DAJANA Tesevic knows just how important an organ donation can be.
She was saved last year thanks to a liver donation, days before the 25-year-old believed she was going to die.
The Spearwood resident had suffered through health problems for a decade before she was diagnosed with chronic liver disease.
‘My health was up and down,’ she said.
‘I begged for a transplant but that’s obviously not how the system works.
‘Eventually I was put on the donor list but I didn’t think I was going to make it.
‘I spent what I thought were my final weeks with my family and friends and coming to terms with it all. I wasn’t afraid to die.’
Then, out of the blue, she received a call she never thought she would receive ” there was a possible match.
A day later she was in for surgery and a further 24-hours on she was forcing herself to walk, keen to leave hospital as soon as possible.
Fourteen months down the track and Dajana said she had recovered well.
She is now looking forward to getting back into jogging, something she never thought possible when she had wasted away to just 36 kilograms.
She knows it is all thanks to the generosity of a donor.
‘Being in the position that I am, I understand that it’s an amazing gift,’ she said.
‘For young people it (organ donation) is just something to think about or talk about.
‘The way that you can impact on another person, their friends and family is amazing.’
This Saturday, Dajana will join about 7500 people for the Neon Run, a five-kilometre run, jog, walk or dance, to raise organ donation awareness.
The event supports Donor Mate, a WA organisation encouraging people to consider organ donation, and Beyond Blue.
It is the second year in a row the Claremont Showground will host the event, which will be lit up with more than 300 pieces of lighting as well as six neon-themed zones.
‘I love seeing all the emotions on people’s faces when they reach the finish line and what this event really means for different people,’ Dajana said.
‘Running or even walking for me is like freedom, I was bedridden for so long.
‘To be able to be out there with friends supporting Donor Mate, a cause close to my heart, is an incredible feeling.’