LIFE CHANGING: Jane Clare had a double lung transplant 13 years ago, which saved her life. She is encouraging people to become organ and tissue donors.
LIFE CHANGING: Jane Clare had a double lung transplant 13 years ago, which saved her life. She is encouraging people to become organ and tissue donors. Scott Powick

After a double lung transplant, Jane has a new lease on life

SOMETHING Australians can do in less than a minute could save someone's life in the future.

Information about, and awareness of, the importance of organ and tissue donations have been at the forefront for DonateLife Week, which began last Sunday.

The week-long campaign encourages Australians to register themselves as organ and tissue donors, to assist the 1400 people in the country who currently need a transplant.

Tweed Heads resident Jane Clare knows all to well the importance of this week.

She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just nine months, and spent almost four decades battling the life-threatening illness.

"People with cystic fibrosis develop an abnormal amount of thick and sticky mucus in the lungs, airways and digestive system," Mrs Clare said.

"Lung failure is the most common cause of death."

In 2006, Mrs Clare, then 39, received the life-saving operation she needed - a double lung transplant.

The Tweed Heads resident weighed just 40kg at the time of the transplant due to her illness, and survived purely on energy-supplement drinks.

"In the years leading up to my transplant I had lost my quality of life. I was admitted to hospital four to five times a year," she said.

"Walking up stairs was an enormous effort for me to do.

"After receiving the incredible gift of a double lung, my life changed.

"After the transplant I was back into playing tennis, I love bush-walking and swimming and these are all the things I can do that were impossible before."

With DonateLife Week firmly in people's minds, Mrs Clare believes now is the time for people to go online and register on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

People can sign up by going to the DonateLife Week website, the Australian Organ Donor Register or through their MyGov accounts.



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