Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Invisible Illness Awareness Campaign.

Hello all :)
Today I want to catch you all up on the various fundraising and awareness events I've been planning with some friends lately

To begin with, on Saturday, months of planning and organising came to a head when University of Gloucestershire's Dance Society held a flash mob to help raise awareness for invisible illness, and in particular, M.E. I teamed up with the Dance Society and a great organisation called 'Fixers' to help make the event happen. In particular I want to thank Chloe Dix, Rosie Mills and Jodie from Fixers for coming up with the idea and to help make it happen. The flash mob was a great success, with people of all ages asking what it was for and why we were doing it. This helped to spread the message of invisible illness and that people of any age can suffer with it. So overall, I want to thank Dance Society in general for wanting to be a part of my awareness and fundraising plans, and for making it happen. When we first talked about it, I didn't dream that so many people would want to get involved, and it means the world to me that you all did. The thing which I am most pleased about, I have to admit, is the fact that ITV have decided to get involved, and ended up filming the whole thing!

This leads me on nicely to my next awareness campaign. Through the flash mob, another idea was sparked off which I'm very lucky to be going ahead with tomorrow - Creating a broadcast piece with Fixers to go out on ITV news. For those people who have been with me since the beginning of this journey, you know that I never expected to be able to send my message across in such a big and broad way. This is such a massive deal for me, because it means I get to be the voice for so many sufferers who don't have the chance to speak out - and to give a realistic view into what living with an invisible illness is like. I realise that I've said thank you a lot in this post already, but I have to give Carrie a special mention... Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to speak out on TV (eeep!) about a topic which is so important to me, and really does deserve awareness. As part of the piece, I'll be talking with three other sufferers of invisible illness in the hope of opening people's minds up to the idea that there are so many forms of invisible illness, and how it can effect such a wide variety of people - all genders, ages etc. The illnesses we'll be looking at in particular are M.E, Fibromyalgia, Body Dysmorphia, Crohns, and Heart Disease. This broadcast piece is going to be going out sometime in March or April - I shall keep you all posted!

And finally, with my University sports club - Boardriders, we are holding an 80's night at Propaganda, MooMoo's on Thursday 27th, to help raise money for two amazing charities - Cancer Research UK and Association of Young People with M.E (AYME). All of the Boardriders have been such a huge support for me and have become such a big part of my life, so the fact they want to fundraise for my charity is a big deal for me. Cancer Research UK is also a charity which is close to our hearts as a club, so we can't wait to raise money for them too! So I have to say a final thank you to my Boardriders for helping to make this fundraiser happen and for always keeping my spirits up. You're all awesome.

Info on Fybromyalgia - http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Fibromyalgia/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Info on Body Dysmorphia - http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/body-dysmorphia/pages/introduction.aspx
Info on Crohns - http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/crohns-disease/pages/introduction.aspx
Info on Cardiomyopathy (type of heart disease/condition) - https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/cardiomyopathy/dilated-cardiomyopathy.aspx

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