Well it really has been quite a week! Surprising, exciting, emotional…
Cancer Research UK Flame of Hope Awards
On Monday I came home from work, opened the post and found a letter in which I was stunned to find out I had been nominated for Cancer Research UK’s annual Flame of Hope Awards, which celebrate outstanding achievements of inspiring supporters. Wow!
I had been awarded a special commendation for the category of Ambassador of the Year!!
It was such a lovely surprise, I had no clue I’d even been nominated. I feel so proud to be involved with such an important and fantastic charity, it is a real honour to be recognised in this way.
I have to send back a form and one of the questions was what is my volunteer role. This made me think. Well, I’m not really a volunteer am I? I mean, I don’t do any kind of hands on stuff. But I thought back over the years I have been involved with Cancer Research UK and all that I have been involved in:
- Taken part in the Race for Life every year since recovering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma & fundraising every time
- 6 years ago used my story of having Hodgkin’s lymphoma whilst pregnant to help raise awareness and encourage people to sign up for Race for Life
- My family was featured in a Christmas fundraising mailout (which was so successful it was repeated the following year)
- I climbed Scafell Pike for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacon of Hope celebration with other cancer survivors
- My family and friends go along to Cardiff Half marathon to cheer on all the amazing CRUK runners
- I’ve featured on social media encouraging people to sign up for Race for Life and thanking participants afterwards
- I’ve had my head painted to raise awareness of the More Tomorrows campaign to fund a new research centre in Manchester
- This year I am taking part in Pretty Muddy 5k run with friends and also fundraising with a Welsh 3 Peaks climb
That’s just what I can remember! So volunteering comes in all kinds of forms and it just goes to show the exciting opportunites available. I’ve even done things whilst undergoing treatment, which it has to be said not only helped CRUK but helped me immensely. It gave me something to focus on, made me feel worthwhile and useful at a time when I wasn’t able to do a lot of other things, I could at least use my experiences to help others.
So a big massive thank you to Cancer Research UK for such a lovely surprise! It means so much to me.
Wales Blog Awards
On Thursday night I went to Chapter Arts Centre to the Wales Blog Awards, my blog had been shortlisted for Best New Blog (I’m not sure if you heard…I didn’t mention it much!) I’d never been to anything like it before and it has to be said I’m not great at things where I don’t know anyone. Nerve racking! There was a wide variety of fantastic blogs shortlisted for awards, from community blogs to spots, multimedia, politics, food and drink…and more besides. I am still working my way through reading them all!
Best New Blog went to Hungry City Hippy who writes a food and lifestyle blog with an ethical focus.
The People’s Choice Award was next, the one where people could vote for their favourite blog. The lady that was reading out the description of the winning blog said she wouldn’t be opening the envelope to announce the winner as as soon as she starting talking we would know who it was…It was ME!!!! I could not believe it, and listening to what she was saying made me very emotional, for the second time this week there were tears in a good way.
I was shaking when I went on stage to accept my award and beautiful flowers. After a quick photo it was my turn to say something. Now anyone that knows me knows that me and public speaking do not get on. It terrifies me. I stood there with all these people in front of me, and couldn’t see any of them! There was a bright light in front of me and then darkness where the audience was lurking somewhere! So it really felt like I was talking to nobody! I have no idea what I said. John assures me it was fine, I felt like I just waffled my way through it. You see my method of expressing myself is this, my blog. Ask me to write it down – not a problem!
Then I went to have what I thought was my picture taken, until I was handed a microphone. Oh great, being filmed talking now! I purposefully haven’t searched for that particular video, not my finest hour I’m sure!
It felt like a bit of a whirlwind of an evening, all of a sudden people were congratulating me, telling me they read my blog, how much they associate with what I talk about…THAT’s what I entered my blog for – to reach a wider audience and get messages that I’m passionate out there. So to hear people I’ve never met before say they read it was amazing.
I guess that’s the thing with cancer, sadly we’ve all been touched by it in one way or another.
It took me a while to realise the really exciting part of all this is that I now get to write 4 columns for the lifestyle section of Wales Online! I’d completely forgotten about that kind of major prize! It’s something I am really looking forward to. I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing, but until recently never had the motivation or time to get on and give it a go. So thank you to all of you that encouraged me to give it a try, who kept reading and sharing my blog and for all the feedback about it. Thanks too for your votes!
Finally I just want to say how absolutely thrilled I am that positive things have come out of the last years experiences.
Onwards and upwards now 🙂