Monday, 24 August 2015

Anita's Big Swim

Hyperemesis Gravidarum – two words I didn’t know until August 2010 when our daughter was expecting her first child. However the severity of this condition soon became all too apparent when she was hospitalised several times during her pregnancy. 
It robs women of the absolute joy of expecting their first baby and makes them dread (if considering at all) any future pregnancies.
Swimming is my newly rediscovered passion since retiring two years ago. I started slowly ending the summer with a 1 mile distance at the Great Scottish Swim last August. I enjoyed it thoroughly and challenged myself to do more Great Swims in 2015. I signed up for 3 swims before our daughter announced she was expecting again. Fingers crossed she would be fine…. No such luck sadly. 
Living 400 miles away there was little other than moral support I could give her, so I decided to make the swims sponsored events. Not only to raise money for PSS but also to raise more awareness amongst my friends and acquaintances about this life threatening condition/illness. My target was set at £500 which I have to this date surpassed with the help of the PSS Awareness day Coffee afternoon where I also raffled off one of my quilts.
Training has been going on all year either in the pool or in Loch Lomond. Yes even during the winter I dipped in, just as well as with the dreadful summer we have had up here, the temperature has not risen much above 13.5C all summer. 
My last and biggest challenge is next Saturday when I have entered the 5km swim at the Scottish Great Swim in Loch Lomond. I have swum around Incailloch Island this week which is around 4km so I feel very confident that I will reach the end before the 2 hour deadline is up and I have to endure the indignity of being fished out ahead of the finishing line. 
I will be cheered on by my 4 ½ year old granddaughter and her now 2 month old sister and their mother. All healthy, wonderful and gorgeous HG survivors.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Beci's Big Brew 2015

Having been a Volunteer Supporter for Pregnancy Sickness Support for a couple of years I decided that this year I would do my bit of fundraising for them and hold a Big Brew on 16th May. I created an event on Facebook, promised my friends as much cake as they could eat in 3 hours and started begging anyone I knew who owned a business for raffle prizes!

My mum suggested the raffle as an extra way to raise money. I ended up with some lovely prizes including a month’s worth of Zumba vouchers, handmade fudge voucher (thank you Sam Sorrell), free entry into a local National Trust property, an Avon giftset and a massage gift voucher (thank you Lois Slocombe). A friend of mine who runs a greetings card business also came along and offered to donate 10% of money taken to PSS.

The day before my Big Brew, HG Awareness Day, my mother in law kindly offered to take my ‘helpful’ 3 year old off my hands for the day. How I would have been ready with her around I simply don’t know! The whole day was spent baking and cleaning, interspersed with spamming social media with HG awareness posts and a mad dash round all my local supermarkets to find one ingredient I needed for one of my cakes (how hard can poppy seeds be to find, turns out very!). I baked a hazelnut, pear and dark chocolate cake, a coconut cake and a citrus poppy seed cake. I’m not much of a baker so was exceptionally proud of myself but must admit I cheated and bought scones! A friend of mine who also suffered with HG made some delicious rainbow cupcakes decorated in PSS colours for which I’ll be eternally grateful!

Happily on the day of my event the sun was shining and we were all able to go out in the garden and enjoy it! I was so touched by how many of my family and friends turned out to support a cause so close to my heart. Even those that couldn’t make it generously donated or bought raffle tickets. I was also so pleased to hear how many conversations were going on about HG, so as well as raising money it has helped inform people too.

I had always said that I would be happy to raise around £100 so when I added up the money and found we made £197.70 I was over the moon! I really enjoyed hosting a Big Brew and will definitely be doing it again next year!