Sunday, 31 August 2014

Wish 17- The gift of music



Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

A few years ago my parents went to a Barry Manilow concert and really liked his request for the audience to bring along any unwanted music instruments which would be passed onto school children.

Music is one of those things I think everyone should have a chance to learn yet often families struggle or find it impossible to provide an instrument and lessons for their child. Barry Manilow's project is fantastic and at the moment a similar campaign is being run in the UK by James Rhodes Instrument Amnesty

Here are a few links to similar projects;

Cello's and violins for London children
Dorothy Croft Trust helping talented 17-25 year olds
Sistema England
A list of American groups

If you have any istruments in your loft or the  back of a cupboard please consider donating it to one of the above projects and bring the joy of music to a child.

I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Wish 16- Read this guide to supporting parents who have lost a child

Through Post Pals I have come to know lots of parents who have lost a child yet receive very little support from the people around them. My sister was stillborn and afterwards people would cross the road when they spotted my Mum pretending they hadn't seen her. Don't forget Dads and Grandparents are grieving too.
This is a great guide written by a lady called Mary Cleckley, there is also a guide on the wonderful A Child Of Mine's site here




Do's and Don'ts

If you are reading in an effort to better understand and support
someone you care about who has lost a child, it is hopeful that the
following will aid you to become better informed about their needs:

DO: accept the simple fact that it is not possible for you to say
things that will make the bereaved parent feel better. This
acceptance will enable you to stop when you become tempted to utter
cliches that you have heard all of your life that are intended to
comfort, but in reality they don't accomplish this. Do know that
when you make the initial call, the bereaved parent does not expect
you to be able to take their hurt away, or to fully understand the
depth of their despair and pain.

DON'T: say "I know how you feel" unless you, yourself, have
experienced the loss of a child. Though it is possible for you to
empathize with them, the death of their child cannot be compared to
the loss of your parents, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, grandfather,
grandmother or dog. This is not to say you haven't experienced pain
with these losses, but they are different losses. Bereaved parents
have trouble accepting "I know how you feel" from anyone other than
another bereaved parent.

DO: feel free to touch them, to hug and cry with them if these
expressions are appropriate to your relationship with the parent.
Tell them that you care about their pain and that you are sorry
their child died. A simple hug can say more than a thousand words.

DON'T: impose your personal religious beliefs, nor offer as
solace "this was God's will". You should be careful how you
represent God, His wishes and plans when dealing with the bereaved.
Some parents accept the loss of their child as being the will of
God. This belief is right for them. It comforts and enables them to
better cope with their loss. Other bereaved parents, even though
they have had faith over the years that has been a source of
strength, may now have trouble with their relationship with God.
They might be in the process of reevaluation how they feel about
some aspects of their religious beliefs. They might be troubled now
because they did have such a strong faith and relied on God to keep
their loved ones safe. They might be deeply angry with God for
having failed them, for allowing this death to happen. It might take
a long time to work through this anger to sort out their emotions.
Parents need to be able to admit and express their anger at God if
it is there, without being judged. They need the time and freedom to
decide what they now believe. What you believe is not important. How
they feel and their right to feel that way is important.

DO: tell them that you don't understand the WHY of it either.
Those "Why's" especially the unanswerable ones, are difficult for
many parents to deal with. They need to be able to ask WHY, and to
have time to accept there might never be an answer.

DON'T: think you are complimenting them by telling them "how well"
they're doing a few months down the road. They're not doing well.
Their child has died and inside they feel they are dying too. You
would feel the same if it were your child. You may feel more
comfortable dealing with them if they're "doing well", but trying to
rush them through the grief process doesn't work and it angers them
to sense that you don't understand their pain, the length and depth
of it, and are expecting more from them then they're capable of
early in their grief.

DO: allow the grieving parent to express their feelings, if they
have that need. The pain involved in letting go, the anger,
frustration and guilt are all a part of the normal grieving process,
leaving them empty and without purpose for a long time. Allow them
to tell you how they feel. Don't tell them how you think they should
feel. They just need you to listen. You aren't expected to be able
to take away the hurt or to have all the answers. Talking and crying
about the loss are the first steps toward recovery for some. After
they have cried and talked about their loss enough, they are then
free to go on to the next step in the recovery process. Your
willingness to listen helps them, and isn't that your ultimate goal?
Encourage them to be patient with themselves when they grow
discouraged with their slow progress.

DON'T: impose "shoulds" or "should nots". There are no rules and
regulations, nor are there right and wrong ways to grieve. There is
your way and my way, and though they may be totally different,
neither is wrong. Society, over the years has tried to impose its
own rules, rules often drawn to make it easier for society to cope
with the threat of someone else's loss. You may think you know
exactly how you would react if your child should die, but you would
be amazed to find that the rules that once seemed so appropriate no
longer apply. There are as many ways of expressing grief as there
are people expressing it..

DON'T: impose time limits on their grief. "Isn't it time you were
getting over this and going on with your life" can be one of the
most painful questions a grieving person can hear. Depending upon
the relationship, it takes not weeks and months to adjust, but
sometimes years. You need to know and understand this. "It may
threaten you to learn that the hurt goes on for such a long time,
but you offend the bereaved even more when you insinuate they have a
choice. The truth of the matter is, no one "gets over" the loss of a
child. They try to adjust and live with the loss. Parents who go
through the trauma of having a child die do not come through the
experience without having changed in many ways. A part of them died
when their child died, and it might take years for them to recognize
some of these changes. Their new reactions to old situations take
them totally by surprise. Each person has his own time frame for
recovery. Allow them that freedom

DO: mention their child by name. It is comforting for bereaved
parents to know that others remember their child, too. Some people
avoid mentioning the child's name for fear it will remind the parent
of their loss. For a long time the parents can think of nothing but
their loss, so that shouldn't be a worry for you. If tears come,
then they needed to cry, and the tears may be tears of gratitude
that you have given them the opportunity to share their child with
you. If you have a good memory of their child, share it. It will
make their day. A parent's greatest fear is that no one will
remember their child, and if the child's name is never mentioned, or
the subject avoided, it is a natural conclusion. Why should you ,
whose children are alive, have the right to reminisce about the
past, while those, whose child is dead, are denied that right?
Memories are all that parents have left and those memories did not
die with their child.

DON'T: turn away if you unexpectedly come upon the parents. Most
parents are aware you have chosen not to "see" them. Can you imagine
going to the grocery store, as painful as that already is, and
having several people pretend they don't see you? Can you imagine
how distressing this would be? Why not, instead, approach them
openly, tell them that you have been thinking of them and ask them
how they are doing. Acknowledge their loss, don't pretend it didn't
happen.

DON'T: try to find something positive about their child's death. If
there is anything positive about the death, the parents will have to
find it in their own time. If you are tempted to point out such
things as "closer family ties," or their child is "in a better
place", or "it will make the marriage stronger", don't do it.
Parents hear this time and time again. It doesn't help, and instead
may cause bitterness. Many marriages do not make it through the loss
of a child and closer family ties are not always the outcome.

DON'T: remind them that they should be grateful they have other
children. Children are not interchangeable. Each has his own special
place, and no one child can fill the void left by another's death.
You need to be aware that for a while, the parents sometimes lose
their ability to nurture their surviving children. You can help by
giving these children a little extra attention until life at home is
on a more even keel. Siblings often feel very much alone and
bewildered when the structure of their family has fallen apart.

DO: know that it is difficult for the newly bereaved to reach out to
you for help. Grieving is emotionally and physically draining. Just
getting through the day might take more energy then they have. Let
the family know you are available to be with them if it would be
comforting. Conversely, when you invite the parents over, be sure to
give a specific date, instead of leaving the initiative up to them.
Being at ease in large crowds may take time, so plan only small
gatherings, leaving them free to leave whenever the moment is right
for them. If the first invitation is refused, offer another at a
specific date later on. Being at parties and with other people is
not going to take their mind off their loss and make them have a
good time. The thought of it may make them feel guilty and be an
affront to them.

DON'T: suggest to younger parents "but you can have other children".
They may or may not be ale to have another child, but it is not
appropriate for you offer comfort with the thought of another child.
You see, they wanted this child.

DO: know that there will be certain days that are more painful for
parents, such as birth and death dates, as well as holidays.
Anticipation of these special days causes periods of depression and
anxiety a long time before and the actual date. These special family
oriented times are an opportunity for you to be in touch to give
some support and attention. Let them know you are aware and that you
care.

DO: know that it is not abnormal for some parents to spend a good
deal of time at the cemetery. How often they visit the cemetery or
whether they go at all, has no bearing on the intensity of their
grief or the length of it. Each person handles this in their own
distinct way. Don't make it a problem for them.

DO: know that for some parents having many pictures of their child
around the home is comfort. For others, photographs on display are
to painful. You may find it makes you feel uncomfortable having the
photographs around, but for you to suggest they should be put away
pains the parent deeply. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground on
this subject. Each individual's need is valid and should be
recognized.

DON'T: rush in and remove their child's belongings, or change their
room unless the parent specifically asks you to. It takes some
parents many months before they are ready to change anything. It is
their right to decide what they want to keep and what they would
like to share with others. You may feel they will recover faster if
they face this sad task immediately, but that is not necessarily the
case. Leave them alone until the time is right for them, and then
help them only if they ask you to. Don't make it an issue. They have
enough problems.

DO: reassure the parents they did everything they could for their
child, both emotionally and medically. Many feel failure and guilt
because they weren't able to keep their child from harm. Small
omissions or commissions loom large. It is important that you not
add to these feelings of guilt by suggesting that the care given the
child either at home, at the hospital or wherever, was inadequate.
This only adds to their burden.

DO: show your concern, do be there over the months to come on a
regular basis. Allow them to tell you how they feel, and listen when
they tell you. Don't tell them what you think they should be
feeling. Leave them free to express anger and guilt. If you know a
certain time of day is particularly difficult, do try to plan your
visits to coincide with that time. Do be patient. Allow them to
grieve in their own way and at their own pace. Avoid judgments and
try to be accepting of the different ways in which grief can be
manifested. Remember, it is better to touch and cry than to stand
back and offer cliches.

When all is said and done, you will be remembered not only for
having been there when the need was great, but also for having known
the right thing to say and do.

By Mary Cleckley, Atlanta, Ga
Copyright 1981




I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you




Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wish 15-Make/sew I Spy bags or Twiddle Muffs for anxious patients


I had never heard of Twiddle Muffs until my OT told me about them, at first I thought I had misheard her! I looked them up though and think they are fantastic. They are basically a muff that goes on someone's (mostly those with dementia) lap, you can put your hands inside to keep them warm or fiddle with various attachments. I know when my Nan had dementia being able to pull tissues out of a box again and again or tying then untying carrier bag handles did calm her down and keep her happy. This is a picture of a shop brought one

Purchased Twiddle Muff

This one was a homemade one I found here made out of the ladies craft stash so didn't cost anything, she's added instructions. There are also instructions for knitted ones here

Homemade Twiddle Muff


I think they are a wonderful idea and would love for more patients to have access to these, as an alternative you can also make Twiddle Aprons.

Twiddle apron


For younger patients I found these brilliant I Spy bags (bags full of trinkets and some kind of filler like rice so you have to move things about to find the items).

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

If you Google or Pintrest them then hundreds of patterns and ideas come up, some are sewn and some aren't. I would love to be able to give one to all the seriously ill children at Post Pals. Here are a few links to different instructions:

No sew
Here
Here
Here



It would be fantastic if 30 people would make a Twiddle Muff or Twiddle Apron and 30 I Spy baga. The OT at the hospital I go to would love 2 Twiddle Muffs, the details to find where to send them to is here but for the others why not contact your local nursing homes or offer them to anyone you know who has a relative with dementia. Please could any I Spy Bags be sent to the Post Pals address at the bottom of this post.



I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Wish 14- Donate blood/blood products

This one is a pretty straight forward wish. People with ME have a life long ban on donating blood (but funnily enough some doctors don't believe the condition exists yet won't accept our blood!). I know so many people who are kept alive by blood, not just the red blood cells you think of when donating but things like platelets, plasma and antibodies. Did you know you can donate platelets up to 24 times in one year? Think of all those lives you could save!

This is Jayde, a wonderful Mcfly and Twilight mad 19 year old who has been kept alive since the age of 7 weeks with regular blood transfusions due to having a condition called Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA). She is currently working at a nursery looking after children and still having regular transfusions.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I wonder if 30 people would be willing to donate some blood on my behalf? Please!

At the time of writing this there is a big shortage of O neg in the Uk

Uk blood donation

Shortly after posting this someone has booked herself in to donate blood so that's 1/30 so far!




I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Wish 13- Guide book to living with Severe M.E


My very good friend Emily had very severe ME but spent years working hard on writing a guide to living with the condition, with advice from sufferers and experts. The book is an amazing source of information and something which I wish had been available when I first became bedbound. Sadly shortly after it was published Emily passed away.

Emily
Emily

My wish is for more people to have access to a copy of this book. It costs £5.99 (cost price) and it would be wonderful if anyone would be willing to purchase a copy. If you donate £5.99 to this Justgiving link http://www.justgiving.com/My30wishes then I will find a bedbound person for it to be sent to. The funds aren't being used for general things for AYME, it's the cost price of the book.


Purchase 'Severe ME/CFS a guide to living here

An article in the Telegraph about Emily

Website about the book



I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Wish 12- Donate an item to a food bank or pay for a child's meal

We all know the effects the down turn in the economy has had but some of us have been luckier than others with many now turning to food banks or sending their child to school hungry.

My wish is for 30 families to be helped either by;

-Donating an item to a food bank, you can find your closest Trussell Trust here or simple google your area and food bank. Often they have a list of items they are most in need of but anything is appreciated.
-Paying off a random American child's lunch bill. You can either contact a school you know or  at random and ask to pay off outstanding lunch bills or I have been in touch with the lady in charge of lunch accounts for schools in Effingham America (I live in Effingham England which is why I selected it), her name is Diane andher email is anderson@u40gw.effingham.k12.il.us
-Donate 22p to provide a breakfast for a child in the UK through Magic Breakfast.




I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Wish 11- Know the Glow and save a child's life

When people think of childhood cancer they often think of Leukaemia first despite there being many many different types.

Know the glow

Retinoblastoma most occurs in children under 5, it starts in the eye and if detected early enough 98% of children can successfully treated. Often the first sign of this cancer is a strange glow in a child's eye when their picture is taken. There are other things to look out for too and you can see them here

Everyone should 'know the glow' and get your child checked out if it happens in pictures although don't panic as lots of things can cause a 'glow' including a slight squint or cataract.

While your here I reccomend checking out Be Child Cancer Aware which has a list of signs to look out for and advice on what to do if your child seems unwell.

Don't forget you can also make a child with cancer smile by sending them a card through Post Pals




I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Monday, 11 August 2014

Wish 10- Download Spread the Hope charity single

My good friend Jessica (we call each other our best bed friend as we both have severe ME) wrote a fantastic song when really poorly during a 4 YEAR admission to hospital. She hoped to be well enough to sing it but isn't so an old friend of hers recorded the song and it's released this Christmas with all profits being shared between:

Post Pals Post a smile on a sick child's face
Share a Star Bringing back the sparkle into severely unwell children and teenagers
Katy Holmes Trust Raising awareness and funds for research into paediatric brain tumours.
Help Harry Help Others Brain cancer-Help Cure, Help Care, Help Cope

I would love for any blog readers to download a copy. Details on here to find it are on the site here

Spread the hope

This is the song and lovely video featuring children from Post Pals and Share a Star



I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Wish 9 - Watch a sunrise or sunset and appreciate the beauty

I live in the dark 24/7 due to severe light sensitivity. Every day the sun rises and every day the sunsets, often in a beautiful way but how often do you stop to appreciate the beauty of it and your ability to see/experience it?

My wish is for everyone to just stop for a while and take in the pleasure of a sunrise or sunset. If your seeing one on my birthday (21st Dec) I would love it if you would take a photograph and send it to me please so I can see the sun rise/set around the world on the day, if I get enough I will make them into a photobook when well enough.


I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Wish 8- Donate an activity item or time to a hospital/day centre

I spend a few months each year in Burrswood hospital. They have a little craft room run by a wonderful volunteer called Dee. In the past I've sometimes made it to the craft room (and even made a good friend there) or Dee brings crafting activities up to me so I can craft in bed. It's a great escape from hospital life, enjoyable and good physio too! Over the years Dee has taught me various things including iris folding and spirelli. There used to be other volunteers who ran craft, music or story sessions although sadly they have now left.

Spirelli
Spirelli card which I made in hospital

My wish is for people to donate either some time (maybe offer to run a particular activity like reading to people, painting nails or making cards (you don't need to be an expert)) or items to a hospital/day centre/nursing home/respite place/hospice. You can ring up a local place and ask what they need or Dee would love the following to use with patients (patients are a range of ages and abilities)

-Plastic canvas this is an example, it's very cheap on ebay but most craft places have it
-3mm ribbon an example
-Simple 'glass' painting kits like this (Burrswood had glass paints donated to them)
-Mosaic kits (for use with the OT) like this

The address to send them to is Dee Taylor, Craft Room, Burrswood Hospital Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 9PY

Thank you




I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Friday, 8 August 2014

Wish 7 - Watch Voices from the shadows

WATCH FREE UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR

Very few people with severe M.E get their voices heard, we are bedbound in dark rooms and isolated from the world. Many times even if our voices are heard then they are ignored.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

This is an excellent documentary about severe M.E and what a lot of us have been through. It features sufferers and their families talking about their experiences and also has parts of top experts from around the world giving small chunks of information.

Voice's can now be watched on Vimeo for free until the end of the year. Click this link and then 'rent for $3' and enter the code VOICES (you need to register your name, email and a password but no spam and it only takes a minute).

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

So far 0/30 people have watched it, please watch and let me know!

There is a very good article written by Telegraph film reviewer Scott, it can be read here

Lynne Guilderdale is featured in the program, I knew Lynne but sadly lost touch (maintaining friendships with very limited energy is hard). Her Mum wrote a very moving book about their experiences which can be purchased from Amazon here
Please let me know if you watch it and what your thoughts are


I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Wish 6- Do a RAOK

A few years ago most people had never heard of RAOK's but it's becoming more popular and I love that it is! If you don't know what it is, it's pretty much as the name says, you do something kind for someone.
The internet has thousands of ideas, you can read some here


Get creative or stick with simple, one of my mottos is 'Can you say at the end of the day, before you meet the night, of all the troubles in the world, you helped to put one right'.

Please let me know what RAOK you do



I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Wish 5- Give a balloon or flower to someone

Wish 5 - give a balloon or some flowers to someone.

2 things that have always really cheered me up no matter how bad I was feeling are balloons and flowers. A very kind elderly neighbour found it sad that I wasn't well enough to look out of the window and see flowers so he made sure I always had a fresh flower to look at and stuck with it until he died. I have also been sent helium balloons and tied them to my hospital bed and spent hours watching them bob around the room. In the words of Winnie the Pooh 'No one can be uncheered by a balloon'.

My wish is for people to give some flowers or a balloon to someone in need of a smile. It could be a neighbour, someone you know, a friend of a friend or even calling in at your local nursing home and asking it to be given to someone who doesn't get visitors.

When your ill and isolated something like this can lift your spirits hugely. Bizzy Balloons lets you send a balloon in a big box to someone through the post for £9 (with the discount code 111243) or you can get them cheaply on ebay and have them blown up at a local party shop. Flowers don't have to be big fancy bouquets, a simple flower cut from your garden has just as much, if not more feeling and sentiment.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Poppy with balloons I sent her



Update- this wish got off to a great start with the BBC handing out 12 flowers to people in Woking asking them to give them to someone in need of a smile.

If a flower or balloon company would be willing to donate some flowers or balloons to someone in need of a smile I can put a link to the website here and a public thank you







I have another similar wish but it's not one of my 30 as I think it's very unlikely to be able to be granted. I knew someone who worked delivering flowers to shops like Asda. At the end of every shift he would have flowers left over and would have to chop them in half and throw them in the compost bin. Imagine if he had stopped at the end of his shift at a different nursing/care home and asked if they could be handed out. The joy it would bring, the senses stimulated by the bright colours and scents, instead they rotted. Greeting card companies also destroy unsold cards, ripping them up and sending them for recycling. I would love for any unsold flowers to be given to people in need of a lift and for unsold cards to be donated to the charity Post Pals as they would be used to make sick kids and their families smile. I tried emailing one company as I know they throw away unsold stock but I didn't hear back, I've also heard of Clinton managers having to destroy cards. Post Pals would also love unsold gifts which I'm assuming they must have left over sometimes. Maybe if enough people emailed or Tweeted the main companies asking them to donate unsold stock to Post Pals they might listen. Also if you know anyone who works for a flower or card company please ask them if they can help.





I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Wish 4- Send 30 pieces of snail mail

One of the greatest joys in life (in my eyes!) is the sound of cards popping through the letter box. Emails are great but nothing beats snail mail and sadly E-cards seem to be taking over. At one point in my life post was pretty much the only thing that made me smile and aside my family it's been one of the biggest helps in staying positive through these past 13 years.

Post

My wish is for 30 people to receive some cheerful post, could you send any? It doesn't have to be a postcard from an exotic holiday, it could be a simple note for someone you see every day or a card to someone you've not spoken to in a very long time or even a stranger!

Burrswood room
My hospital room in 2012 decorated with cards, some from friends, some from strangers.



I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Wish 3- Beach wheelchair for Wells-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk

Update here

This is probably the biggest and hardest of my wishes. I would like to raise funds for a beach wheelchair for disabled visitors and locals to North Norfolk to use for free. I need to raise £6000, this is for a special chair that can be pushed on sand and various terrains, it can even go into the sea. The chair has a tilt/recline function which some people require due to their disability and for others it's just nice to lay back on the beach, it also has a parasol for when the sun comes out!

"A day at the seaside is a treat that many of us take for granted, but for many wheelchair users in this country, this past time is only a distant dream. Standard wheelchairs are not beach-friendly. Having the oppertunity to have access to a beach wheelchair allows the user to enjoy a day at the seaside with friends, family or simple alone; a small activity with huge benefits."
Alison Cornford, Occupational Therapist

£6000 feels like a huge amount to try and raise but if any businesses would be willing to give a donation I will post a link to your company. If I raise more than this then I will be able to order more chairs so more than one disabled person can enjoy a day out at Wells or provide one for another beach. I have set up an online fundraising page here, no donation is too small- please share it with friends, family, Facebook or where you work. I will soon be able to post bank account details

This is the chair

Beach chair



I selected Wells beach as its somewhere I have happy memories of with my Nan, we used to go there a lot until she stopped being able to walk. She passed away this year after a 50 year battle with MS and I would like to do it in memory of her. I know she would love people to be able to have fun because of her. Wells beach is a stunning place but for most disabled people they only get to see the car park!

"Walking on the beaches in Norfolk has always been my favourite thing to do but ever since my health detioriated I have been forced to sit on a bench or in the car and watch whilst my family go out on the sand and enjoy themselves. Having a beach wheelchair available would enable me to join my family and enjoy my trips to the beach once more which is something I haven't been able to do for years." Catherine Bowden


This picture is a lovely boy called Connor who was able to enjoy his local beach as the council provide these chairs. The closest beach chair I can find to Wells is Great Yarmouth!


Connor



I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Monday, 4 August 2014

Wish 2- 300,000 views of this video



During my first year of being bedbound I was totally isolated from the outside world and spent majority of my time unable to speak, move or even swallow. Life was just an agonising existence, I can't put the pain of being in my body into words. There was one thing that made me smile though and that was when a card came through the letter box, my parents would open and read it to me then put it on my wall.

During my second year of being bedbound I was still to weak to sit up or write my name but I had an idea and using my laptop set up a charity asking people to send cards, letters and little gifts to seriously ill children.

In 2008 I was honoured to win a Beacon award, for the award ceremony they made
THIS little 2 minute video and it's my birthday wish for it to receive 300,000 views.


Postpals
Nicole with her post from Post Pals



I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you

Wish 1- Join the bone marrow register

Bone marrow donation is something very close to my heart as over the years I have seen many lives saved through bone marrow transplants.

Everyone knows what to do if you want to donate your organs but not many know about the process of donating bone marrow. If you are told you need a bone marrow transplant the last thing you need is the worry that there isn't anyone registered who is a match to you. I've sadly known so many children who have died either waiting for a match or having to receive bone marrow from someone who isn't a close match. 70% of people in need of a transplant don't have a relative who is a match so they rely on finding a kind stranger to give them a second chance of life. Did you know you can sign up by sending a bit of spit in the post in a free kit from the Anthony Nolan Trust or ask to join when donating blood? The actual donating isn't as scary as most imagine, 90% of people who donate do so by sitting in a chair with 2 little tubes in their arm. The other 10% donate in the traditional way but I knew a 9 year old called Emma who donated in that way, if a 9 year old can do it then anyone can. Emma donated to her 8 year old brother Matthew who would of died without a transplant- he is now a healthy 19 year old!
Matthew
Matthhew and Emma enjoying a day out organised by Post Pals post transplant



Different countries have different lists but you can be matched with someone on the other side of the world. You need to be healthy to join the register and I will never be able to join, I would love to find some people to join instead and this is one of my 30 birthday wishes. A few links
Anthony Nolan British Bone Marrow Register
Be the Match (America)
ACLT Promoting bone marrow donation in ethnic minorities and mixed race people
Matthew and Emma's story  





I would love to hear or see pictures if you take part with any of my wishes and will read them on my birthday (21/12). My contact details are my30wishes@hotmail.com and Vikki C/O Post Pals, PO Box 278, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT23 4WN, England. Thank you