I’m a firm believer in finding your tribe – that group of people where you are accepted and supported. I’m fortunate in many ways, I have several tribes. My oldest tribe is my Cystic Fibrosis family. There is no one who understands me quite like my CF family. After my transplant, my CF tribe had a subtribe — those of us who’d also undergone a double lung transplant.

Lately I’ve been expanding that subtribe into a tribe all of its own. Most contact between transplant patients occurs in a hospital setting – which is why the WA Branch of Transplant Australia actively offers all of its members opportunities to get together in a variety of social settings, including representing WA at the Australian Transplant Games. So I joined the committee to assist with community engagement, and in particular education within schools.

The most recent social event organised by the committee was the 2017 Getaway at Yallingup, a weekend which caters for both recipients and their family. It kicked off with Welcome get-together with nibbles at Caves House in Yallingup on the Friday evening. This was a chance to mingle, for some to catch up with old friends, and for some like me on their first getaway, to meet new friends.

Saturday was a free day, so Jarryn and I took the opportunity to explore the area. We started with the Ngiligi Cave.

Ngiligi Cave – thanks to the wonderful lungs that I have guardianship of I had no trouble breathing in the depths of the cave

After lunch I put my methodical maze cracking skills to the test in a race to reach all four towers in order before Jarryn did. All was going to plan as I reached Towers 1 and 2 in order and before my boy, however I missed the trick door to Tower 3 and skipped ahead to Tower 4. By the time I backtracked to Tower 3 and missed the trick door multiple times Jarryn had made it to Towers 3 & 4 for the win.

Methodical Maze cracking does not work with trick doors.

Sunday was Game Day in Bunker Bay. I didn’t do so well at Archery … or Petanque. (Let’s face it unless there is a reading challenge at the Transplant Games I’m not likely to attend in the near future). Game Day was followed up by a sit down dinner at Caves House.

Games Day

Never underestimate the importance of spending time with your tribe. It’s a chance to relax, recharge and most importantly to talk to people who understand what you’re going through because they’re walking a shared path.

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