This is going to be my last blog post about my 2013 London Marathon adventure. It’s been emotional!
I started this blog because I wanted to capture the experience of running a marathon and fundraising for charity. I happen to have Ulcerative Colitis and Dilated Cardiomyopathy which (until now) I’d never really told anyone. I hoped that I’d raise awareness of the diseases that effect me and my family and in turn possibly help others suffering. I didn’t expect to have quite so many things to write about and would never have imagined the blog to be as popular as it has been. I have always hated the way that I write and have very little confidence in it but I would recommend blog writing to everyone, just jump in and do it!
I want to say one final massive Thank You!!! Thank you if you’ve sent me a nice message, sponsored me, asked me about the diseases, donated to the auction, cheered me along the marathon, cuddled me at the end of the marathon, hugged me when I’ve been upset or if you’re one of the thousands of people who’ve read my blog. I’ve never felt so supported in my whole life and I can’t believe the power of a blog!
The PR is still coming in and we’re hopefully going to be in some women’s magazines in the near future, so look out for us! I’m going to have a little break from silly exercise challenges and fundraising for a bit and work out how best to focus on the things I’m most passionate about when it comes to hearts: organ donation (opt out campaigning), heart screening of young people and research into turning heart disease around. I’ve enjoyed the blog so much that I’ll start a new blog soon, probably called ‘Lucy Lives Life’ – watch out for it on my social media.
Please don’t forget that when this blog’s long gone, there’ll still be young people dying of heart problems every week and there’ll be people dying while waiting for organs that are out there, just not on the donor list. Please continue to spread the word and use my family’s story as an example of how tragedy can be turned around simply by filling in an online form and telling your guardians. Today is Jack’s 3rd anniversary of his heart transplant and just writing that has made me burst into tears quite hysterically. You’ll never know how meaningful that silly organ card is until it happens to you, so please keep talking about it.
I’m currently on the train on my way to the London marathon expo. I wanted to try and explain my emotions at this point but first, an update on my heart.
Yesterday I was at a conference at the Nectar head office when the lovely Bethan from The Brompton called. I ducked out of the room to find somewhere quiet to take it. Bethan told me that my 48 hour ECG results had come back and had picked up another abnormality with my heart. She explained how I would have to go on new heart drugs as a matter of urgency. I’d also have to change my marathon plans and instead of walking it fast, walk it very slowly. As you can imagine I was quite overwhelmed at this stage to be hearing that there was yet another problem and another change to the plan. Especially when I was just starting to come to terms with what the weekend was going to be like for me and my family. A lovely nectar lady called Anna found me and looked after me with a cuppa and a cream egg. Legend!
This morning Bethan contacted my doctors and I’ve already started taking these new drugs. I’m also booked in for more tests in the near future. Bethan’s called St George’s (who look after all medics for the marathon) and told them about me and mum. Hopefully it’s quite clear to see how absolutely amazing The Brompton and the staff there are. Just fabulous.
So the good news is that we know about this other problem and we wouldn’t have known if I wasn’t doing the marathon. I’m also on drugs that should stabilise my heart rhythm and protect the heart. The bad news is that there are side effects (like with any drugs) and this may have an impact on my day to day life – it may not. It’s likely to make Sunday a bit harder for me as my blood pressure will be very low.
Enough of the serious stuff, it’s time to get in the zone. I’m going to walk into that expo hall with Ben. We’ll both be proud to be doing the marathon and will celebrate with the Oxfam crew on stand 170.
Over the next few days I’ll post lots of photos of my experience on here and on twitter. You can follow me @lucyfenner or search for the hashtag #lucysmarathon
Thanks for all your support, donations of prizes and money. You’ve all been brilliant.
The training’s still on hold so I’ve been using my time to maximise the fundraising! And what fun it’s been! It’s a fundraisers dream to be given items to use for fundraising and I was lucky enough to be given an amazing donation of over 50 handbags from a high street favourite.
Sales going well last Thursday!
We decided to hold a handbag sale in Oxfam House with the stock we had. With over 700 people in the office we were hopeful we’d sell a few bags. With a little bit of design, marketing and word of mouth we were set to go. The sale was due to start at 11.30 and at 11.25 we had colleagues looking at the bags wanting to start buying. The image to the right was taken at 11.35! Women were surrounding the handbags and they were flying out of our hands. It was amazing! Within 20 mins we’d sold 90% of stock and made £900. Ben couldn’t believe how much women loved handbags – he finally believes it’s not just me!
We want to say a massive thank you to our anonymous donor who made it possible as well as thanking everyone that came and bought a bag. We hope that you love your bags!
So that’s £2500 raised now, half way to our £5,000 target. If you’d like to sponsor us and keep us going while we can’t train please click here.
Next up it’s an Auction of Promises at work with some colleagues that are walking Oxfam’s Trailtrekker. If you don’t work at Oxfam and would like to make a promise let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org. Promises currently include things like cake baking, picture framing, dinner parties, dog walking, babysitting. Promises will be auctioned in Oxfam House on 8th April.
I’m the running manager at Oxfam which means I’m meant to be a fundraising expert! The pressure’s on to hit my target on this one! There’s also the added pressure of caring an incredible amount about the charities I’m running … Continue reading →