Freezing Ice Bucket Challenge for Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Ostomy Aid

ice bucketIf you haven’t seen my Ice Bucket Challenge you can watch the carnage below – I’m warning it’s not a pretty sight!!

Things to bear in mind while watching this:

  • I’d just got back from a run, hence the weird get up;
  • I’m wearing my sports bra as I wanted to show my ostomy scar – I didn’t consider the fact that my bra might have fallen down with the force of the water…thank god it didn’t;
  • Random walkers stopped and watched from the bridge, and a drunk fisherman gawped throughout;
  • I was terrified of falling in or being attacked by a swan – they can beak a man’s arm you know…;
  • and, last but by no means least, it was bloody freezing!!!!

IMG_1462I nominated my best friend out in Spain, Rhian Wyn Evans. She has stuck with me through the best and worst of times, so this might seem like an odd way to say thank you, but she will love it. I miss her so much that sometimes it hurts; she never fails to put a smile on my face, and is the most positive and determined person I know – I seriously can’t wait to see the video of this!

Also I sentenced my chief reporter David Holmes to the baptism of freezing water. I will be shocked, to say the least, if Mr Holmes does this challenge. It doesn’t seem like the kind of thing he would willingly do, but if he doesn’t…lets just say I wouldn’t be surprised if three little imps (me included) jump on him with buckets of freezing cold water after deadline day – I don’t think that classes as assault officer, it’s for charity after all.

I also nominated the CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis UK David Barker. This is the guy I sat

Me and CEO of Crohn's and Colitis UK David Barker

Me and CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis UK David Barker

next to on the sofa for the BBC Breakfast junk food saga. He is a lovely man and I’m sure will be delighted with the news that he hasn’t escaped this charity challenge. On twitter he told me he would be partaking in the challenge on Monday, I can only apologise for whatever crazy stunt they have lined up for you at the Crohn’s charity HQ – I’m so sorry in advance David – but it has to be the price you pay for being the CEO of a national charity.

The two charities I nominated are extremely close to my heart. Crohn’s and Colitis UK is a lifeline to so many people just like me. It is a charity – and IBD was a condition – which was hardly heard of a couple of years ago outside of those suffering from the condition. But now it feels like everyone is talking about the condition and it is in the media all the time. Despite that so much still needs to be learnt, so much more needs to be done to understand IBD, and to get the general public to understand the real implications of it to sufferers and their families. So we all still need to keep talking, raising money and spreading awareness – the battle is not won yet, it’s only just begun.

My second charity is one which is a relative unknown. I only stumbled across Ostomy Aid when trying to figure out what happened to all my unused ostomy appliances. I wondered what would happen to the batches of bags I couldn’t use as my skin rejected one sort after another, and once my rectal stump got removed (leaving me not needing a second, child sized bag).

Ostomy Aid (which is run by Ostomy Lifestyle, another charity providing support for ostomates) is a remarkable charity. They take all those boxes of unused bags, which would otherwise have ended up in the bin, and take them to third world countries. My unused fistula bags could help a baby in Africa to survive in the most difficult of circumstances, or be used by an African mother, sister, or grandmother. I guess in a way we take the delivery of the bags (straight from our delivery company, all packaged up with samples) for granted, out there it must be a never ending battle to know whether the most basic aid will get to them, let alone medical supplies like this – which are so needed and essential.

They also twin stoma nurses to communities in developing countries, including Moldova, Iran, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Malawi and Sudan. It is simply breathtakingly good work and something I would love to get involved with one day.

I hope in the future to be able to write more on Ostomy Aid – perhaps even go out and see how my bags are used? But we will have to see if that is feasible.

If you want to learn more about these two remarkable charities please visit their websites (I have provided the links below):

http://www.ostomylifestyle.org/content/ostomyaid

http://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

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