Last Thursday I ventured up to London in preparation for the much anticipated
Harefield Hospital Fun Run & Family Day.
I travelled up on the Thursday and stayed with my Brother for a catch up in East London and on Friday made my way over to the hospital for a bit of voluntary work in the run up to the event on the Sunday.
The lady who runs the charity side of things is a fantastic woman called Desiree who has a small team of workers and volunteers.
Every single person I met was genuinely warm spirited and passionate about the cause, they had literally put every ounce of energy into pulling the event off and shared the same commitment as the remarkable nurses and surgeons at the hospital.
Before Mum passed away I always wanted to do something for charity.
It makes me laugh now that when I was younger she would always say to me when it came to my love for trainers, "You will grow out of it one day..."
Well that never happened and now off course, it's my love for them that helps me to spread awareness of just how vital Organ Donation is as well as funds for the hospital.
Thankfully one of my best friends Leanne (the one sporting a very fetching purple wig, I was in the red) is from North London so I was able to spend the weekend with her.
Sunday arrived and we got up at 6:30am to ensure that we would arrive at the hospital nice and early.
On arrival, we set up the stall with key focus off course being to spread awareness of Organ Donation with promotional material from the NHS to supporting the wonderful Little Yellow Duck Project (http://thelittleyellowduckproject.org) while at the same time raising money through sales of my 'Trainers's for Charity' keyrings and the fabulous walking animal balloons as part of my own project Footwear Floozy.
Lesson learnt for next year buy more than one helium cylinder!
Within minutes of arrival we started chatting with a lovely bunch of ladies and gentleman who were friends that lived together in sheltered accommodation.
Every year they have a stall selling all sorts to raise money after their wonderful friend Janice was treated by Harefield.
YOU EITHER GOT IT OR YOU DON'T
They definitely gave me a run for my money in the banter stakes as they pulled out Hawaiian skirts and papermache coconut bras that they had hand made.
I hope to see them all again next year!
Another positive was the amount of people who came up to the stall to ask as to whether they were still on the Organ Donor register having originally registered over 10 years ago for example or simply to find out more on what it entails from both the perspective or being a donor to being the recipient of a donation.
Last but certainly not least I had the privilege of meeting Fraser and Jenny, the extremely proud and rightly so parents of Andrew, a young man who's life was affected by organ donation.
Andrew suffered from a near fatal heart affecting virus while on a remote honeymoon island where few spoke English, all while his wife struggled to safe her newly wedded husbands life. He is proof that anyone can be affected by organ donation at any point in their life which is why it is so important to sign up to the register with the NHS.
I won't give you too much detail as you can read their amazing experience titled, "Strength in Strangers"directly from Amazon at the following link:
Both Fraser and Jenny are extremely passionate about how vital organ donation is and I was happy to share experiences with them both from personal to views shared on organ donation.
I will forever encourage everyone who is fit enough to become an organ donor, tissue donor as well as give blood.
MUM AND I MANY YEARS AGO, SHE WAS ALWAYS UP FOR A LAUGH
It angers me that my Mum passed away because organs were not available.
My amazing and beautiful Mum is part of a horrible statistic of 3 people that die a day in the UK while waiting for a transplant yet at the same time, millions of organs around the world that could be donated are being taken to the grave.
MUM WHEN SHE WAS AROUND MY AGE - AS BEAUTIFUL OUTSIDE AS SHE WAS IN
If you are not an organ donor yet would happily take the offer of a donation if needed, think again.
You wouldn't turn down the offer to help yourself, so don't turn down the offer to help others.
SIGN UP NOW!
To everyone I met, I wish you all the best.
To Desiree and her wonderful team to Graham and his 6 years of volunteering at the hospital, keep up the fantastic work and I hope to see you all again soon (next time disguised as Santa!)
Ready to rumble with the warm up
Legendary British light heavyweight John Conteh was on hand to set the race off with a bang
Leanne and I had Dog envy watching the Dog Show, all of the entrants were beautiful
This lovely and extremely polite young lady was very happy with her crochet Duck from the Little Yellow Duck Project
Leanne and I looking slightly more normal minus the wigs
A beautiful sunset to guide me home on the train back to Brighton, a fabulous finish to the weekend.
Follow the link for a preview to view some of the wonderful events planned for 2015 to mark Harefield Hospital's Centenary in 2015.