I finally have the internet in my new flat now so hopefully I will be able to keep up with things now but first let’s have a catch up.
On May 15th Me and two friends from university put an event on for Different Strokes. We had organised it as part of our Community Project module where we had to partake in ‘service-learning’ to work with a community to identify a need that we could help with, we chose to make a fundraising video for Different Strokes and put an event on so we could find out what fundraising is like. The event was held at Above Audio in Brighton where we put on a gig with an amazing raffle of gifts donated by Starbucks, Choccywoccydoodah and Universal + loads more.
We had 3 incredible artists play at the event, Jade Hopcroft , The Poofs & Two Spot Gobi, theu were all great and I couldn’t thank them enough for playing. We’re not sure how many people we had through the door but it was busy enough without being over crowded for people like me. We were charging £3 entry + raffle tickets and it is great to say we raised £435 at the event. We have also been running an online donation raffle with DVDs from Universal which will be kept open untill the end of Action on Stroke Month on 31st May. You can find it here http://www.bmycharity.com/summerstarter so please feel free to donate & thankyou to anyone that has donated already
Finally a huge thankyou to…
Audio, Two Spot Gobi, The Poofs, Jade Hopcroft, Amy Morrice, Natasha Marley, Carolyn Watt, Alex Petrovic, Choccywoccydoodah, Roly’s Fudge Pantry, Lewes Road Starbucks, Jordanne Cliffe, Greg Phillips, Lush Cosmetics, Universal, Ciara Green & of course everyone who attended Different Strokes Summer Starter
£720 and counting…! We are still working on the video but expect to see it online soon
Someone on different strokes recommended people start filming the techniques the use for daily tasks, so heres my technique for getting in and out of the bath, hope it helps someone develop their own technique. PLEASE DO NOT PUT YOUR SAFETY OR HEALTH AT RISK BY TRYING TO COPY THIS, I believe you will know your abilities and it took me months of practising before I could do this with water, so practice first fully clothed, with any supports/shoes you need on and someone close by to help if you need it and when you feel confident, lose the shoes/support, then eventually when you master that try it without anyone in the room, and you will know when you are ready to take a bath. good luck!
REMEMBER I AM NOT A PHYSIO, JUST A STROKE SURVIVOR SHARING MY EXPERIENCE & TECHNIQUES
I found out a few weeks ago that there is a Different Strokes exercise class in west sussex, I looked online and figured out it would take me about an hour and a half to get there by bus so I really really wanted to try it out. Today, I caught the bus at 11:33 from just outside my house, I had to change buses 3 times and was supposed to arrive at 1:19, I think I musat have got off at the wrong stop as I didnt get to Storrington untill 1:44, I then had to get a taxi to the leisure centre where the exercise class was taking place. I have to admit I was absolutely shattered by the time I got there but determined to take part I soon perked up as the exercise began. The class lasted about an hour and exercises were done seated and standing, It was great and having an instructor there made it really easy to stay motivated plus it was really really fun! Even though it was for younger stroke survivors I was still the youngest there by many many years but I have to say I felt very comfortable, everyone was very friendly and there were people there of all levels of ability and exercises were personalised for those who couldnt complete them or who didnt find it challengeing.
One thing I found interesting was that of the 10+ people there, there were only 2 of us who had not regained use of our hands which confused me as I have read only a third of stroke survivors get their hand movement back. That was certainly not the case at this class.
I will definitely be going again, It is so worth the travelling!
Two of my best friends Amy and Nicola and my cousin Tom ran the Nike half marathon on September 25th. They all decided to run to help raise money for The Stroke association who have been great mental and financial support for me over the last 7 months. Especially Anne who has kept in regular contact with me, helping me with grants for equipment and allowing me to share my story at communication support groups. There are no words to explain the support she has given both me and my Mum. I hope this effort from my friends helps to show my appreciation.
In a way I feel kind of guilty that all of the money went towards The Stroke Association as I have also recieved fantastic support from Different Strokes. But hey, I’m not even 7 months post-stroke yet so I’m sure they’ll be plenty more half marathons and fundraising events, who knows, maybe one day I might even run one.
The day was absolutely lovely. The atmosphere was incredible and we stood by the start/finish line to try and spot them all in their first and final moments. Unfortunately we didnt see them running out and when it reached the 2hr15 mark we had kind of given up hope of seeing them finish and then they were there, Nicola and Amy first, hand in hand across the finish line after a few screeches from me an my mum and close behind was Tom. None of them looked out of breath or like they were struggling which was such a relief and they completed it at around the 2hr20 mark
I’m not sure how much they raised in total but I think it was the best part of £1000 with on and offline donations so thankyou so much guys. You could never know how much this means to me. thats to the 3 runners and everyone who sponsored them
For any last minute sponsorships please visit
Oh and just to be clear if you are my friend and you are not sponsoring them because they didnt sponsor you please re-evaluate the situation and donate anything even as little as £1. This isn’t about you. It’s about the 150,000+ stroke survivors a year and a charity that needs your help to prevent them.
I am shattered. Mum came to visit me this weekend, we went for dinner then to see pirates of the carribean 4 on saturday night, Jonny depp is such a treat for the eyes, When I was walking to my seat the tone in my arm increased and I accidently tapped a man on the shoulder, I apologised (obviously) and he laughed and said it was Ok, but then he KEPT looking at me. I think he thought it was a pulling technique but it definitely wasn’t - he was ming.
On Sunday Mum took me shopping - I feel like such a spoilt brat. I had to buy some size 8 nikes to replace my hideous white shoefayre velcros so now i a basically playing opposites with Joey Essex (who wears his shoes two sizes to small) We went into UO and I had a walk around upstairs so I could look at the clothes properly and see my friends. I can’t wait to be back working in there!
I had OT and Physio on Monday morning. In OT i managed to get my hand to release from around the bannister which was pretty good. My OT thought it was amazing and she’s noticed that my brain-arm communication is much better when I am actually trying to do something productive rather than just doing exercises. I have found that when going to grab bottles in the bathroom my fingers open out especially when the rest of my body is positioned properly - it decreases the tone. Its often hard to remember to sit with my feet correctly placed and to put weight through my left leg but I need to keep remembering to do it - I can already see its helping my tone decrease.
When my physio came later on and said “I want to ask you something but I don’t want to upset you” I couldnt help but be relieved when she asked how I felt about using a walking frame. OK so they are not very 21-year old fashion but i’ve been rocking a walking stick for long enough now, i’m kind of getting into the old lady look and if it will help me use my left side more and potentially walk better, further and help my arm I can’t complain.
My friends at university put a comedy night on to raise money for different strokes, a charity that are run by younger stroke survivors for younger stroke survivors. They have really helped me recently so I was really pleased my friends had chosen this charity. The night went really well and I got to see loads of my friends in a normal environment. we didnt take my wheelchair to the venue (though it was in the car juat incase) which helped it seem even more normal and I felt more like me. the comedians were all great and helped raise £200 for the charity so all in all It was a great weekend where I got to see improvements in my arm, a promising development with my walking aids and onlt a minor fake tan disaster.