Holly Van Geffen


I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at six weeks old.  By the age of 20 my lung function had dropped below 30%, I needed oxygen almost 24/7 and had to be pushed in a wheelchair whenever I went out.  My body couldn’t carry out the simplest tasks: walking, washing myself or even making a cup of tea.

In September 2014, aged 22, I was listed for a double lung transplant.  After two false alarms it was third time lucky on 17th February 2015. 

My recovery from transplant was complicated, but after nine weeks I had finally gained enough strength to be discharged from hospital.  Since then I have gone from strength to strength, waking up every day with a ‘WOW’ feeling! 

Without my donor and their family's agreement to donate their organs, I would not be here today.  They haven’t just given me my life back; they have given me a life that I had always dreamed of where I have the same independence as my friends.  I have become a keen runner, snowboarder and outdoor explorer!  I also love cooking and baking for my family and friends.  For all of this and what is to come in the future, I am eternally grateful; they will always be my heroes.

I became involved with LLGL after hearing about it from fellow CF transplant patients. It is extremely important to me to educate the public on organ donation and the transplant process so that they can make an informed decision to be donors.  I plan to do craft fairs and host tea parties this year to raise funds for LLGL and continue my online campaigning for organ donation through social media and blogging.

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