A pole dancer who became the face of organ donation after starring in a documentary ‘Love on the Transplant List’ has revealed she has just months to live.
In a heartbreaking blog, Kirstie Tancock says she has suffered her second chronic rejection and is now too ill to receive a third lifesaving operation.
The inspiration 27-year-old is now preparing to leave hospital and spend her final days at home in Honiton, Devon, with husband Stuart and the rest of her friends and family.
Kirstie, who has been credited with playing a key role in getting more people to become organ donors, wrote in her blog that she has come to terms with her fate and just hopes she left her mark on the world.
She wrote: “Every song has an ending, every book has to close, my story is coming to its finale and I’m here to tell you all just how beautiful it all was.
“I’m 27, an age I never thought I would get to see but due to miracles from medical practitioners and my donors I have been kept here to enjoy what have been the best years of my life, experiencing things I could barely of dreamed of.
“I’m so grateful for every extra second I’ve had with my family, friends and all the amazing people I met and those I got to teach and lives I got to influence, mostly I hope for the better.
“I always wanted to make a difference with my life, leave a positive impact on the earth. I like to think I have done that.”
Suffering from cystic fibrosis since birth, Kirstie was given her second chance of life in 2011 when she underwent a double lung transplant when she was just minutes from death.
Her road to transplant – which included walking down the aisle just three weeks before her match was found – became the focus of a feature length BBC documentary.
She enjoyed two happy years before suffering chronic rejection. After being placed back on the list for a second transplant, she was lucky to receive a call the next day.
Since then she had been enjoying a new lease of life until May this year when it was confirmed she was suffering chronic transplant rejection again.
KIrstie, who has spent her life teaching pole dancing and raising awareness and funds for organ donation, is now hoping to raise £10,000 for Harefield Hospital where she has been treated before she dies.
She added: “The truth is my lungs are severely damaged. My lungs are shrinking upwards and squashing the upper lobes of my lungs.
“Why have I had this fast acting type of chronic rejection twice? I don’t know. Statistically I just fit in with all the other statistics. 50% of people make it to 5 years, I am of the percentage that didn’t or if you add them together I did.
“Either way I’m just incredibly grateful for what I have had and I want everyone to remember that going into transplant. It’s no guarantee but whatever you get from it is so much better then before if you throw everything you can and enjoy every second.
“I am not well enough to be considered for a 3rd transplant. It’s as simple as that and do you know what, I’m ok with that, of course I would always want more time but I have discussed this with the professionals and there has to be a point when you trust them to make the best decision for you and I whole heartedly do.
“So I am hoping to go home at the end of this week. I will have home health care, mainly because I want my family to be allowed freedom to still live their lives and be there as my family and friends not constant care although they will obviously be involved.
“I will also be connected with the hospice.
“Time wise I have ‘months’ this could be 10 this could be two but I want to remain as strong as possible so in the long run the time I do have is better quality. I will be enjoying time with my family and friends making memories.
“One of the most rewarding things in this last year is to see my students grow as individuals and give them a space to be free from all the problems we each carry with us day to day. A small thing but I hope it left my mark.”
Kirstie has revealed she is coping through her use of ‘black humour’ and has been planning her funeral to the finest detail.
And she wants to raise the funds to support the hospital.
She added: “They have supported me through every part of this journey and I hope I can reach my target to help them do this work for others.”
To donate visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KirstieTancock1