CREATIVE WRITING: Year 11 RGS student Megan Kelly with Donation Specialist Nurse Josephine Reoch.
CREATIVE WRITING: Year 11 RGS student Megan Kelly with Donation Specialist Nurse Josephine Reoch. Contributed

Megan writes to save lives in competition

CQ REGION teens challenged themselves to imagine what it would be like to wait for an organ transplant to save their life, as part of an educational initiative kicked off this year by DonateLife Queensland.

Secondary students stepped into the minds of someone whose family member had donated organs to save others, as part of the inaugural Writing For Life Young Writers Microfiction Competition.

By entering the competition they supported the appeal for greater awareness of organ and tissue donation - and put themselves in the running for more than $2000 in prizes.

Statewide winners were announced by award-winning playwright and author Debra Oswald at the Brisbane Writer's Festival. The creator of the popular television series, Offspring, said she was inspired by the level of empathy and maturity shown by these young writers tackling such an emotive topic.

"Sometimes kids can just imagine their way into scenarios that adults think too much about," she said.

As well as overall state-wide winners, a highly-commended finalist was selected in six other Queensland regions.

Central Queensland's Highly Commended regional finalist was Megan Kelly, aged 16, from the Rockhampton Grammar School for her entry titled "How". Megan received her prize pack valued at over $100, including movie money, i-tunes vouchers, books vouchers and DonateLife merchandise.

Megan said, "Fortunately for me, my writing is not from personal experience of any kind." In researching for her entry Megan found that when a loved one passes on and is able to become a donor, it is difficult for the next of kin to make that decision and occasionally the person's preference has not been given. "So the message that I would like to give, is that anyone can be in a position where they are in the need for a donation or have the chance to donate, and that any amount of help, no matter how big or small, how difficult or easy the task may seem, can change someone's life. And really, who doesn't want to be remembered as the hero who saved lives?"

Her award and prizes were presented at school assembly by Central Queensland Donation Specialist Nurse Josephine Reoch.

Ms Reoch said it was amazing to see students moved by the plight of others, particularly those who were sick and waiting for an organ transplant.

"Going into schools to talk, I find that students are incredibly engaged by the organ donation topic. It's a real-world subject that potentially affects every one of us in some way."

"Unfortunately, half of us do not know our loved ones' wishes and that has a huge impact on our donor consent rate."

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