AS MOST 18-year-olds look forward to beginning university, starting their first grown-up job, or embarking on a gap year, Nadine Blake faces a rather different future.
The teenager has been told she has six months to live as her cystic fibrosis has become so severe there is nothing more that can be done for her.
She needs a double lung and liver transplant but is too ill to undergo an operation and it is unlikely the organs needed will become available.
Nadine said: ‘I think more people should carry a donor card. The transplant I need is not available because I need too many organs and they need to come from the same person. I think everyone should carry a card.’
But despite the bleak prognosis Nadine, of Calshot Road, Warren Park, is still determined to make other sufferers as comfortable as possible.
Her large, close-knit family, have raised almost £2,000 for the CF ward at Southampton General Hospital, where it has been necessary for Nadine to spend long spells in isolation because of the risk of infection.
Nadine takes more than 60 tablets a day to keep going and numb the pain caused by complications of cystic fibrosis, including diabetes, osteoporosis, cirrhosis of the liver and asthma. She has also had a stroke and is fed through a tube in her stomach overnight.
In the past few months Nadine and her family have enjoyed special days together. In March 20 members of the family visited Butlins for a break together.
Thanks to the Willow Foundation, Nadine met some of the stars of her favourite television programme, The Only Way is Essex, at the famous Sugar Hut Club in Brentwood in September.
And she has just been told she will be meeting her idol, Peter Andre, when he performs in Bournemouth next month.
Last Friday her family threw her a huge 18th birthday party at The Swan pub, in Bedhampton, and had a few surprises in store for her.
She said: ‘I knew I was having a party but everything else was kept secret. I was really shocked when the limo turned up, I thought it was going to be a taxi.’
Nadine, who gained a level two diploma on a beauty course at South Downs College, is facing her future with bravery. She has a passion for fashion and beauty and always looks immaculate. Mum Becky said: ‘You just have to get up and get on with it. You have days when you just sit and cry but you can’t do that every day or you wouldn’t be able to look after Nadine.’
Dad Carl says he just takes each day at a time, and added: ‘We’re both so proud of her.’ Nadine plans to spend as much time as possible with 20-year-old boyfriend of two years, Blake Duke.
Nadine said: ‘He knows the situation and has been a rock to me. He’s amazing.’
Nadine’s family also keep her strong and they intend to spend her last days making her as comfortable as possible. and creating special memories.
Family and friends raise money to support ward
THE family has been working hard to raise money for the CF Ward at Southampton General Hospital.
Last month Nadine’s uncle Darren Blake and his colleagues at 626 Cars, threw a fundraising party at Leigh Park Working Mens Club and raised £1,300.
And Warren Park Primary School also held a fundraising day which raised £400 to donate to the ward.
Nadine said: ‘This is the only place where people with CF can go and it needs to be bigger, a lot, lot bigger.’
Mum Becky said: ‘The support the CF ward gives you is absolutely brilliant. They are there for you every step of the way.’
Nadine’s family are planning more events in the future. If you would like to donate to the Adult CF ward please call (02380) 796801.