TL;DR - I'm running the Liverpool Rock 'n' Roll Marathon at the end of May and fundraising for Headway East London, so if you'd like to throw some spare change my way it would be much appreciated x
A few months ago I succumbed to the power of the WhatsApp group chat, and agreed to run the Liverpool Marathon with some of my cousins. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't run (never have, not even for the bus), and just the thought of doing exercise was laughable. But somehow I found myself signing up, and I have a few theories as to why this is:
1. I'd had the world's worst hangover days before, and this seemed like a good way to do a complete 360 on feeling so disgustingly unhealthy.
2. I've been a marathon spectator and told myself that I could never accomplish anything like that. I've since realised that I need to stop getting in the way of goals before I even start them, and that actually you can do anything you put your mind to (cheesy, but it's true).
3. More seriously, 2019 is a significant milestone for me, and I wanted to do something really positive to mark it. Most people don't know this, but nearly five years ago my mum had a very sudden, life changing brain injury (a subarachnoid haemorrhage, if we're being specific). In short, it was terrifying; she had several operations, was in the ICU on a ventilator, and there were moments when my sisters and I truly felt like we were preparing for the worst.
Her recovery in the weeks, months, and years later has been nothing short of incredible, thanks to the NHS and Headway East London. Headway does amazing work to help brain injury survivors navigate the changes and challenges in their lives, and the centre she now volunteers at is made up of a team of incredibly dedicated staff and volunteers.
Choosing to fundraise for Headway on this run was a no-brainer (pun 100% intended). By joining me in supporting them you'd be helping to fund therapies, occupational activities, and other specialist support services for survivors, their families and carers. Last year Headway supported 875 people directly affected by brain injury, and every year the charity has managed to support more people. They also run additional events, workshops and activities for members of the public to increase awareness and understanding about brain injury. It can happen to anyone (as Emilia Clarke off Game of Thrones will tell you), but most people know very little about it until it affects them or someone they know.
I can hand on heart say that the work they do makes a huge difference - the centre is a genuine community like no other and has changed my mum's life for the better since her injury. Fundraising for them seems like the least I can do to say thank you for their unwavering support, and any money you choose to give in aid of this cause would mean more than you could know x