Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pole Instructor Kirstie Tancock's Everlasting Legacy

Kirstie Tancock's Facebook page bio states she is a "Fitness pole dancing aerial hoop & silks instructor, PT, survivor of 2x double lung transplants." She is the owner and lead instructor at Xtreme Fitness in the United Kingdom. Kirstie was given the gift of life by being the recipient of two double lung transplants that she had resulting in her natural lungs being afflicted by Cystic Fibrosis. On December 1, 2016, Kirstie passed away from complications resulting from her transplants. I didn't know her when she was alive, I have only learned about her in her passing. Her story struck a chord with me as my history in the medical profession originated as an Organ Transplant Nurse. I spent many years taking care of pre and post operative lung transplant patients. I have seen the ups and downs of being a transplant patient. For Cystic Fibrosis patients, a lung transplant is always a strong consideration throughout their lives. They are told their entire lives that they will not live as long as their peers. Each and every year they are reminded that their time is limited. 

I first leaned about Kirstie when United Pole Artists posted a video clip of her in the hospital being visited by her pole idol Marion Crampe. It was a beautiful and heart warming video of seeing their embrace. I have stood on the sidelines a lot in patient's rooms and have seen scenes play out much like this one time and time again. It is a tough reminder that life isn't fair and that so many young and full of life people are taken from us far too soon.

Kirstie wanted to leave a legacy in her passing. She fought to change laws in her country regarding organ donation. As I write this, there is currently a campaign calling for Kirstie's Law which will put in place an opt-out system for organ donation in England. In Kirstie's honor, her husband and family have devoted their efforts to seeing this law becomes part of Kirstie's everlasting legacy for the lives of those awaiting transplants throughout England. 

To follow Kirstie's family in their work to preserve her legacy, check out her Facebook page which is now run by her husband.

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