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Last Updated: Tuesday February 01 2005 08:59 GMT

My trip to a transplant adventure camp

Andrea in Switzerland
TACKERS is an adventure camp for kids around the world who have had organ transplants.

They can take part in activities like skiing, snowboarding, dog sleighing and paragliding to raise awareness of organ donation and life after transplant.

Andrea, who has received a heart transplant, tells us why she enjoys the camp so much.

"It all started in October 2001 when I got ill. Terribly ill. So ill, my life was threatened.

I was threatened with a disease to my heart called cardiomyopathy. It means you could only have months, weeks or days to live.

The transplant

The only way to survive was a heart transplant and I was put on the transplant list at the end of November. Luckily I survived the next two months.

On 17 February 2002 I had my heart transplant. It was a hard time, but I survived.

It was my strength and courage to survive that helped me through it. In March I came out of hospital to come back home.

But it wasn't over - I had to take 12 different medicines and I wasn't allowed to go to school for 90 days.

Andrea gets some sledging action in
Andrea gets some sledging action in

Almost a year later I went to TACKERS ski camp in Switzerland. It was my first trip and was exhausting.

I liked going on the mountain but it was hard skiing less than a year after my transplant.

The year after, I went back again. It was really good and I made friends who came back the following year.

This year's TACKERS camp was extra good because I got third place in the ski race. I also tried scuba diving, dog sledding and many other activities. I even got into a 40 km/h blizzard!

Not alone

What I like best about the camp is the skiing, making friends and having a lot of fun. But I didn't like having to get up so early!

Being at TACKERS makes you feel that you are not alone after having had a transplant.

I would like to go again next year because I would like to see all my friends and I love being at the camp!"

Andrea, 10, Stansted

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