Jamiroquai: Canned HeatiTunesAmazon

Jamiroquai: Canned HeatiTunesAmazon

Harrogate man joins organ donation choir to help raise awareness

Harrogate man joins organ donation choir to help raise awareness

Published by Lisa Darvill at 7:02am 2nd March 2020.

A Harrogate man, who received a double organ transplant over 10 years ago, is part of a choir that is releasing a single to raise awareness. 

  • The Gifted Organs Choir's song is called 'Heart and Soul' 
  • It's being released on Youtube and Spotify 
  • All the singers are organ donation participants 
  • Mark Smith, from Harrogate, is part of the choir 
  • They hope to raise awareness of organ donation 

Mark Smith is part of The Gifted Organs Choir, which is releasing a single, 

They hope "Heart and Soul", which is available on Youtube and Spotify, will help raise awareness of organ donation. 

Watch the music video below:

 

Mark had a double kidney transplant in 2009. Since then he's completed a number of fundraising events and challenges, raising around £15,000. 

He's also become an organ donation ambassador for NHS Blood and Transplant. 

Mark and the rest of the choir hope the single will increase awareness. 

He said: 

"All be it the song is not written specifically about organ donation itself, it's the comradery of that shared experience that we wanted to get across. 

"In essence, you can see us as the organ donation equivalent of the military wives, in that we've had this experience, we've united together in that experience and presented that in a wider way to the public." 

Mark Smith
Mark is a former Stray FM Local Hero Award winner

In less than eight weeks, a new "opt-out" system for organ donation will come into force in England.

It means all adults will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they have specifically stated they do not want to be a donor.

Mark says there's a lot of misconceptions about the new system. 

He added: 

"We still have to do a lot of work in getting the message across about the importance of organ donation. 

"With my transplant, it saved my life. And I've had that for ten and a half years. And it's ten and a half years I wouldn't have had without it. 

"It's not only saying to people, be on the organ donation register, but it has a real, tangible impact on people's lives." 

Gifted organs choir
The Gifted Organs Choir

 

Mark is currently preparing for his latest fundraising challenge, which is this time, raising money for Saint Michael's Hospice. 

He's part of a team from Harrogate Operatics who are taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks at the end of March. 

You can find out more and donate here.

To find out more about organ donation visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk