Snip Snip

I’ve talked before about Blue Skye Thinking and my quest to raise £1000 for them: whilst less dramatic than abseiling down a building, here is the most recent fundraising round-up!

On Saturday 19th March, I did a joint fundraising event for Blue Skye Thinking and the Little Princess Trust and had my long locks much shorter. Although getting my hair cut has, so far, been the least demanding challenge in my quest to raise £1000, psychologically it needed the most psyching up before hand. People close to me will know that I suffer from an eating disorder and body dismorphia and my hair is hugely important in my self confidence and esteem. I actually underestimated how anxious I was going to feel and by the time I arrived at the hairdressers, I wanted to be sick. A lot. 

The sickness eased slightly when Sally, Jesse and Flynn arrived, in Blue Skye Thinking attire, and I tried to put my nerves to the back of my mind and focus on why I was doing it. Not only does the money raised support the treatment and research of childhood brain tumours, my hair will hopefully form part of a wig for a little girl who has lost her hair, in her fight with cancer.

So, months and months of hair growing was about to come to an end; as we all stood around and measured my hair, I realised how short it was going to be. Jesse did a fantastic job in asking for donations from other people in the hair dressers; when I came up with the idea of having my hair cut off, my first thought was to ask Jesse if he wanted to help in cutting it. What four year old is going to say no at the chance of taking centre stage with a  pair of sharp scissors?! And we all had a good giggle at how silly I looked, with my hair divided into four sections.

 

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Once the seven inches of hair had been hacked off, there was literally no denying how short my had was. I felt naked and all I could think was how was my hairdresser going to make my hair look okay again? To be fair to the wonderful Gill, I shouldn’t have doubted her.

It’s different, that’s for sure. It’s shorter than I expected. I cried. But I’ll get used to it and it will grow. Meanwhile, all I can hope if my hair makes a child going through something impossibly tough to feel a little bit of happiness.

 

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If you would like to donate, you can do so here https://www.justgiving.com/LauraHCharlton/ or via Just Giving text, by texting LCBS48 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 (or enter whatever amount you wish).

 

Huge thank you to Gill, Lea and Sam for working their magic on my hair. Thank you to all the staff at Tangerine, Abingdon, for allowing the madness to happen (and for being so generous).

 

 

 

 

30 before 30

I am approaching my mid-twenties. I’m probably going to have some form of quarter life crisis at some point. There is all sorts of pressure to settle down, have a proper job, start a family, and whilst I do want all of that, I don’t want it right now. If I am reminded once more about the need to provide grandchildren in the family I will scream. It’s my body and my choice! Settling down couldn’t be further from my mind and any settling down thoughts which I have usually involve scrolling through Instagram on the hashtag #minilops and finding the cutest ginger bunny and wishing it was mine. Making a phone call stresses me out, I cry inside when I have to pay a bill because it feels like richer people are stealing money off me and I think it’s okay to buy a thick, fluffy jumper which is two sizes too big in the middle of July because it looks pretty. I then wonder how I end up with little to no money. I am not ready to adult.

A year ago, my undergraduate student days ended and I still miss and pine for those days. Those days when it was accepted that the day (or two days) after a night out were completely wasted by sitting on the sofa with drool coming out of my mouth because I was so hungover. Those days when I had roughly three to five hours in university a week and the remainder of the time was usually spent in bed and definitely spent in my pyjamas or onesie. Those days when my housemate and I couldn’t be bothered to cook or walk the five minutes down the road to Waitrose to get food to cook, so we went to The Best Chip Shop ever and had chips for dinner. They were good days.

To break up the monotony of life, I’ve put my thinking cap on and come up with thirty things to do before I reach the age of thirty. Credit goes to my friend, writer of Something in the Way She Moves who wrote a blog post on the forty things she wants to achieve before she is forty, as I got the idea from her.

1) Complete a masters degree.

2) Work in a role which supports young people with mental illnesses.

3) Travel the world.

4) See the Northern Lights.

5) Marry.

6) Have children (hopefully).

7) Have my own house.

8) Be financially stable.

9) Sing on a West-End stage.

10) Sky dive.

11) Bungee jump.

12) Complete a half marathon

13) Complete a triathlon.

14) Raise £1000 for Blue Skye Thinking.

15) Write a book.

16) Publish an article for Huffington Post.

17) Meet some of the people who I have met online and thank them in person for all they have done for me.

18) Cuddle an orangutan.

19) Complete the North Wales zip wire.

20) Teach young people to not be ashamed of who they are.

21) Become and MP and fight for what I believe in.

22) Learn basic Polish.

23) Thank every single person who has made a difference to my life.

24) Go to a festival and not spend the entire time grossed out by the toilets.

25) Visit all of the the seven wonders of the world.

26) Live for a week without internet, TV, phones etc

27) Go to Wimbledon men’s final

28) Leave a note for a stranger in a public place.

29) Learn how to take a compliment without turning into an arrogant arsehole about it.

30) Fall in love, deeply, properly and unequivocally.

Blue Skye Thinking

A while ago, I met the incredible Sally for the first time; mum, wife and co-founder of Blue Skye Thinking (along with husband Andrew). Sally and I had conversed via email for a while, prior to meeting and without pouring out all the clichés, I have always been struck by how honest and rational she is, both in emails and in the Hall family blog, which you can read here. What Sally and I discussed remains between the four walls of her living room (slight house envy!) but something which is very apparent was how important it is for Sally to help other children and their families who are facing the same or similar to what Skye and his family faced. In various parts of the living room where children’s toys and dressing up clothes, ready to be delivered to children’s ward across the country. The toys and clothes have now been delivered and Sally’s living room now resembles a loom factory, as they begin to measure the length of all the loom bands sent to them, to hopefully loom to the moon. Clothes and toys won’t cure cancer, but they will provide a sense of normality to the otherwise scary hospital routine, and ultimately give children a sense of childhood.

I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like returning to the hospital and ward where my child received treatment, or visiting other similar wards across the country. I have a huge level of respect for Sally for being able to do this.

These toys and clothes don’t appear by magic and they are the result of a great deal of hard work, approaching companies, celebrities and organisations in order to spread the word about Blue Skye Thinking.

SHOCKING TRUTH – There is NO formal data collection, monitoring and sharing of side effects for Standard Treatment Guidelines (such as the Milan Protocol) used for many children suffering with cancer. How can we LEARN if we don’t SHARE??

Family Blog – Blue Skye Thinking 7th March 2015

After talking to Sally, it’s really hit home that whilst yes, I am doing this to support Blue Skye Thinking and Sally, Andrew and Jesse and most importantly for Skye’s memory, I am also doing this for every single parent who has lost a child or has been told that they face losing their child as a result of childhood brain tumours. It’s for the parents facing their “new lives” without their child, it’s for the parents facing this journey of unknowns, it’s for the parents who have to explain to siblings that their brother or sister won’t get better. And it’s for the children who are fighting; for the children who need to be given a better chance of survival.

On Saturday 2nd May 2015 I completed my first challenge: abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.This was done on a bad knee injury and at no point did I consider how scared I would be swinging from a rope above Portsmouth..how I didn’t vomit I do not know.. As I said before, this was the first of a number of challenges I will be doing to fundraise for Blue Skye Thinking. The charity relies on donates and all money goes directly into research and treatments.

Due to illness and life stuff, I wasn’t able to carry out any other big challenges last year, however it’s now 2016 and I’m back. In a couple of weeks, I will be doing a joint fundraising event for Blue Skye Thinking and the Little Princess Trust and will be cutting my long locks much shorter. I will be raising money for BST and donating my hair to children who have lost their hair due to illness. Although getting my hair cut will be the least demanding challenge in my quest to raise £1000, I think psychologically it could need the most psyching up before hand. People close to me will know that I suffer from an eating disorder and body dismorphia and my hair is hugely important in my self confidence and esteem. 


If you would like to donate, you can do so through Just Giving here or via Just Giving text, by texting LCBS48 £2 to 70070 to donate £2 (or enter whatever amount you wish). Every little helps and it will make a huge difference to the children diagnosed with brain tumours, as well as their families. Give a child a better chance of survival and continuing with their childhood. No amount is too small and it will make a real difference.