenever I speak about cystic fibrosis or organ donation I know people listen. I’m blessed with both a compelling story and the means to express it. I’m not very good at identifying my own strengths, but I know communication is definitely one of them.
However well I speak or write, though, I know that most of my friends have heard this stuff a million times. Most people I’m connected to on Facebook have been with me throughout my whole journey and know exactly how I feel.
Despite this saturation, and to my surprise, they are still listening to everything I share. I’ve had more engagement on Twitter and Facebook in the last 24-48 hours than I’ve had for the last couple of weeks combined.
Why? Because I’m speaking with passion.
To listen to someone speaking with passion is to hear their words pour from their heart like a dam bursting to give way to the floods behind it. Regardless of whether you agree, more often than not you’ll listen to their arguments because of the force of feeling behind them.
Passion is honest. It’s almost impossible to fake passion, which is why politicians so frequently fall foul of the trap; they try so hard to sound passionate, but the effort always shows and comes across as a lack of sincerity at best, straight-up emotional manipulation at worst.
There is a rawness, a freshness, an authenticity to someone who speaks with passion that can’t be bought or faked. It’s naturally compelling and our ears tune into it without any conscious thought on our part.
I don’t like to bombard people with calls-to-action to sign the Organ Donor Register and talk to their family about their potential death. I recognise that it’s not a subject people much want to discuss. But weeks like this give me a chance to speak with passion about the thing I care most deeply about. So I’m grabbing this opportunity with both hands and I’ll be shouting from the rooftops all week.
You can help by simply sharing this post, or the organ donation link, with your friends so they understand just how important it is for us to stop three people every day dying while they wait for a transplant that doesn’t come in time.