Today I will spending as much time as possible with my family and friends, eating and drinking as much as I can. It’s what I like to do at this time of year, and I know it’s not the most glamorous or adventurous but spending time with people I love is time I cherish.
Over the last few years I have bought a present for myself in the run up to Christmas. Either a pair of trainers or the new Football Manager (I know I’m 29 next year but I’m still a kid at heart), but this year knowing that not everyone has it as good as me I thought I would do something a little different to celebrate Christmas and give £100 to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Great Ormond Street is Britain’s leading centre for treating sick children, and a place I remember visiting at least once a year as a kid to see my cousin, Rachel.
Rach was born with a rare disease called Hydrocephalus, which is a very dangerous and sometimes life threatening condition in which she can’t drain the fluid on her brain, and has had numerous operations over the years to insert shunts (the tube that drains the fluid from her brain to her stomach), rearrange the shunts, unblock them and depressurise them. It’s tiring just thinking about it all, so I have no idea what it has been like to live through.
Tomorrow I might not be able to move due to a hangover that will be very much self-induced, yet Rachel can be bed bound for days due to migraines from the pressure build up in her head. But whatever has been thrown at Rach, she has never complained and always surprises everyone with her positive attitude and real love of life.
As a child, Rachel was told she would most likely never be able to get pregnant, let alone have children because of her disease and the complications that could ensue, but a few years back Harry came along, and next year she will have another child, and Great Ormond Street played a big part in this.
I know my £100 won’t go a long way to help at all in the grand scheme of things, and it certainly won’t even scratch the surface in helping the Hospital cater to any of the patients needs, but hopefully it will provide a few more mince pies for all the children there to enjoy with their families and the wonderful staff at Great Ormond Street today. Which has got to be something.
Happy Christmas everyone!