charity

bloggerrelaybaton

So you may have heard about this little thing called Sport Relief, no? People up and down the country raising money for Comic Relief… it’s why Davina did her amazing 500 miles recently and why Nick Grimshaw will be cycling 1000 miles in a few weeks on Radio one.

As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.

And in less than 24 hours it is my turn! As you can see, Team Peterborough handed over the baton on Sunday, after walking 15miles and cycling 25 miles, raising a whopping £1173.00.

We (Mr. B and I) are having a little rest today and psyching ourselves up for tomorrow when we are joining TEAM NOTTINGHAM, the group of Nottingham bloggers to do our part for the Team Honk Blogger Relay which has seen more than 200 bloggers up and down the country (with help from their friends and family) unite to do a blogger relay.

The relay started in Lands End on the 12th of January and finishes in John O Groats on the 23rd March 2014. There are 38 regional teams and the aim is to collectively raise over £20,000 for Sport Relief! You can check out the route here http://teamhonk.org/2014-blogger-relay/team-honk-2014-relay-route-and-masterplan/

We’ve literally seen all different types of transport: pushchair pushes, roller blading across the Humber, boating round Bristol, #Honkopoly around London, fancy dress, onesies, bikes, scooters, planes, hiking, rafting and mountain climbing. It has been so much fun to watch but now… it’s our turn!

Team Nottingham is split into two teams, half the team (Penny, Donna, Hannah, Emma, Jennifer, Simon, Alex, Rebecca and Sarah) joining me tomorrow, the 25th of Feb, to take the baton from Grantham to West Bridgford by bike dressed as Robin Hood and his merry (wo)men! In total it is a 30 mile trip which I have to say I am ill prepared for – wish me luck! We then hand over the baton AND costumes to some more fair maidens (Amanda, Jen, Emily and Louise) who will be walking a further 30 miles to Derby on the 26th of Feb.

You can support us (please support me, I need it!) by donating to our Regional Team page here http://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/nottinghamteamhonk.

The money raised by Sport Relief goes towards helping people both here in the UK and abroad. You can read more about the kind of charities supported by Comic Relief as Penny and Jen recently went to visit a Comic Relief project http://lovechicliving.co.uk/sport-relief-money-go/

Want to join in too?

The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

My dad’s sister passed away from it in her thirties, my granddad in his seventies. My sister’s best friend beat it a few years ago, my uncle is currently in remission and my boyfriend’s lovely mum has it. Cancer.

Dreaded Cancer. Whether it’s watching someone you love fight this cruel disease or  worrying about your own health… it seems it is everywhere we look. Every two minutes someone in the UK is told they have cancer and the number of cases continue to rise.

But we are fighting back! This Sunday, 9th of June, I am part of a team of mummy bloggers (Mammasaurus, Aresidence and Ana Mum Diary) who will be doing the Race for Life in Nottingham raising money for Cancer Research. I will also be accompanied by Cheryl, my boyfriend’s lovely mum, who will walk some of the way and when she is too tired to walk I will push her in her wheelchair. It won’t be a speedy race but a determined, proud one! :)

As a team we have a target of £500. Can you help us reach it? You can donate to our team fundraising page here.

There is also a £1 text giving donation facility set up so please donate a pound if you can – text BLOG99 to 70070. 

We’ve already kindly been sponsored by Brioche Pasquier who have donated a whopping £250 to our team.

For its first ever UK fundraising campaign to support Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, Brioche Pasquier has launched the first of two on-pack promotions to reach its fundraising goal of £15,000.

The ‘Run with Mum’ promotion, now available on the Pitch range, is to encourage you to run with your children by covering a single child’s £10 entry fee for 1,000 pairs of little legs.

The second promotion, ‘Raise Some Dough’, available throughout June and July across all products, gives you the opportunity to win donations of up to £100 to send to friends or family taking part in a Race for Life event through their JustGiving page – or alternatively you can simply donate to the Brioche Pasquier Race for Life team.

Keep an eye out for the yummy Brioche Pasquier products at the Race for Life events, as every runner will be offered a tasty ‘PITCH’ filled brioche.

To find out how you can get involved and take advantage of these fantastic offers, visit http://www.briochepasquier.co.uk.

I look back on memories of Littlelish age 12 months with a heart that swells with pride and love. She started walking 1 week after her first birthday, she could already say many words, feed herself and was a real little character. I observed and admired her every move, her development fascinated me. This is a feeling I expect all mothers can relate to. But imagine one minute listening to your pride and joy saying bye… and then no longer being able to talk? This was Olive’s last word to her family. Olive is a beautiful little 2 year old with a neurological disorder known as Rett Syndrome.


Rett Syndrome is a debilitating disorder which most often strikes previously healthy little girls just after they have learned to walk and say a few words and begins to drag their development backwards.

As the cascade of Rett symptoms descends, girls lose acquired skills, normal movement and speech. Girls are left unable to communicate or use their hands to hold, carry or manipulate objects.

Over time, girls who have learned to walk often lose that ability as well. Loss of motor control sets in, essentially locking these girls into bodies that won’t work, leaving them without the ability to make purposeful movements.

Parents who discover that their daughters have this condition have no real treatment options. They are impotent in the face of this disease, as their little girl begins to fall, as her spine bends, as her body is racked with violent seizures.

Most girls with Rett Syndrome survive into adulthood, becoming increasingly more disabled over time. Invariably, they need one to one, 24 hour a day care for the rest of their lives.

I had never heard of Rett Syndrome, despite the fact it is the most common cause of profound disability in females around the world and 17 girls a day are born with this debilitating condition.

On learning all about this cruel disorder my heart fills with empathy for this family and for Olive. I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult it must be to watch your daughter, the one you watched so intently grow before you eyes now move backwards in terms of development, unable to talk, walk, feed herself or use her hands. But mostly, I cannot begin to imagine being trapped in a body and mind that doesn’t respond to what you want it to do. Rett Syndrome doesn’t affect the brain itself, the girls are not brain damaged, the neurons simply don’t fire and connect as they should. And this means Olive is trapped inside herself, perhaps the most painful thing of all.

Olive’s mother writes a blog over at http://olivesrettjourney.blogspot.co.uk/. It’s an incredibly inspirational read.  The post when Janie is describing just how her daughter tries to communicate with her really affected me the most. It made it all just so real to me, that this beautiful, healthy little girl is trapped desperately trying to communicate. Ugh, it seems so cruel, so frustrating… and yet this family have real hope and so much love and patience. They are fighting for Olive in every single way they can. But their hope it not in vain. Rett Syndrome is potentially the first curable brain disease, it has already been reversed in laboratory mice. The belief is that, treatment is well on the way, whilst successful gene therapy is a bit further away.

Reverse Rett UK is a charity set up to raise awareness and funds to work towards treatments and a cure and has raised over $1million in the last 2 years. Around 95% of all monies raised goes towards developing research into reversing Rett Syndrome.

If, like me you are moved by Olive’s story and you would like to do something to help here’s what you can do:

  • Tweet this post with the hashtag #olivesarmy and #reverserett to help raise awareness
  • Donate on the Reverse Rett website – http://www.reverserett.org.uk/donate
  • Share this post on Facebook or Google+ or simply tell your friends about this dreadful condition and its possible cure.

October is Rett Syndrome Awareness Month so I (along with other East Midland bloggers and hopefully you!) am doing all I can to help Olive and all the other beautiful girls with Rett Syndrome.

Janie talks about how much Olive has taught them and how Olive can teach people “how to recognise & find real love, how to appreciate & nurture it & how to  see many of lives little treasures that so many of us take for granted”.

Please show some love for beautiful Olive and make people aware of Rett Syndrome.

 

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