In a twist on traditional cards exchanged by couples on Valentine's Day, Moonpig has launched a limited-edition range of cards with the potential to save lives.
The leading online card and gift retailer has partnered with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) for the first time to spread the word about the importance of not only being an organ donor – but ensuring you tell your loved ones about it.
With around 6,400 people currently waiting for an organ transplant across the UK, Moonpig and NHSBT want 6,400 people this Valentine’s Day to tell their partner they want to save lives as an organ donor by sending a card that counts. The support is urgently needed because last year 457 people died waiting for a transplant.
Jess Harris (pictured on the right), a thirty-year-old Londoner waiting for a kidney and pancreas transplant designed one card featuring a couple and their kidneys entitled ‘When urine love’, and Kimberly Chard, who has cystic fibrosis and had a double lung transplant in 2015, dubbed hers ‘You take my breath away’.
Ex JLS star JB Gill and his wife Chloe also designed a card. The couple were eager to get involved after the son of a close friend received a heart transplant having been on the waiting list for a year.
Available for free from the Moonpig website, all cards contain a cut out organ donor card to keep in a wallet, as well as a message telling the recipient they are on the donor register. The message is vital because more than a quarter of people (28%) wouldn’t donate if their relative hadn’t made a decision to donate clear. Donation does not go ahead without the family’s support.
Conversations between couples are vital to increasing the number of donors. Since last Valentine’s Day, 54% of the 1.08m people who have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register are women, and only 46% are men. Research shows women are more comfortable talking about donation than men.
Jess Harris, of Hendon, who has diabetes and has been on the waiting list for a year said: “My drawing is a massive part of my life and I am so happy because this is the first time it’s been able to benefit others instead of just benefitting me.
“I was really unwell in hospital, and the chance to design the card gave me a focus and I spent the whole day drawing.”
She added: “When I was designing the card, I thought about love and how I could express two people in love. I wanted to show that when you love someone you'll share everything with them - you'll sacrifice yourself for that other person.”
Kimberly Chard, 34, of Bargoed, had a lung transplant for cystic fibrosis around Christmas 2015. She said: “I’m so happy to be involved. Art has always been a passion that I’ve wanted to share with others.
“I’ve found that during my journey with cystic fibrosis and my double lung transplant, art has been my therapy. A way to work through my worries and share my work. No matter how obscure the piece is in relation to what I’ve been dealing with, they tell a story of how I used art to get through tough times.”
She added: “It’s important to let your loved ones know your choice so that if the worst was to happen, then at least the hard decision is made already at a traumatic time.
“What better way to raise awareness of organ donation and lives it can save than at Valentines? You are able to pledge to give your heart in life, and when you are gone.”
JB Gill said: “Nothing brings home the importance of organ donation more than seeing a loved one go through the agony of waiting for good news. We’ve seen first hand how the decision to sign-up as a donor can save someone’s life. We’re honoured to be able to take part in a campaign that spreads such a vital message on Valentine’s Day.”
James Sturrock, Managing Director, Moonpig said: “Pledging your heart to a complete stranger isn’t an obvious conversation to have with your Valentine, but it’s one that could make a real difference. The free cards are designed to help couples across the country say what they really want this Valentine’s Day.”
Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation said: “We so pleased to have Moonpig’s support this Valentine’s Day because talking to a loved one can save lives. We’d love people to send their partners a thought provoking card and tell them they want to save lives through organ donation. A Valentine’s Day card can make someone’s day – and this year it could lead to the most wonderful gift, the gift of life. A few words now can make an extraordinary difference.”
They are available from midday 7th February 2018 until February 14th 2018. There is a limited stock, so cards will be delivered on a first come, first served basis. All the cards are FREE, with all postage and packaging costs donated to Transplant Sport (65p per card), a national charity driving awareness of the benefits of organ donation and promoting active recovery for transplant recipients.
This Valentine's Day, have a conversation about what happens to your best bits!