In recent weeks I have posted on here about Chris Rugg, who won the Care Focus award for Outstanding Volunteer in Somerset, and about the article I wrote for soFeminine.co.uk about my experience of breast reconstruction. Esther Clark was one of two women who kindly agreed to be case studies for the piece. Both Chris and Esther are doing great work for their particular causes and I wanted to use by blog to promote the work they are doing.
Having coffee with Chris Rugg on Thursday I learnt that on November 6th the first ever Arachnoid Cyst Awareness Conference will be held in Philadelphia. Chris has been diagnosed with this condition and it is one that I had never heard of, despite the fact that it causes painful and disabling symptoms. Apparently I am not alone, and many doctors still fail to recognise it as anything other than psychosomatic. However, the symptoms these cysts on the brain cause are very distressing and when finally the patient gets a proper diagnosis the procedure to remove them, however unpleasant, comes as a significant relief. Can I ask you just to take a moment and link through to the Arachnoid Cyst Awareness site? If I could think just a few more people knew of this condition through my blog it would make me feel as if I had done a little to repay all the support I have had from Chris in the past two years.
Similarly, when I spoke to Esther for my article I found out that like me, she has survived breast cancer and undergone reconstruction to help her through the process of regaining control over her life and health. However, she has gone further and following the £20,000 raised for Cancer Research UK by the calendar she coordinated (in which all the participants bravely posed scantily clad and beautifully body-painted) she has now published a book.
She studied Creative Writing with the Open University, and enjoying the work of her fellow students she came up with the idea of publishing a collection of their pieces. It would offer them all the opportunity to see their work in print and at the same time raise further funds for Cancer Research UK.
Esther says ‘The request was for people to send stories and poems on any neutral or happy theme, as although the book is to benefit cancer sufferers, it is not about cancer.’
She has a site called Peperi Books which gives you all the information you need about the book and the details of how to buy a copy. With Christmas coming up, it could be a great present for someone you know who writes, or who simply enjoys a book to dip into at quiet moments.
I was a little concerned about asking my readers for things through my blog, but hey it is all about getting a message across and so many blogs include sponsored posts now, or offer a service to their readers that I thought I should try do my bit for these two courageous and lovely people.
Thanks for reading – and don’t forget to click through to the links!