'Just before I wake up I can have this moment and I think, my experiences have taken me to extraordinary places and I've met so many amazing people. And I'm just an ordinary person.'
Mary is a wonderful and inspiring human being. Struck down with an auto-immune disease, she spent four years critically ill until finally receiving a liver transplant.
‘I got the call three weeks before my daughter’s wedding. It meant that I could be there, it meant that I could live my life again.’ Since the transplant fourteen years ago, Mary has dived into living a life of service.
Her illness and then her regained good health have had a profound impact on her.
‘My donor was younger, I was older. She didn’t get the rest of her life and I did.’
Mary’s awareness of the gift she has received has given her an acute sense of purpose. ‘I can’t imagine what it’s like for a family to face the death of a loved one, and at that time to turn it around and be so generous. I’m honoring that gift.’
Mary gives talks on behalf of Donate Life about organ donation. She is a member of Transplant Australia and helps run support groups. ‘It’s an amazing community,’ Mary says. ‘It’s positive, generous, it embraces life.’
She is a warden at her local church, works in the children’s ministry, volunteers at the local school and also volunteers at Lord Somers Camps.
‘I came from a family of high social conscience. I learnt it from my parents, and I am passing it on. The reality is there’s not enough donors. I want to be as purposeful as I can. To be kind, to be useful, to advocate for others. That to me, is everything.’
Mary lives in Frankston surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
She embraces everything that comes her way.