Last year Rutherglen Football and Netball Club received a grant to run a DonateLife community awareness event – inspired by Jessica McLennan. Jess was a very much loved netballer at the club and a Critical Care Nurse at Northeast Health Wangaratta. In 2016 Jess became an organ donor after dying from injuries sustained in a serious car accident.
Many of the Tallangatta netballers and footballers knew Jess well and were greatly impacted by her tragic death. After learning about Rutherglen’s DonateLife Game day in 2017, Sharlene De Amyand from Tallangatta FC was inspired to apply for a DonateLife community grant. Sharlene received a lifesaving liver transplant 3 years ago through the generosity of an organ donor and she wanted to contribute in a way that would be meaningful to both clubs.
On Saturday 16 JUNE, Rutherglen and Tallangatta senior footballers played for the Donate Life Cup, while the A-grade netballers clash for the Jess McLennan Cup. Teams from both clubs wore specially designed guernseys and dresses for the occasion that will be held annually in memory of Jess and to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.
There will also be opportunities for people to chat to DonateLife staff and join the organ donor register on the day. You can find out more about DonteLife and how to become a donor at www.donatelife.gov.au