Have you ever had one of those moments where you look around a room, take stock of everything and realise how lucky you are? Well I truly had one of those moments on Saturday evening. I have been mentioning for a while about a fundraiser I was organising for Arthritis Care and the event, I am pleased to say, was an absolute success. I really couldn’t believe the amount of support I had from local and not so local people this weekend. I had been dreading for a while that only a handful of people would turn up and my efforts would have been wasted and my target would not be met. But I am so happy to say my fears were unfounded.
I stood on the stage, shaking with microphone in hand, staring at the beautiful faces in front of me in complete shock. I had to make a speech about why we were all there and try and thank people for their amazing support. My voice trembled and I was close to tears as I realised what truly amazing friends and family stood before me. After all the low points in my life, that moment made it all worth it. It is incredible to feel so lucky that people went out of their way to show their support for the charity and me.
I spent the day as a nervous wreck, stressed to the point of exhaustion due to the fact some ignorant people had let me down and I only had a handful of people to help me pull off this massive event. I am so grateful to those who turned up and were rushed off their feet helping me to plan the evening, but I couldn’t hide my disappointment at those who failed to show up (and didn’t even call to explain why). But those handful of people were so amazing that it didn’t matter.
The fashion show went down a storm and my models looked beautiful. The evening was a massive blur if I am honest. Trying to get round to speak to everyone proved harder than I thought and I can only apologise if you came and didn’t get near me! I tried my best to thank everyone for their help and for coming along but I wish I could have had more time to see everyone. Please know that I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support.
We had a raffle, auction, live music amongst other things and I think everyone went home happy and had a great time. I couldn’t believe the final sum we had raised, over £5000. I only dreamed of raising that much so I am really proud of everyone’s hard work to pull off a great night and raise such an amazing amount.
I think it’s fair to say I am absolutely exhausted and drained this week. I haven’t worked so hard for a very long time, but it was so important to me that I don’t mind a few days of pain and exhaustion. I am in desperate need of a rest but as some of you may know, the aftermath of a fundraiser requires more work in the form of thank you letters, press interviews etc which I am more than happy to do. I know that when all of that is out of the way I will be sad that the months of organising my event have come to an end. I feel incredibly lucky to have such an amazing group of friends, some of which travelled a long way to be there. I am going to shut up now because this is starting to sound like an award winner’s speech! No awards for me, just the reward that maybe those who were there or who have read about my story may have a little bit more of an understanding of arthritis in young people. Thank you and goodnight.