Committee members Donald Cairnduff, Jennifer Cairnduff and Rachel Quinney-Mee attended The Children’s Liver Disease Foundation’s Conference at Chesford Grange in Warwickshire on Saturday 24th September. Once again it was a memorable day, with the insights gained from a range of excellent presentations complemented by inspiring stories of courage told informally between sessions.
As ever the most compelling voices were the voices of the young people themselves. A young man told how he had reacted to sustained bullying for being a transplant recipient by trying too hard to be the person he thought his peers expected him to be. After a long and difficult time, football, fishing and the love and support of his family allowed him to find happiness in simply being himself. A teenage girl, asked about when you should let others know that you are a transplant recipient, advised: Wait. Slip it in naturally to conversation. You don’t want to be defined by your condition. She also had advice for parents of hospitalised children: We can sense if parents are stressed. If you don’t look after yourself, our recovery suffers. Another teenage girl, asked how parents should talk to transplanted children about medication and lifestyle, advised: Don’t shout. If I am told I can’t do something, I will immediately want to do it.
We are grateful to CLDF for their invitation and for making us so welcome on the day.