Archive for the ‘Events’ Category
You will be pleased to know, we made it down to London safely…without the sledge!
After a very excited nights sleep in my own bed and the excitement of going to the Rays of Sunshine Party, we woke at 6.30am (scares me now thinking how early i got up ) ready for the journey down to London with numerous pillows and fleecy blankets so we could sleep on route! Luckily once we got out of Yorkshire, the snow disappeared and we got close to London without little trouble! However once we hit London and the delightful Sat Nav lady became our tour guide to the hotel, we struggled somewhat with her numerous commands and her lack of understanding of the London Roads!! It was amusing though as Simon well knows from the text messages and tweets! Nothing is straight forward with a Halstead Road Trip! Eventually, after an hour and a half of going round in circles and the constant annoying voice of “if possible do a U turn”, we arrived at the hotel!
After a little nap, one very excited girl, got ready for the big night – ready to celebrate my hospital discharge in style and help raise lots of money for Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity so more magical wishes can be turned into very happy memories!
After a delightful taxi ride with what must have been the grumpiest taxi driver ever, who complained the whole of the short journey as to why we had got a taxi, why we hadn’t walked and she was sick of pointless journeys, we arrived at the Old Billingsgate and were greeted by lots of smiley faces!! Hooray!
The room was spectacular and made my Sunshine Ball look rather small! It was lovely to see everyone from my Rays of Sunshine family again and get a few ideas for my ball next year! I also had the honor of meeting so many volunteers and supporters of RoS, everyone seemed to know who i was but i knew very little about them! I was also introduced to the lovely Jane’s (Cheif Executive for RoS) family minus her two sisters who were unable to be there but shared the night with them via twitter! The joys of social media sights!
After mingling with guests and enjoying a glass of champagne, we went through for dinner!! Labrinth kicked off the amazing evening with his debut single of Let the Sun Shine – perfect song! Shortly followed by Jane and Steve’s emotional speeches! Steve described the whole of my 3 year journey, from being diagnosed with diabetes, to being admitted into hospital, the ups and downs we have had as a family whilst being in hospital full time, my amazing Rays of Sunshine wish to London, fundraising and helping turn wishes into happy memories for seriously and terminally ill children and finally becoming Special Ambassador! Followed by a spectacular performance from Spell Bound – one of dad’s highlights of the evening!
We had a very lovely starter and main meal before i was whisked away to meet the Special Guest, Mr Olly Murs and have my photo taken!! I know you are all jealous!! After a quick photo shoot with Olly, the Sunshine Ladies…and Steve, it was time to enjoy the delicious dessert and time for the main auction to begin! It was incredible watching the auction begin and the amount raised increase!
We all danced the night away with Olly before saying goodbye to everyone at Rays of Sunshine and heading back to the hotel! Over £500,000 was raised which will grant unforgettable wishes for very special children! A huge thank you to Rays of Sunshine for inviting us, we all had an amazing evening even though it was rather emotional at times! I can’t think of a better way of me being able to celebrate my discharge from the hospital than spending it with my Rays of Sunshine family! Another memorable time was had thanks to Rays of Sunshine with so many happy memories to treasure!
On Wednesday, Dunelm Mill held a Friends & Family Evening at all there stores across the United Kingdom to help raise money for Rays of Sunshine. This year (August 2010-2011) Dunelm Mill is charity partners with Rays of Sunshine and they are helping to turn wishes into happy memories for lots of very special children! Many Rays of Sunshine volunteers, including Mum & I went along to our local store to bucket shake…many staff members wore fancy dress, there was a raffle and 15% off for those with a special invitation!
It was my first Rays of Sunshine event as Special Ambassador and i wore my SA t-shirt with pride! I am so fortunate to be Special Ambassador for Rays of Sunshine and be part of a fantastic team. We organised for a professional photographer (Sian Jarvis) to come and take some photos of the event and here are some below!!
Despite being told not to step outside of the building alone as it was in the red light district! We had a fun filled evening raising lots of money for Rays of Sunshine! Big thank you to Dunelm Mill for choosing Rays of Sunshine as their Charity of the Year and for being so friendly on the night!
Sorry its been a while since i last blogged, i have become quite slack with my blogging!
Medically, I am still well!! Hooray!! I had a slight sore throat last week but nothing major and all is good again! Blood sugars are fluctuating quite a bit overnight at the moment, i have a high blood sugar late evening and then it comes crashing down overnight and i end up on half hourly blood sugars….and more often than not, require a sugar fix too! I now have an outpatients appointment to go to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge on Friday 15th October to see the consultant and Professor. Cambridge have been heavily involved over the last 3years and that is where all my fancy blood tests are performed…so hopefully they may have the answers to some of our questions!
We had a busy day on Tuesday, as patron of the appeal, i was invited to the Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal Innovation day! Lots of future fundraising ideas were shared and a bit of fun too – two words – Paper & elephant!! We had to tear an A3 sheet of paper behind our backs, into the shape of an elephant…i will add, mine didn’t resemble an elephant!! Try it, its a giggle!!
I am looking forward to the Yorkshire Evening Post Awards too, just over a month left now! I’m sure it will be an inspirational evening! I am in a category with 3 other people, one of which is a Lance Corporal who in my opinion is a far more worthy winner of a bravery award than me! He has put his life on the line whilst serving for the country and whilst in action stepped on a roadside bomb and lost both his legs and part of a hand. Now, in my eyes, that is bravery!
The countdown to next years Sunshine Ball has begun, and its going to be a long one! Mum & I went to The Queens Hotel this week to discuss the menu, sign the contract & pay the deposit! We had a chat with the head chef, who had remembered who we were, partly due to the vivid memory of him having to make 232 special ray of sunshine desserts!! He has opted for the easy option for next year and has bought a food printer so we can have the Rays of Sunshine logo on each dessert or even a photo of me!!! I’ll let you choose!! If i say so myself, the menu sounds rather delicious!! We have two choices for the starter - Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with basil Sour Cream or Melon, served with Champagne, Mint Sabayon and Soft Berries! Dad is over the moon that he is able to have soup, as will those who want something more filling for their starter! Some of you had also queried whether it was possible to have only white wine on the table or only red wine, rather than a combination…your question has been answered and The Queens are more than happy for that to happen!
I know some of you would like to buy tickets before Christmas or as Christmas presents so i’m hoping to have them ready for mid – end of October! I have left the design work up to the trusty Nick and i’m very much looking forward to seeing the final design for the tickets & invitations! Exciting! I haven’t started my search for raffle prizes yet, though i feel i ought to soon seen as i’m on the hunt for over 250 which all need to be over £10, ready for the 50/50 Balloon Raffle!
So, get the date in your diary – Saturday 12th March 2011 – and come and lets help turn wishes into happy memories for children living with serious or life limiting illnesses!
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!