Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September 1st marks day 1 of the Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Off the top of my head I can think of almost 10 people I know/knew affected by this crippling disease. More recently I heard of a little girl who was diagnosed with it and it really hit home. Not only because I’m a mom with a child the same age but also because the idea that a small helpless child, unable to properly communicate how they are even feeling, hurts my heart.

untitled112

And so this month I’d like to help spread awareness because (as I recently read and totally agree)…one child affected by cancer is one child too many! I hope you’ll all check out the website and make a small donation (Text ‘GOLD’ to 70030 to donate £3 to CLIC Sargent). You can organise your own fundraising event, sign up to take part in their big bucket challenge or get involved in one of their “Give Gold” stock appeals at a local CLIC Sargent Charity Shop.

Have a great September! 🙂

Advertisements

What I think of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Unless you’ve been stuck on a desert island with no access to the internet, television or phone, you would have heard about the ALS ice bucket challenge and most likely partaken in it as well.

The #alsicebucketchallenge, like the #nomakeupselfie has gone viral in the last few weeks. People from all over the world (including ex President George Bush, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and most of my friends) have partaken in the challenge of pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads and then posting the video to Facebook and other social media channels.

The challenge started by asking people to pour ice water over themselves OR forfeit and donate but instead we have everyone shivering AND donating!! It’s fun, it’s creative, it’s downright effective.

So what is ALS? Until recently I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question. Today I can. Als is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons travel from our brains, down our spinal cord and to every muscle in our body. When these neurons don’t travel, our muscles start giving way which affects our speech, movement, swallowing and breathing. This video explains it better.

Like with most viral social media challenges, you have the naysayers. People complaining its a waste of water, saying there are children in Africa who don’t have any water, etc. I would like to ask those people…have you ever had a bubble bath? Do you enjoy going to water parks? Have you ever bought something you don’t need? Do you always finish what’s on your plate? Left the tap on while brushing your teeth?

I understand people opting to donate and not take the challenge and that’s great too. But for the sceptics, here’s a figure for you to digest: In the last month, the ALS association in the United States has raised $94.3 million!!

And just incase that hasn’t convinced you, here’s one more video.

What’s your take on the Ice Bucket Challenge?

Race for life – running to kick cancer in the ass!

Today was a good day! Today, two of my closest friends and I ran race for life in Regents Park, London to raise money for cancer research. We raised over £1200 in 5 days! Really, credit should go to all the people who donated to our cause and so I’d like to say a big public THANK YOU!!

We did a Santa Run in Richmond Park, London back in December and raised over £2,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital. So often when people do these charity runs, they are doing it for the charity. And while of course, I’m doing it to raise money for the charity, I’m also doing it for me. Because running and fundraising make me happy. And when we’re happy, we can make others around us happy too. So expect me to be rattling my donation tin at you often!! 🙂

Jokes aside, why was this race important to me? I’ve had three too many people in my life battle cancer. One lost his battle, the second beat cancer and the third is kicking cancer’s ass as I write this. Today I ran for my aunt. Because even when she’s going through something I can’t possibly imagine, she laughs and she jokes and she gives great advice. It can’t be easy and yet she’s so positive. She was my inspiration today.

Here are a few pictures from this morning. And I wouldn’t be English if I didn’t mention the weather!! Not too hot, not too cold…but most importantly, it stayed dry! London you did good!

IMG-20140530-WA0009

20140531_105255

IMG_20140531_105813
Our race for life selfie

20140531_103734
On the official Race for Life 2014 t-shirts 🙂

IMG-20140531-WA0004
My family – my biggest supporters

IMG-20140531-WA0003
With S at the end of the race 🙂

My time was 36 minutes and 55 seconds. I was super pleased because it was approx. 6 minutes off my time since our Santa Run in December.

R.I.P. Stephen Sutton

Earlier this week, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Stephen passed away. But this was not just any Stephen, it was Stephen Sutton of stephensstory.co.uk

If you live in the UK, you most likely would have heard about Stephen in the last year. Stephen was diagnosed with an incurable, terminal cancer when he was just 15 years old. But rather than sit back and feel defeated by life, he drafted a “bucket list” of everything he wanted to achieve while he was still alive. Some of them included, raising £10,000 for cancer research, go to a football match at Wembley Stadium, skydive, go busking, get a tattoo, write a book, etc. You can view the full list here.

Stephen-Sutton

Not only did Stephen raise £10,000 but as word of his bucket list and his story spread, he raised £3,869,311.97 The aim of his website was to spread positivity and motivation. “I may have cancer, but cancer doesn’t have me!” was what he lived by.

Stephen-Sutton

He was exceptional student who refused to let cancer beat him and control him. He grabbed life with open arms and truly “lived” the rest of his life.

It got me thinking about the life I lead and what I want to achieve. Also what I’d like to be remembered for when I no longer exist as Natasha. Stephen will always be remembered for his genuine desire to help people and sharing his positivity even when enduring such pain and suffering. I think that’s a pretty great way to be remembered and although he’s no longer here, his story will live on.

What would you like to be remembered for?

Running for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital

On Sunday, my friends Nandini, Bhavna and I ran (in beautiful Richmond Park) to raise money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH). This London based hospital does some amazing work for children around the world. Many a child has been flown in from other parts of the country and world, to be healed by the surgeons and doctors at GOSH. As a mother now, I hope never to have to walk through the corridors of GOSH and I chose this charity as it’s a cause close to my heart.

It was an absolutely beautiful day to run. Crisp but with the sun shining down on us and what a sight Richmond Park is. I’d been there once before, about 8 years ago, and have very fond memories attached to my visit. It was a fun run and as Christmas is around the corner, we all ran in Santa Suits. We raised over £2,000 but our Just Giving page is still open for those who’d like to donate (just click on the link below).

https://www.justgiving.com/nandunatsandbee-runforGOSH

After the run we headed down to another part of the park for lunch in a quaint little café hidden amongst the trees, with a magnificent view of the Thames.

20131208_121626

20131208_132822

20131208_132441

20131208_135001

20131208_135942

20131208_135945

20131208_152117

The sun streaming through the clouds on the way home, the perfect end to a great day.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who donated to our cause and cheered us on…your support meant so much to us.

With love xx