More than 7,000 people in the UK are waiting for organ transplants and more than 1,700 have received life-giving transplants since April this year.

Statistics from July this year, show that 740 of those awaiting a transplant are from Cumbria.

August 13 is World Organ Donation Day.

In Britain that day is recognised on February 14.

How appropriate is that? What more loving gift could you give someone on Valentine’s Day than the gift of life. It certainly beats overpriced roses!

Of course, there are two totally different sides to organ donation. Often the gift of life for one person marks the death of someone else - a difficulty reality that recipients have to face.

New laws mean you now have to opt out of being a donor rather than opting in as was the case in the past.

Whatever the law says, though, nobody can do anything but admire those brave and wonderful people who, faced with the death of a loved one, make the agonising decision to donate his or her organs - and how wonderful they must feel to know that their loved one gave new life to someone - that someone else would celebrate the continuation of life while they face the end of the person they love.

I have never had a transplant, so it is not up to me to say thank you but we must all share in that sense of awesome respect for those who make these decisions at such a difficult time.

Of course, there is the joy, too. The brother who gives a kidney, the mother whose bone marrow is an exact match. These are the ones who are alive to see the joy and wonder of a loved one literally restored to life by their actions.

On August 13 the world recognises those who have given life to others, starting with Ronald Lee Herrick.

He was the first person to donate an organ. In 1954, he donated his kidney to his twin brother, and Dr Joseph Murray was the doctor who carried out this successful organ transplantation process.

Later in 1990, He was honoured with Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for bringing advances in organ transplantation.

And just my one claim to fame: I met Dr Christiaan Barnard, who performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant at a function in South Africa and he kissed me on the cheek.

I’ve never washed my face since!