Sunday, 30 September 2012

James's Triathlon (and we reach our target)..........

Yesterday dawned a perfect September day on the Gower Peninsula in Wales. This was nothing short of a miracle considering the weather we have had over the last week, and are forecast to have in the next few days. It was certainly handy though,  as Daniel's Uncle James (and some other brave folk) were about to take on The Gower Triathlon. This was a full Olympic Triathlon, involving a mile sea swim, a 40k bike ride (not trivial on the hilly Gower Penisula), and a 10k run (some of it along a beach, and with a big climb thrown in). James has done a few triathlons in recent years (and twice run the London Marathon), but he wanted to set himself a particular challenge, in order to be able to extract as much sponsorship as possible from friends and family! I am proud to say that he triumphed and completed the whole lot in under 3 hours,  sporting his 'Help Daniel Find His Feet' wristband throughout!

Through sponsorship for his triathlon, and the support we have received from JMW Solicitors (where James works), James has raised around 10% of our total (over £5000). We can't thank him enough, and hope he is proud of his own achievements.

So, here are some memories of the morning.....

It's early in the morning, but James is ready!

The bonkers brave men and women line up on the start

And they're off..........

Now I'm fully about a little bike ride?
Just need to remember where I parked my bike.......
That's the bike ride done. Now for a short run........
About to cross the finishing line......

A good morning's work! Anyone for Fish and Chips?

James's efforts yesterday also mean that he has the honour of having officially pushed us over our original £54,000 target. I am not eloquent enough to explain precisely how it makes us feel to have had such incredible support, from friends, family, colleagues and strangers over the last few months. All I can say is that we have been totally astonished by people's generosity, with their time, their ideas, and of course their money, and we would like to thank every single person from the bottom of our hearts. Daniel's operation is due to take place in St Louis in November.

When we set our original target, we only factored in funds to get us started on the first few months of physiotherapy after the operation. Many families restart fundraising when they return home after the operation, in order to cover the ongoing physiotherapy and equipment costs (it is important to remember that if the operation is successful, to achieve the overall improvements in Daniel's strength and mobility, he will need intensive physiotherapy around 5 times a week for at least 1 -2 years, and this cannot be provided on the NHS). We hope that the events that we already have planned in the next few weeks (and a couple in 2013) will allow for enough in the fund to pay for around a year of physiotherapy, relieving us of the need to restart fundraising when we return. This would be a massive help to us, and we are immensely grateful.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Coffee and cake..........

The coffee morning on Tuesday went well. I must admit that my coffee was perhaps not the best (I'm not very good at scaling up things like that to make for lots of people) but people were kind, and it was a relaxed occasion, with plenty of time to catch up after the summer holidays and the hectic start to the autumn term. The incredible support we have received since the start of our fundraising campaign was in evidence yet again, with a veritable mountain of cakes donated for the occasion (special mention here to those who were working so couldn't come and enjoy the cake but still donated baked creations, including Mrs Blake, TA in Lucy's class, who supplied the most wonderful ginger and banana cake). Huge thanks as well to my Mum, Glynis, as well as Fiona and Laura, who worked tirelessly all morning. Thanks also to Jill and Syrita from Asda, who supplied some tea, coffee, biscuits and children's raffle prizes. I hope that everyone enjoyed themselves and we raised over £200 for the fund!

Coming up in the next week, we have Daniel's Uncle James's Olympic-length triathlon in The Gower, and wish James the very best of luck!

Nigel is also launching his amazing challenge, which he aims to complete in April 2013, in aid of both Daniel and The Firefighter's Charity.  Nigel is planning to complete 8 marathons, on 7 continents, in 7 days. Oh yes, and he is going to wear his fire-fighter's kit. Totally insane in my opinion, but we are certainly impressed, and of course grateful for his support. For more details, have a look at Nigel's website here.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

An event-filled month so far.....

I meant to write this update last weekend, but things have been so manic that I didn't quite manage it, so there is rather a lot to report.

Firstly, the auction finished on 2 September, and raised over £2000, an incredible effort from all concerned, and we are immensely grateful!

On Friday 7 September, Jade completed her 24 hour sponsored silence. Jade, who is expecting her 3rd child to be born any day now, decided to take desperate measures to bring a little calm to her house, and was silent for a full 24 hours, despite the best efforts of her family to make her talk! She raised £310 at the same time, a fantastic effort!

On Sunday 9th, Mark completed the Cheltenham Lido Triathlon in 1 hour, 12 minutes, and 48 seconds, a huge achievement! We greatly appreciate Mark taking on such a challenge to help Daniel.

Then, on Friday night this week, it was the CLC staff quiz and curry night. David had spent nearly 2 days composing the quiz, and it was enormously enjoyed by all. It also raised £527.73 for Daniel's fund. A massive thank you to David, as well as Ann and Bryony, and the CLC Staff Association.

At the very same time as the CLC staff were searching their brains for those elusive answers, Sophie and Lara were holding their 'Ate for 8' dinner party. This clever idea involved them inviting 8 people round for dinner. Each was asked to pay £10. The hosts were then challenged to produce the whole dinner for just £10, and the remaining £70 was for Daniel's fund. They managed to feast on Guacamole and toast, Beetroot Risotto (see photo), Walnut and Stilton Tart and Chocolate Sorbet with Blackberry sauce. A good time was had by all, and a big thank you to Lara and Sophie.

Finally, JMW Solicitors have been busy again! They held a raffle last week, at a special event, and raised £375, to add to the enormous amount they have already raised for Daniel's Fund. We continue to be immensely grateful for all their efforts.

This week I am holding my coffee morning on Tuesday morning (18 Sept), 10 - 12 at Shurdington Century Hall. Anyone is welcome, so come along for a coffee and a cake. There will be a raffle too!

So, that's it for tonight. I will do another post soon with what Daniel himself has been up to recently......

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Less than 24 hours left to bid......

Well, the summer holidays are almost finished, and the children go back to school in a couple of days. Our fundraising has exceeded all expectations over the last few weeks; we have been totally overwhelmed and humbled by the support we have received and would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for their generosity. We feel that our target is now in sight, and we have a number of events planned over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, our exciting auction ends tomorrow at 4pm. Don't miss out on one of the fantastic items on offer! New items have been added in the last few days so it's worth another look - see here.

While talking about the auction, I would like to say again a massive thank you to David, Grace, Emily and Ben, as well as Harriet, Alice and everyone who has either donated items or bid on them. We are so grateful for your support.

I would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone at JMW Solicitors in Manchester. Not only have a large number of people sponsored Daniel's Uncle James for his triathlon, but they also held a 'dress down day' on Friday, and a cake sale, raising over £455. Particular thanks to Bill Jones for 'leading from the front' in terms of supporting Daniel,  and also Carly Hardwick for organising Friday's activities.