Did you know that today is World Stroke Day?
Several months ago a friend forwarded an email from The Stroke Association. They were looking for volunteers to abseil down Battersea Power Station and raise some valuable funds for their organisation. It piqued my interest for quite a number of reasons. Moments later I had replied and signed up for the event.
Firstly, I’m not a fan of heights. In fact, I get queasy going up in some lifts and can’t go to the edge of buildings with floor to ceiling glass. However those of you who know me well, will also know that I’ll reframe this fear and create it into a challenge. Scared of the sea, I learnt to scuba dive. Fearful of being out of control, I did a skydive. Logically, I can do this too – eeek!
Secondly, Battersea Power Station is an iconic building that has been part of my landscape for many years. Since first moving to London 26 years ago, the silhouette has been a part of train or road journeys from North to South of the Thames. Before much of the new London developments built over the last 26 years, it was always there unused and unloved but proud of his history and heritage.
The building was once a power station and decommissioned in 1983. The building was Grade II protected against demolition and has been searching for a new owner and purpose ever since. Wikipedia’s entry.
I understand the power station has been sold and that the new owners are working and reworking planning applications to redevelop the land. I’m not sure what it will become or when the work will start. There are many stories written of it crumbling. I’ve no doubt however that the view that I’ve loved will change but am hoping that this ‘Cathedral of Industry’ will still retain much of it’s original character and beauty.
Thirdly, The Stroke Association is an organisation close to my heart (pun intended!). They do incredible work supporting people and their family who have been affected by stroke. They believe strongly in survivorship and ‘Life after Stroke’.
Many people think that a stroke only happens to older generations or perhaps those with an unfit lifestyle or that they aren’t as bad as many other illnesses or diseases. Sadly in many cases this isn’t true. A few facts below:
• An estimated 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK each year
• Stroke accounts for around 53,000 deaths each year in the UK
• 10,000 people under the age of 30 will have a stroke each year
• Stroke is the third most common cause of death in England and Wales, after heart disease and cancer
• Stroke accounts for 9 per cent of all deaths in men and 13 per cent of deaths in women in the UK
• Stroke has a greater disability impact than any other chronic disease. Over 300,000 people are living with moderate to severe disabilities as a result of stroke
• Three times more women die from stroke than breast cancer
A few of the reasons why I feel passionate about raising some funds for the Stroke Association and why I’m abseiling this coming Saturday.
My friend’s father, a fit and active retiree, who passed away suddenly.
Rob who had a stroke earlier this year which led to the discovery of bowel cancer.
And two little munchkins who are both very close to my heart. Both were born with different diagnoses but devastatingly both sets of parents were warned that they will probably be affected by strokes throughout their lives. Sadly for one child the strokes have recently started. She doesn’t understand them nor understand what they are or why they’re happening. So far they’ve not been bad strokes.
This Saturday is the date of my abseil. You can only imagine how my palms go sweaty at the very thought of launching myself over the edge. Genuinely I feel sick. Genuinely I’ve questioned why I’m doing such a crazy thing when I hate heights. Genuinely I’ve thought of backing out. Then I remember the faces of those I’m doing this for.
I set myself a target fundraising figure of £425.00 and I’m chuffed to say that I’ve exceeded that. BUT I also know that any pounds and pennies that can be raised over and above my own fundraising figure are needed. I’m also keen that you know exactly how the Stroke Association use donated funds.
For every £1 donated:
79p goes to directly to supporting their work to fight stroke.
20p is invested to generate future revenue.
AND only 1p goes toward running the charity.
Find out more about the Stroke Association here or donate directly to the charity.
AND if you want to sponsor me and my insanity on Saturday 3 November 2012 please donate via my justgiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/annagoanna
PS Any donations over £500 and we’ll use my bottom as an advertising hoarding – well let’s face it that’ll be in most of the pictures and it’s large enough!