Hundreds of dolls made to represent children waiting for transplant as part of a new campaign


Just like other kids, Ralph, Amelia, Dáithí, Uqbah, and Sienna are extremely excited for Christmas. However, what they long for more than anything else is a transplant that can save their lives. Over 230 children across the UK share this urgent need for such a precious and invaluable gift, without which they may not be able to witness many more Christmases to come.

Represent - Figure 1
Photo Organ Donation

A new campaign has been launched to increase awareness about the importance of child organ donation. The campaign involves making handmade dolls out of actual children and distributing them throughout the country. This initiative aims to draw attention to the lack of available organs for children in need.

Every toy will sport a tag asking individuals walking by to scan a QR code and listen to tales of kids in the UK who are in need of organ transplants.

The creators of the dolls and the narratives about actual children aspire to motivate parents and households to contemplate registering themselves and their offspring on the NHS Organ Donor Register for organ donation.

Campaign's Goal: Assistance For All

At present, there is a profound shortage of child donors for organs, which leads to kids and their loved ones being left waiting for a donation that can save their lives, unfortunately without success.

During the 2021/22 period, only 52% of families agreed to donate their child's organs when approached. This means that there were only 40 child organ donors under the age of 18. Interestingly, if a child was already registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register, the family did not decline the donation.

The new initiative- Waiting to Live, seeks to tackle the inequality by motivating parents and families to mull over organ donation. The prospects of the drive are bright as it plans to register a considerable number of people as donors.

Represent - Figure 2
Photo Organ Donation

According to NHS Blood and Transplant's Lead Nurse for Paediatric Organ Donation, Angie Scales:

A lot of kids who are waiting for transplants have to rely on a parent of another kid who agrees to donate their organs during a very tough and sad time. Even though it's really hard for them, families say that saying 'yes' to organ donation can bring them comfort and make them feel proud.

In situations where organ donation may be an option, it can often arise unexpectedly and abruptly. In such times, if the family has already discussed or has a positive stance towards organ donation, it can alleviate some of the burden during such a trying time.

We aim to save the lives of more children, now and later, by motivating and inspiring additional youths and their families to affirm their backing for organ donation on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

The initiative Waiting to Live is an extension of the Consider This movement that made a strong plea for the parents of Ralph, a 3-year-old kid in need of a transplant, through advertisements on the radio and in newspapers earlier this year.

There are other kids who are part of the campaign. One of them is Dáithí, who is 7 years old and has been waiting for a new heart for 2000 days. Another child is Sophie, who is 10 years old and is waiting for new lungs. Additionally, there are Uqbah, who is 14 years old, and Pablo, who is 13 years old, both of whom need new kidneys. These kids could also benefit from the kindness of a living adult donor.

Various hospitals throughout the United Kingdom, including Great Ormond Street Hospital, are supporting the campaign. Ralph, along with three other dolls, will be kept at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The initiative was led by Wunderman Thompson, which is part of WPP, and received support from BCW, a worldwide communication agency.

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