Brighton jeweller who had double lung transplant in bid to climb volcano

Posted On 13 May 2015 at 12:03 pm

A Brighton jeweller who underwent a double lung transplant is to climb the world’s highest active volcano to say thank-you to donors.

Amanda scotland trainingAmanda Chalmers was born with cystic fibrosis (CF) and needed oxygen 24/7 while studying for her Higher National Diploma in Material Practice at the University of Brighton.

Last year, just two years after her transplant, Amanda ran the Brighton Marathon in aid of the CF Trust.

Now, the 27-year-old is joining 12 other lung and heart transplant patients and two transplant surgeons in climbing 19,000ft-high Mount Cotopaxi in Ecuador.

The aim of ‘Climbing For My Donor’ from 26 June to 12 July is to raise awareness about the life-giving result of donating organs and to raise funds for organ care equipment, used to transport and preserve donated organs and which will increase the number of organs available for those in desperate need.

Amanda said: “No other lung transplantee has ever reached this height and so this will be a world record.

“We are all very excited about the challenge – it will be our way of thanking all the donors who have helped save our lives, and our way of raising funds and encouraging people to carry donor cards.”

André Simon, consultant cardiac surgeon and Director of heart and lung transportation with the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, is leading the expedition.

He said: “It has been a dream of mine to take a group of our transplant patients, and show the world what can be achieved after a life-saving transplant. In doing so, we will raise the bar of expectation and generate significant awareness of organ donation.

“One in five people who need replacement lungs or a heart die whilst waiting for an organ in the UK and there is a huge shortage of available donor organs mainly because people simply aren’t aware of the issue of organ donation or just have not got round to discussing their feelings about organ donation with their families.”

Amanda Chalmers before her transplant

Amanda Chalmers before her transplant

Amanda has amazed her family and friends. She said: “Going from hardly being able to walk up my stairs to being able to run a marathon and climb mountains is something I’m so glad to have the chance to do.

“But I am only here due to the incredible generosity of my donor and their family, and am proof that organ donation truly changes lives.

“I also want to thank my amazing family and friends for all the support they have given me over the years, and to those who are sponsoring my new challenge.”

To sponsor Amanda, go to https://www.justgiving.com/Challenge12uk-climbingformydonor and for more information on the challenge, go to https://www.justgiving.com/Challenge12uk-climbingformydonor.

  1. Sigrid Fry-Revere Reply

    Helping living organ donors helps two or more people, the one who wants to save a life and the one who needs a transplant. Often living organ donors are in swaps or chains that save many lives. The ALODF has helped 12 donors and saved 64 lives so far this year.

    See http://www.ALODF.org

    And the TEDMED talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS9wkGjEdhQ

  2. Chris Hannah Reply

    Hi Amanda

    I also live in Brighton and Hove and had a heart transplant in 1987, I can still climb the hills of Brighton but the Pyrenees and other places I climbed after my transplant are probably too much of a challenge now. Amazing that you take part in this most excellent demonstration of what is possible post transplantation, all the very best of luck, warm wishes Chris

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