Archive for the ‘Events’ Category
Can you believe its a full two weeks since i last blogged?!
After seven weeks of hypoing intermittently day and night, a blood sugar of 1.5mmols and a very exhausted body, things finally seem to be stabilising. I will be going down to Cambridge for an outpatients appointment in the near future to see the Proffessor there but overall my consultant is very pleased with my blood results and medically, everything is looking favourable! My antibody levels are positive, then negative, then another positive etc, but hopefully after further blood tests we will find out whether they are mischievous antibodies again or not! It is thought that they are not which will be great if its true! I am beginning to reduce the frequency of my blood sugar taking during the day now, which is great as it gives my fingers time to recover, sometimes more successful than other times as if i hypo (blood sugar drops below 4mmols) then it needs to be taken every 15minutes until stable. Fingers crossed everyone!
Last week was the launch of the Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal, which i am now Patron for along with the lovely Sarah Monte (Chloe’s mummy) & Nick Wayne. Mum and I had a lovely day but it was rather exhausting, definitely worth it though! Over 2,000 balloons were released at the beginning of the launch, Sportacus made a special appearance, patients old and new were there, Consultants and are constant stream of Paparazzi. It was just like being celebrities. Tweeting live from the launch was a success however some tweets didn’t make it onto there facebook! But from the number of hits they have had on facebook and people ringing in wanting to donate, the appeal has successfully begun!
The ball is most definately booked for Saturday 12th March 2011, the contract just needs to be signed and the early stages of planning has begun! Special requests were made by many of you, that the 50/50 balloon raffle takes place again, seen as it raised over £3000 alone on the night, i think i may well fulfill your wish, seen as you will be helping Rays of Sunshine grant wishes for seriously & terminally ill children by coming on the night!! Anyone have any ideas on entertainment for the evening? If you want to know more information about the Sunshine Ball, just click on Future Events! Tickets are not on sale as yet but will hopefully be out in the next couple of months as i know some of you would like them before Christmas!
I also had an email last week to say i am now on the waiting list to receive a hypo alert dog, although its great news, i am no doubt at the bottom of a very long waiting list so it will be a little while off yet before my sunshine pooch takes residence at the Halstead house! Will keep you posted on my progress! My adventures with a hypo alert dog will no doubt turn into a regular blog alone!!
Big Congratulations to Martin who successfully completed his cycle ride from Lands End to John O’Grotes raising £6,200 for Rays of Sunshine which will grant many special wishes for very special children! Thank you for choosing rays of sunshine Martin!!
Thats all for now!! Will blog again if i have any news to share!
Its booked!! Today i booked the big date for next years Sunshine Ball to raise money for Rays of Sunshine!!
Since Alice’s Sunshine Appeal began, we have raised over £27,500 for Rays of Sunshine in which 8 special wishes have been granted so far and turned into happy memories! Wishes we have helped to grant include going to Disneyworld Florida to enjoy the magic of Minnie & Mickey Mouse, Swimming with Dolphins, Going on a shopping spree to receiving a laptop so they can keep in touch with their friends whilst being in hospital.
Wishes range from £500 to £6,000. Five hundred pounds will grant a child’s wish to be collected by Limousine, and taken to Legoland to spend a day of fun there! More expensive wishes include holidays abroad like Disneyland, Disneyworld & to meet Santa Claus. The above example wishes are only possible with your support and contribution through sponsorship.
Alice’s Sunshine Ball 2010 was a huge success raising over £17,000 for Rays of Sunshine Children’s charity in which 4 special wishes have already been granted for 4 very special children. Take a look at their magical wish (http://sunshineappeal.org.uk/wishes-we-have-sponsored/)
Alice’s Sunshine Ball 2011 will be held on Saturday 12th March at The Queens Hotel, Leeds in which I hope the fundraising success can continue and together we can raise £25,000 and help turn wishes into happy memories! More details to confirmed very soon, keep checking the website for updates!
Thank you for your generous contribution and support and I hope to see you in March 2011!
Wishes can only happen with the help of You!
Yesterday we went to Skipton Rugby Club to celebrate Kate & Dec’s 40th birthday party! We all had a lovely evening and my curfew to be back at the hospital was extended!! The night held a very happy surprise, they had asked for donations to be made to Rays of Sunshine instead of gifts!! When Dec mentioned it in his speech, i got rather emotional because it meant so much to me and that another wish would be granted with some of the money raised! So i would like to say a very big thank you to them both and their family and friends for their very kind and generous contribution on the night!! £180 was donated…THANK YOU!!
Medically things are stable-ish!! For the last 5 weeks i have hypoed intermittently every single day & night!! On Thursday things seemed to turn a corner and i had 2 hypo free days but it didn’t last long, yesterday morning my blood sugars dropped again!! The joy continued into the night and i was greeted to fruit juice and Marks & Spencer Colin the Caterpillar sweets in the early hours of the morning!! The novelty of midnight feasts has definitely worn off!!
Fundraising…the date of the second Sunshine Ball had been provisionally booked for Saturday 26th March 2011, this may be changing but i hope to give you a definate date next week so you can all get it in your diaries!! Some of you may have seen that i recently added a page on my website to the ‘wishes we have sponsored.’ There is 6 of the 10 wishes (some children and their families prefere to have no publicity and therefore these are not displayed on the internet.) we have sponsored and wanted you all to be able to see the happy faces & memories that been made with the money we have raised.
I have spoken to a few people in the last couple of weeks who have been intrigued by some of my facebook status’s about a hypo alert dog, yes it is true, a dog can be trained to detect low or high blood sugars and alert its owner. I recently read an article about a little girl who has Type 1 diabetes and their family dog was trained to detect when her blood sugar levels dropped…apparently when your blood sugar levels drop, you release an odour and due to dogs smell being greater than ours, they are able to sense it! After a little more research and lots of discussions, I successfully sent off the application pack to apply for a hypo alert dog. If i am accepted it will hopefully mean less blood sugar tests needed (as the dog will hopefully sniff it out a low blood sugar and alert me) but also more independance to be able to go out alone with the dog and not be concerned about having a hypoglycaemic attack. So watch this space, it still is early days as i haven’t been accepted as yet and it also takes up to a year to train them but i will keep you all informed on my progress!
Right thats it for now, i think, off to Betty’s this afternoon with Laura & Simon!!
P.S. If you get time, take a look at Martin’s blog, i mentioned in my last post about him cycling from Land’s End to John O’ Groats! Once again Good luck from us all, Martin!!
I first met Big Dave at the JustGiving Awards in February but since then he’s been an endless source of amusement with his various antics and fund raising activities. He came to my first Sunshine Ball last March and spent the day of the ball in Leeds railway station with a bucket asking travellers for donations. Today he’s taking on a slightly busier station in the hope of beating his own personal fund raising best, a staggering £2,636.44, for Rays of Sunshine.
I am particularly pleased that he’s chosen Rays of Sunshine because I have been raising money for them for a year now and have experienced first hand the fabulous work they do granting wishes for children living with serious or life limiting illnesses. If you’re around Bank tube station in London today please drop some coins in his bucket or if you aren’t nearby please donate via his virtual bucket here.
Dave has set out to grant lots of wishes today so please support him as much as you can. Lets help him grant wishes like these that are waiting to be granted.
Yesterday afternoon I had a very exciting phone call from the Yorkshire Evening Post!! When I was told who it was on the phone, I thought they were ringing to enquire about an article but was shocked to hear I had been nominated and shortlisted for a Bravery Award!! The search was then on to find which very lovely person had nominated me…I had a slight idea as to who it was but wasn’t 100% sure!! After a text or two, the culprit was found, Sharon, who I met when I was transferred to the Leeds General Infirmary! Sharon is the Fundraising Co-ordinator for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals and organised some fantastic celebrity guests, trips out etc whilst I was an inpatient! She has also been there for me with fundraising ideas, help and advice since I started fundraising for Rays of Sunshine! I found a card the other day from Sharon, saying, “Thank you for being my star this year,” Let’s hope I can go one better than that and be her Star award winner!! Thank you for nominating me…It’s going to be a long 3month countdown!! But it was lovely yesterday to hear some good news rather than the disappointing news we had last week!! So, I’ll be counting down, which you will be part of and I’m already dress hunting!!
Yesterday I also provisionally booked the Ballroom at The Queens Hotel for Saturday 26th March 2011 for the next Sunshine Ball!! I am looking forward to organising it and have already spoken to my special helpers who contributed so much to the Sunshine Ball last year! Thank you for always being there to help me with my fundraising and to help rays of sunshine grant more wishes for seriously and terminally ill children!
We are still waiting to hear from Cambridge; last week I had my highest blood sugar on record!! 39.5mmols! I went back onto my subcut insulin pump on Thursday morning and 2hours after my IV Insulin was stopped my blood sugar rose to 28mmols!! I managed the day on my insulin pump but my blood sugars and ketones continued to rise so I returned to the hospital after day leave and went back on my sliding scale IV insulin!! Yesterday after spending the weekend on iv insulin, negotiating a canula in my foot and a six pound iv pump, I went back on my subcut insulin pump and so far so good!! I have had the odd hypo, especially overnight; it’s like having regular midnight feasts! They were fun when I was little, though now, the novelty has somewhat worn off!!! So we shall see!!
Seemed to of ended with negative news so…look out for that’s Life magazine this week, I’m in on Thursday with information about my previous fundraising for Rays of Sunshine!!
Its seems like ages since I last updated this, maybe because it is but also because so much has happened!! As a family we have had so many ups and downs in the last few months and yesterday the bloods we had all been waiting for came back!! I have found that recently we have started to reminisce about the last three years – Smiling, laughing & crying about the good times, bad times and the amusing times!!
As you will have read below, the first Sunshine Ball was a huge success raising over £17,000 for Rays of Sunshine, the money has already started to be used to grant more unforgettable wishes for very special children! Read about one we have sponsored here…Luca’s Wish
At the end of May, Mum, Dad and I went down to London for a couple of nights to present Rays of Sunshine with the cheque from the Ball, we had an amazing time and it was great to get away from the hospital and enjoy the “normal” things that most people enjoy regularly!! Usually when we go away, a nurse comes with us in which they look after me overnight and take my blood sugar hourly, unfortunately we were unable to get one so it was over to Mum and I to do them!! Not the best of ideas as we did suffer from lack of sleep, mum in particular but it was worth it!! We travelled down on the Tuesday and enjoyed sightseeing in London in the afternoon before our busy day Wednesday!
A limousine collected us in the morning and took us to the secret location to meet JLS, who were there to realise the wishes of seven children through Rays of Sunshine. It was lovely to see the children having their wish granted. To see it first-hand made me more determined to raise more money so more wishes can be granted. Seeing their faces that morning and how much it meant to them as an individual just confirmed how important it is for a child living with a serious or life limiting illness to have a wish granted! JLS spent time with us all having their photos taken and signing hoodies, posters, their recent book and they even signed the photo book from the ball!!
After a great morning with JLS we hopped back into the limo and off to Urban Outfitters. One of the Rays of Sunshine volunteers had organised a shopping spree for me at Urban Outfitters! It was amazing and something I had never experienced before!! Leeds shops were impressive to me at the time but when we stepped into Urban Outfitters, Leeds stores seemed extremely small!! :-) Presenting Rays of Sunshine and JLS with the cheque for the money raised at the ball was an amazing feeling knowing that with the money we had raised that night; more children could experience a wish they had only ever dreamt about before!
The whole two days were a huge “pick me up,” following the ball, there was that feeling of deflation, for 180 days I had been planning the event of the year and after a night of fun, it was all over!
On June 7th, 4 years after diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and 3 years of living in hospital we were told the fantastic news that nurses had been found to look after me overnight at home and in the next couple of months I was to be at home full time! My blood sugars were fluctuating quite a bit from day to day, it was liveable but to us it was all reminiscent of 3 years ago when I was diagnosed with Auto Immune Insulin Syndrome! My plan was that once I was home full time I would continue to fundraise for Rays of Sunshine and help raise awareness of them in Yorkshire! I am and always will be on a mission to raise money for Rays of Sunshine but also to try and raise the awareness so children in our local area can be granted a wish. I’m sure we all know a child living with a serious or life limiting illness and after experiencing a wish myself, I fully appreciate how special and memorable they are! It’s an experience every child should have!
Yesterday we got the blood results back saying my insulin antibodies are positive!! Although there is a feeling of disappointment, there is also the feeling of relief. I was beginning to get my life back, coming home during the day, the odd night at home with nurses and enjoying being part of the Rays of Sunshine team, well Rays of Sunshine in the North!! I am hoping that now, after weeks/months of waiting, the medics can get their heads together and come up with a plan to kick these antibodies away and get rid of them for good!! Although it will probably mean a good few more months in hospital, if I makes me better and means I can get my life back for good, then it’s another mission to take on board and more importantly…to accomplish!!
Just a little thank you to all those who have sent texts, emails, cards etc and offering support…I apologise in advance if I don’t reply to you, it generally means I’m really poorly but fear not, I will pester when I start to pick up!! Ill also try and update this along the way, I not leave it 2 months like I have done!! Oops!
I’ll be back soon!!
Well, what can i say…Alice’s Sunshine Ball was a huge success raising over £17,000 for Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity!
Alice’s Sunshine Ball – Saturday 27th March 2010 – 180 days in the making!
The aim: To get as much donated as possible and raise £7,000!
Well, what can i say…Alice’s Sunshine Ball was a huge success raising over £16,500 for Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity – almost £10,000 more than my original target!
Looking Back…After a busy day finalising the event with the help and support of so many friends who generously offered their time, contribution and kindly donated the printing of the booklets, banners and set and flower arrangements for the table, it was time to raise as much money as possible and allow more wishes to be granted. At 7pm, my guests started to arrive, 232 in total, the feeling was amazing knowing that all these people were here to support me and help raise money for Rays of Sunshine in which more wishes could be granted for very special children! During the drinks reception, the 50/50 balloon raffle took place in which everytime someone heard a balloon pop, it was another £10 donated to Rays of Sunshine. Following the drinks reception, my guests were seated at their tables and the evenings entertainment began with a fantastic performance from Becky Jane Taylor whilst a slideshow of children’s wishes was projected onto the screen! Guests enjoyed a lovely 3 course meal, with a special rays of sunshine dessert!! The Balloons were selling well, and the sound of balloons popping filled the room!! Next, it was my chance to say a very big thank you to everyone who joined me on the night and made it such a special and memorable evening. Spending nearly 3 years in hospital has made me realise there is always someone worse off than yourself. I have met so many lovely families and sadly not all of them are now complete. The auction consisited of a teddy bear signed by Sir Cliff Richard, a chair signed by “pub landlord” comedian Al Murray, a guitar signed by singer Craig David, 2 holidays, a day in the recording studio and more raising over £3000. It was then time for bjorn to be abba to perform and allow my guests the chance to dance the night away!
A very special thank you to everyone at Rays of Sunshine, who has welcomed me into the Rays of sunshine family, being there for me on the other end of the phone or email in my hour of need and more importantly inspired me to make a difference to so many special children.
“After a fantastic evening, the ball raised over £17,000, which will be used to grant more wishes to seriously and terminally ill children across the country, It is an excellent achievement, especially knowing more unforgettable wishes can be granted with the money raised. I am on a mission to raise as much money as I can, however difficult it may be at times, and help Rays of Sunshine turn wishes into happy memories.”
Thank you for everyones help, support and contribution to Alice’s Sunshine Ball!
Please can we fill these with lots of money and help turn wishes into happy memories!!
Just a quick update to fill you all in before the ball of the year!! Can you believe it…Alice’s Sunshine Ball is nearly here! Only 16 sleeps and counting!
Everything is beginning to take shape now for the ball…all 150 raffle prizes are labelled and wrapped, the collection boxes have arrived, my speech is written, the booklets look great and I have my dress!!! All we need to do now is to raise lots of money and help Rays of Sunshine turn wishes into happy memories! I was calculating online and offline donations, ticket sales etc and I’m quietly confident we should raise another £10k and help rays of sunshine grant more wishes for special children…so please don’t let me down! :-) I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has helped me organise the ball – donations, raffle and auction prizes and your valuable time and effort…its gratefully received and hopefully we will have a fantastic night!
The £10,000 raised at the Alice Halstead Golf Day is beginning to turn wishes into happy memories; so far 2 out of the 6 special children have had their wishes granted! Take a look:
Medically for those who would like to know about that, J, I had tonsillitis two weeks ago so was back on antibiotics, the little empire was put on hold whilst I recovered but ball plans are now in full swing! Whilst I had tonsillitis I suffered from terrible joint pain, in my hips and in particular my left knee, I was hobbling around like an old person! Not good! Because on previous blood results, lupus antibodies have been present and I was now showing symptoms, the doctors have done further lupus blood tests and we awaiting the results along with a clinic appointment with the rheumatology doctor! Will keep you posted! I seem to have developed a pattern again with my low blood sugars; luckily they aren’t as severe as before! Every 9 to 12 days my blood sugars seem to like having a hypo, which is what is happening at the moment! My insulin on an afternoon is now running at 0.1units…such a small amount it doesn’t even come out of the infusion set…and I am still hypoing!! But like I always say, there is always someone worse off than yourself, and a hypo on an afternoon is nothing!!
So before I leave you all and head off and finalise a few more things for the ball, ill just give you a little link which if you have any spare cash…rays of sunshine would love some money…www.justgiving.com/alice-halstead. All donation messages on my just giving page are being added to the booklet as a special thanks for – Its donations like the yours that enabled more seriously and terminally ill children to have their once in a life time wish granted by Rays of Sunshine.
Looking forward to seeing you on 27th March!
Would you like to go to the Ball?
Well look no further, on Saturday 27th March 2010, Alice’s Sunshine Ball will take place in The Ballrooom at The Queens Hotel, Leeds to raise money for the Children’s Charity Rays of Sunshine. Following my wish I wanted to give other seriously and terminally ill children a similar opportunity to me and knew the only way I could do that was to start raising money for Rays of Sunshine. I hope I can help bring lots of happy faces to very poorly children and keep them smiling through their toughest times, as they did with me.
So you would like to come? But what does the night entail?
On arrival at The Queens Hotel, Leeds at 7pm – 7.30pm the Champagne reception will take place with the 50/50 chance balloon raffle, £10 per Balloon (you have the chance to win Dyson Vaccum, £205 Venture Photography Pack, GHD’s, Vouchers, Champagne and much more..!) Followed by the amazing voice of Becky Jane Taylor just before a 3 course meal and half a bottle of wine! Speech/Presentation, Auction and finally Entertainment!! Tim Los will be there to snap away at the event where you have the opportunity to have your photograph taken whilst you are all glammed up!! A Donation from photo each sale will go to Rays of Sunshine.
But how much are Tickets/Tables?
Tables of 10 are available at £500 or £50 per ticket. Im sure you can appreciate I would like to raise as much money for Rays of Sunshine and therefore please would you send a stamped addressed envelope so I can send you your tickets. Please state the names of all people attending the ball with you. Tickets will be sent once full payment is received. Please make cheques payable to ‘Alice’s Sunshine Ball’.
We will need to stop over, but where can we stay?
50 bedrooms have been reserved at The Queens Hotel for my guests at £89.00 B&B based on two people sharing a double room. Please make sure you book your room before SATURDAY 13th FEBRUARY (this may be extended) to guarantee your room at this rate. To secure your booking you will need to prepay in full for your bedroom at the time of booking. Guests can book via the CBS reservations team on 0845 0740060. Please mention you are attending Alice’s Sunshine Ball to be eligible for the special rate.
Alternatively, the following hotels are close…
The menu has now been decided, if you are vegetarian or have any special dietery requirements, please let me know when booking tickets.
I am busy that day, but would like to make a donation or donate a auction/raffle prize?
Donations will be greatly appreciated by visiting www.justgiving.com/alice-halstead or alternatively you can send a cheque made payable to ‘Alice’s Sunshine Ball’ Any raffle or auction prizes would be greatly appreciated, so please contact me! There will be numerous events following the Ball to raise money for Rays of Sunshine, if you have any ideas, questions etc, then feel free to contact me!!
I had a lovely time in London at the JustGiving Awards and enjoyed my 3rd night away from my hospital bed in nearly 3years. Everyone there made me feel so special and welcome and it was lovely to meet so many incredible people. Although it was a disappointment not to win, I received a text from a little girls mummy who we met at the LGI, Maddy had a bowel and liver transplant when she was a year old and although for the past 2 years she was doing really well, just before Christmas, she was re-admitted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital with severe bowel rejection. After spending her Christmas on a ventilator and extremely poorly, her mummy sent me a message on the night of the JG Awards to say Maddy was coming back to her local hopital which is a great achievement which we never thought we would see. After receiving the message from her mummy, I put things into perspective and thought although I didn’t win the Incredible Achievement Award, Maddy coming back was a far better achievement. We were meant to be granting her wish to see Tinkerbell at Disneyland on the night of Alice’s Sunshine ball but unfortunately with recent events that won’t be possible, Maddy has her dress ready for a future ball in which we hope she will be well enough to attend and have her wish granted!
I was delighted that Zoe and my wish mummy, Melissa, from Rays of Sunshine were able to attend and share a special night with me, Rays of Sunshine are now in the process of discussing me setting up a committee in Leeds which was another fantastic opportunity I was given on the night! 6 months ago when I started raising money for Rays of Sunshine never did I think I would have received “A Rays of Sunshine Special Recognition Award” nor be shortlisted for the Just Giving’s Incredible Achievement Award. I am simply trying to give other seriously and terminally ill children a similar opportunity to me and raising money was the easiest way to do that, to be presented and nominated for the awards above is something that i never expected to happen!
Medically, I am doing well and just about recovered from last weeks excitement! I am still on subcut insulin and blood sugars are reasonably well controlled, some days my sugars are high and the next they are low again but that’s part of me!! The last insulin level result we got back was slightly raised from the last one which isn’t great but we are due some more back soon in which we hope it was just a blip and the next set of results will be back down again!! So fingers crossed! I am still spiking a slight temperature but well in myself so just sitting and watching it still and hoping I don’t become poorly!
I’m now incredibly excited about Alice’s Sunshine ball now and counting down the days, which is slowly decreasing!! The Banners are being designed, the tickets are selling well, the booklets are nearly going to print and the raffle prizes are drifting in!!
Take a look at what the ball entails!
On arrival at The Queens Hotel, Leeds at 7pm – 7.30pm the Champagne reception will take place with the 50/50 chance balloon raffle, £10 per Balloon (you have the chance to win Dyson Vacuum, £205 Venture Photography Pack, GHD’s, Vouchers, jewellery, beauty products, Champagne and much more..!) Followed by the amazing voice of Becky Jane Taylor just before a 3 course meal and half a bottle of wine! Speech/Presentation, Auction which will include, signed Sir Cliff Richard teddy, Signed Al Murray Chair, Signed Craig David Guitar, Teeth Whitening, Holiday, Day in the recording Studio!! To end the already perfect night, Abba’s angels who have appeared on BBC Children in Need will be the Entertainment. Tim Los will be there to snap away at the event where you have the opportunity to have your photograph taken whilst you are all glammed up!! A Donation from photo each sale will go to Rays of Sunshine. Sound interested, contact me on: email@example.com or check out my website: http://www.alicehalstead91.moonfruit.com/ or donate if you fancy: www.justgiving.com/alice-halstead
I know it is difficult to get the money together but remember this… No money = No tickets = No Ball = No Money Raised = No Wishes Granted for Seriously and Terminally ill children! So please send your cheques so we can help grant more wishes for seriously and terminally ill children!
Hopefully see you all in 47days, 3hours and 22minutes!!