It’s a shock to be told that your 11-year-old daughter, who was previously fit and well, has a rare liver condition. Even though I’m a nurse I knew nothing of childhood liver diseases (I had specialised in adults with cardiac conditions) and I was keen to find out what information and support was out there.
We found out about CLDF from a leaflet in the parents’ room on Kings’ Rays of Sunshine ward and Charlotte, her elder sister Jessica and I all attended the CLDF conference and family weekend in October. Although her condition is now stable, thanks to the care of the amazing team at Kings who still see her regularly, Charlotte’s diagnosis had left her feeling isolated and low and we wanted her to meet other children with similar conditions. I’m happy to say it did the trick! Charlotte had a great time, made new friends and realised she was not alone. In fact, she’s already signed up for CLDF Breakaway in May.
So, this was my motivation to fundraise for CLDF – I wanted to give something back to a small charity which has been such an enormous help and support to us as a family over the past eight months. I chatted with Sophie and Lucy at the family weekend about how I could help and there it started! It started with siting a couple of collection tins in local businesses.
Now I think I have six to keep track of and I’m still looking for homes for more!Big Yellow Friday is a great opportunity to get more people involved in fundraising. I happen to work at Charlotte’s school so we will have an extra big push on it! We’re having a Wear Yellow Day, (including a penalty payment for wearing non-uniform that is not yellow!) and a ‘Guess how many sprinkles on the yellow cake’ competition. Because Charlotte was diagnosed at the end of her time at her primary school, they have also agreed to run Big Yellow Friday there too, as well as in two other schools in the education trust.
So, we should be collecting in funds from four schools in total!I’m pleased to say I’ve had a positive response to Big Yellow Friday, especially when people hear my story and I would say to anyone who is thinking about getting involved just go for it! You can do as much or as little as you like or have time for. It is a great feeling to know that you are contributing to helping others, especially those closest to you.
I am not an event’s organiser nor a sales person, but I am proof that you can approach people and have success! Just ask – they can only say no and might just surprise you! I don’t have loads of time to spare – like many people I have a very busy job – but I feel this gives me something back that most jobs can’t – a warm and fuzzy feeling that you are making a difference!
-Julie, Charlotte’s mum