Last Saturday my family and I went up to London to watch my cousin David and his lovely friend Sam run the Marathon to raise money for the Dystonia Society. It was such an amazing day. We were extremely lucky with the weather, and managed to get a fab viewing spot at the halfway mark. This was perfect as not only did it enable us to have a great view of everyone but it also meant we had a chance to grab David as he ran past and take a quick photo with him.
I’m thrilled to say that David and Sam have achieved their sponsorship target and have raised over £3000 for the Dystonia Society which is just incredible. I had never met Sam before so it was fantastic to finally meet her at the celebratory dinner. Watching them run was so emotional and inspirational and I extremely thankful to them both for taking on such a huge feat.
Saturday we held our Tea Party fundraiser for the Dystonia Society. The day was a complete success with many more people than last year showing up which was an incredibly uplifting sight. My body was still playing up a lot, this meant that I had several pain triggered seizures as my new leg spasm was aggravating the torn ligaments in my knee. However I view having these spasms in front of everyone as a complete positive, they got a good look at what Dystonia can do you.
A good family friend had offered to make a cake to raffle off for the occasion. She is very talented, and the cake looked so delicious!
Our house was packed all day long which was amazing to see. The Dystonia Society had sent us lots of useful leaflets which we had put on display around the house, everyone seemed to enjoy these and it sparked lots of different questions. Raising awareness has become such a big passion of mine, so I was overjoyed at how successful the day was. One of the elements I loved about it was that the people who had come along could also ask members of my family questions and talk to them about it. Even though they don’t have the condition their lives are still affected by it.
In total so far we have raised £425.00 for the Dystonia Society and some more people have said they would like to drop in donations which will boost our total even further. I am so grateful to everyone who came along, it was such an incredible day.
As many of you the Dystonia Society is a charity that is very close to my heart. Without the amazing work they do I would not have known who to turn to in the beginning, I would most likely still be looking for a diagnosis. The support they provide is invaluable to so many sufferers and the website is full of information that is constantly being updated. They also help provide funding for research, this is vital as you never know whose research will one day find a cure to Dystonia. For such a small charity they provide an amazing service, however they are reliant on donations. This is why each year I do lots of fundraising activities and awareness campaigning.
My cousin David and his fabulous friend Sam are running the London Marathon in a couple of weeks’ time. This is something I admire them greatly for doing. They are aiming to raise a total of £3000 for the Dystonia Society. Now some of you may be thinking that’s a mighty high target! Well, that’s because the London Marathon organisers charge charities £2000 a place! So for charities to actually gain any money from donations the targets have to be placed extremely high. However people who have not gained a place through a charity don’t have to pay anywhere near this amount of money to run! If you would like to help David and Sam achieve there £3000 target here is their Just Giving link http://www.justgiving.com/DavidandSam2014.
David has been doing other bits of fundraising as well, with his previous company even joining in. So to help out we are throwing our annual Dystonia tea party earlier than normal to raise money to add to David and Sam’s total. As usual our tea party will consist of all the cake and tea/coffee you can eat and drink, along with lots of information on Dystonia. The Dystonia Society have been very kind and provided us with some fantastic leaflets so if anyone has any questions that I don’t know the answers to then I am sure they will be in there.
Last year myself and a lady in America organised an event called Go Blue. Well this year, I am encouraging everyone to Go Green during awareness week (May 3rd -11th), which is the Dystonia Society’s colour. Whether you dye a lock of hair green, dress in green, wear green make up etc., it does not matter as long as people know what you’re doing and why. Encourage as many people as you can to get involved, take a photo and spread the word.
The Dystonia Society are also using a website called Thunderclap that co-ordinates sending messages out for groups of people. The aim of this is that on the 9th May a mass message gets sent out at 1:30pm through the social media network saying ““Help us raise awareness of #dystonia, a neurological condition that causes muscle spasms. Do it for dystonia! http://thndr.it/1fXu9dr” The more people that sign up to Thunderclap, then more people will see this, it is a fantastic awareness tool, but it will only work if lots of us sign up to it. You can register through your Twitter and/or Facebook account with them, and it sends out a message on your behalf at the set time during awareness week. You can register here https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/9777-dystonia-awareness-week?locale=en .
I have some other fundraising and awareness ideas up my sleeve, but until they are certain I shall keep them for another blog post. Raising funds, and awareness is the only way Dystonia will ever be cured, so please share this, donate, and sign up!
Last time I posted I felt that I was balancing on the knifes edge and was feeling pretty negative, well I’m feeling darn good today and I plan on enjoying it. My legs have not been as bad the last couple of days, the swelling in my knees is going down and the pain in them is tolerable. This improvement has made such a mental difference as the pain was really beginning to get me down.
Having my pain levels go down has made the biggest difference as it is the pain that I struggle to deal with the most. I can cope with my body spasming, tremoring and getting into unnatural positions but the pain is what I can’t cope with. Normally it would be my jaw that causes the unbearable pain, so at least having it in my knees made a change.
I am now on half term, which mean no college and no riding 🙁 however I know that it is best just to let my body rest and recover this week, before I throw myself back into everything head first next week. On a positive note I made into college last week!! After being too ill to go in the week before I was determined to drag myself out of bed and into college – trying to get dressed whilst my legs where on strike was interesting but I managed it and it was the best thing I could have done. I know that I tire very easily these days but doing normal things like college make me so happy.
As I have mentioned before my cousin David and his friend Sam are running the London marathon for The Dystonia Society in April. I woke up to see a small article had been written on them in their local newspaper (Somerset). Its so positive to see awareness of Dystonia spreading!
I often say that I wish I could see inside my brain so I could have a better understanding of what exactly is going on. As other than all the medical jargon I have no idea what exactly it is doing…this picture describe it perfectly and makes me smile.
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