Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.
Earlier this year, I completed a sponsored walk. Anyone that knows me will know that this was a big deal for me, as when I was 14, I became disabled though an illness. The reason I decided to complete this walk was that in March, it had been 11 years since this happened and instead of feeling upset about everything that has happened, I wanted to celebrate the progress I had made by doing something positive. Now, when someone says sponsored walk, it tends to put ideas in your head of striding great distances, often through tricky conditions. This was not the case for me, nope, my walk was a small jaunt on the seafront in the town where I live; but for me, this minuscule distance, was a massive milestone. In my head, I would pop down to the seafront, struggle through the walk (probably grumbling my way along) with my good friend Sarah and then flop back at home. However, my friends and family had other ideas! I am surrounded by a great bunch of people, who through the last 11 years have always been able to put a smile on my face, give me hand when I have needed it and generally kept me smiling through some tricky times. When they heard about my walk, they were all on board to both generously sponsor me and, be by my side for the event.
Through my excitement of seeing everyone there with me, I almost forgot that I had to actually walk with people watching me, something I am NOT a big fan of. Due to the difficulties I have with walking, I am very self conscious about the way I walk, it often causes strangers to stare or even to directly ask me, “what’s wrong with you then?”. So, the thought of people being there with the purpose of watching me walk…nightmare! What I had appeared to have forgotten is that all of these lovely people are in fact my friends, all there to continue supporting me as they always had. It turned out to be a great afternoon, the walking was not a doddle, but with everyone there it spurred me on (as did the thought of a big fat cake at the end of it!). I was pretty chuffed with my little self.
One of the big reasons I decided to do this walk (apart from the cake), was to raise money for The National Brain Appeal. This is a charity that raises money for The National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, which is based in Queens Square in London. It is a truly amazing hospital filled with the clever-ist (yes that’s a word) of people. I became a patient at this hospital nearly two years ago and I can not praise them highly enough. This month, the charity are celebrating 30 years of amazing-ness (my words not theirs), by looking back at the fundraising events people have held and where the money has been spent. If you, or anyone you know of, has been affected by a neurological illness, this charity is well worth giving to. If you have had any experience of the incredible work that The National Hospital do, or you have raised money for this charity, then let them know. Throughout August, you can share your stories of both the hospital and The National Brain Appeal on Facebook (search for The National Brain Appeal) #30years30days.
My lovely bunch of friends helped me to raise over £900, seen as though my aim was £100, I was pretty blooming chuffed with that!