Ty Hafan Fundraising (Various activities)

rheidol
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Re: Ty Hafan Fundraising (next event 4th May)

Post by rheidol » Sun May 06, 2012 11:07 pm

Good BIG set of photos here:

http://anteaphotography.smugmug.com/Eve ... &k=DZcvPT8

:thumbsup:


His trainers are 8)

BevB66x
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:05 am

Report from a weary (but very happy) walker

Post by BevB66x » Mon May 07, 2012 6:57 pm

In 1998, our youngest daughter was born. Shortly after birth, she was found to have a heart defect. Several weeks of hospital visits, tests and scans ensued. I can honestly say that it was one of the most difficult, stressful and challenging times of our lives. It felt like a big question mark was hanging over her - and our - futures. When she was about six months old, we finally got the news that we had been praying for - that the defects were benign, and should resolve spontaneously before her second birthday. (They did.) The relief was indescribable.

At some point in the days and weeks that followed, we decided to offer some support to a charity, in thanksgiving for our daughter's good health. We decided it should be a children's charity, and in particular we wanted one that offered support to parents, as part of its remit. My OH is from South Wales, and during one of our visits to his parents, we discovered the Ty Hafan charity. It fitted the bill perfectly, and in particular because of the family's Welsh roots.

All of this was before the centre actually opened in 1999. We gave them a cash sum, in our daughter's name, and pledged to support their weekly Lottery until her 19th birthday.

Fast forward to 2012. By now, I've been a JB fan for a while, and am thrilled to be a long-time supporter of one of his chosen charities. Over the years, we've continued to do the Lottery, and have attended events in London (where we live) and in Wales, to support Ty Hafan. One day this spring, an email containing the following message dropped into my Inbox:

Please open your eyes to women who hardly close theirs.
If you’re a mum you’ll know all about babies and sleepless nights. But mercifully there comes a point when being yanked out of sleep every couple of hours reaches an end; and oh to discover the joy of a full night’s uninterrupted blissful slumber. Well imagine if that point didn’t arrive. Imagine if waking every couple of hours went on for years. Some mums don’t have to imagine it, they have to live it...

And so, to Friday night. I was in a small group of four doing the walk. One of the party was in a wheelchair, and the remaining three of us took it in turns as her pushers. For security reasons, only one of us was allowed to go down onto the pitch with her, (I was nominated by the other two for that) the others sitting in a block of stadium seats right in front of where JB was to be.

On the stroke of 11pm, they announced JB's imminent arrival. He ran up the tunnel, waving a very large Welsh flag. A very understated entrance - NOT!!!! He immediately bounced into entertainer mode. He said that he'd only been asked to ad lib a few words, but that since arrival, he'd been given five different scripts!

Firstly, he talked about how he and Scott had discovered Ty Hafan, whilst out on a walk one Sunday afternoon. They thought it was a very worthwhile cause, and as celebrities and neighbours, were delighted to offer their support. John said that he's given the odd item for them to auction, and that last summer, he donated the proceeds of his garage sale. He then went on to talk about the work that the charity does, in supporting children with life-limiting conditions, and their families. And he said that the event was all about women giving up one night of sleep, in solidarity with others who, without Ty Hafan, would never get a full night's sleep. He then introduced Ashley, the young father of 2-year-old "H", a patient at Ty Hafan.

I have to say that as a mother, Ashley's words about his daughter reduced me to a real mess. She was born with two separate brain disorders, and suffers intractable seizures, day and night. During the seizures, she has to be closely observed, given medication and have mouth suction to prevent her from choking. These episodes can go on for 3-4 hours. He described how Ty Hafan has been a lifeline for him and his wife, who now have another (thankfully normal) baby daughter. "H" goes in to Ty Hafan regularly for respite care, so that Ashley and his wife Lauren can have some time together, and with their healthy daughter. Ashley finished up by thanking everyone for supporting Ty Hafan.

Back to JB. He was then asked by the organisers to read out a set of safety instructions for the walkers. He did so with a real JB twist. Absolutely hilarious! I know that there';s footage on the tubey place, so I won't go into detail, but he was hysterically funny. Then we went onto play Kings and Queens, a kind of elimination game, where the questions were about royalty and you answered "King" by putting your hands upwards at the back of your head, and "Queen" by doing a floppy forward hand wave. Again, hysterically funny. When you got a question wrong, you had to sit down. The last few standing were called forward, and the eventual winner's pyjamas proved to be too much of a temptation for JB, who rubbed his hands up and down the legs (the owner said she was never going to wash them!)

The time was going quite quickly, and by now we needed to bring on the professionals, Curves, a local Zumba club. JB was presented with a tiara and promptly joined in with all the Zumba moves. Unfortunately as was off to the side, I didn't see very much of this as people were wandering to and fro in front of us. But he sounded very funny.

And finally, the countdown. First was a lap of the stadium. The two wheelchairs went first, followed by JB, security and the Ty Hafan folk, and then the walkers were called forward from the stands, one row at a time. John seemed to be very happy, and freely chatted with those around him, including us. We thought that was it from JB for the night, but he had one more surprise in store for us....

And so the walk started. It was an awesome event, and I feel very privileged to have participated. The sight of 800 tiaras slowly snaking their way through Cardiff city centre was amazing. The route was roughly a figure of 8, firstly northwards towards the City Hall, then back almost to the stadium before turning southwards to the Bay, and back again.

As we turned into Queen Street, which is the pedestrianised section of the city, we heard a car horn blaring. Then we realised who it was. JB had driven up a side street, as far as he could go, and was stranded right in front of us. He half-stepped out of the car, tooted the horn again and yelled, "Let me THROUGH!!!!" To which 800 women simultaneously shouted back to him, "Nooooooooooo!" At which point, he was mobbed by the walkers and others, and couldn't move the car at all. Fortunately, a police patrol car was nearby, and it ended up escorting him down the entire length of Queen Street, until he could drive away unassisted!

I've put a few pictures on Twitter if anyone is interested (same username). There was a really good atmosphere throughout, even those worse for wear from the nightclubs joined us for a short stroll, gave us words of encouragement, and willingly put their money in the collecting tins that some of the more seasoned walkers had brought along. There were lots of marshals - mostly male, both fixed point and walking marshals, and all with two-way walkie-talkie radios. The police were well aware of the event, and there was a dedicated ambulance on standby at the stadium for the duration of the walk.

Back at the stadium, there was a hot drink and a cupcake waiting for us. Footsore, we made our way to bed. I do hope that the event raises bucket loads of money for Ty Hafan, it really is such a deserving charity.

Thanks are due to my friends who joined me on the walk, in body and in spirit, my OH for keeping house whilst I was away, my kids who were really good for him, and in particular to those who sponsored me. If anyone else on here should feel so inclined, my page is still open, at http://www.justgiving.com/bbevan. Thank you!
Last edited by BevB66x on Mon May 07, 2012 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rheidol
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:54 pm

Re: Ty Hafan Fundraising (next event 4th May)

Post by rheidol » Mon May 07, 2012 8:23 pm

What a lovely report - thank you so much, & well done to you & all the other participants! :thumbsup:

barbie41
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Location: Merseyside

Re: Ty Hafan Fundraising (next event 4th May)

Post by barbie41 » Mon May 07, 2012 8:27 pm

Thankyou Bev for your lovely and moving report from Friday night .So glad everything went off so well.Sounds like JB had a good time too :)
Here's hoping lots of money was raised for this worthy cause.Well done allof you :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

BevB66x
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:05 am

Re: Ty Hafan Fundraising (next event 4th May)

Post by BevB66x » Mon May 07, 2012 9:05 pm

You are very welcome!

If anyone has looked at the publicity photos, Ashley and Lauren are the young couple with JB, wearing T-shirts with a picture of "H".

And I forgot to say that when JB was introducing Ashley, he became a little choked, and said that he was lost for words, and so wanted to give Ashley a hug instead. Then when Ashley finished speaking, he turned back to JB and said, "Can I have another hug?" Really special JB moment.
:thumbsup:

rheidol
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:54 pm

Re: Ty Hafan Fundraising (next event 4th May)

Post by rheidol » Mon May 07, 2012 10:50 pm

BevB66x wrote: And I forgot to say that when JB was introducing Ashley, he became a little choked, and said that he was lost for words, and so wanted to give Ashley a hug instead. Then when Ashley finished speaking, he turned back to JB and said, "Can I have another hug?" Really special JB moment.
:thumbsup:
How lovely. :)

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aresnz
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Re: Ty Hafan Fundraising (next event 4th May)

Post by aresnz » Tue May 08, 2012 1:41 pm

What a fantastic report Bev. Thanks so much for sharing. Loved John's little surprise too. :lol: Sounds like a very special & moving time was had by all.
Lori

BevB66x
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Re: Ty Hafan Fundraising (next event 4th May)

Post by BevB66x » Tue May 08, 2012 2:16 pm

aresnz wrote:What a fantastic report Bev. Thanks so much for sharing. Loved John's little surprise too. :lol: Sounds like a very special & moving time was had by all.
You are welcome. It was indeed very special and moving. So glad to have been there.
x

Lenny
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Re: Ty Hafan Fundraising (next event 4th May)

Post by Lenny » Thu May 10, 2012 10:55 am


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aresnz
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Re: Ty Hafan Fundraising (next event 4th May)

Post by aresnz » Thu May 10, 2012 1:40 pm

Lenny wrote:Ty Hafan has put up a short vid of the wlak

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB_4n07xe_M

And also two from Bro Radio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDJqntHiu-0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acHgOs8GFRo

Thanks for the info. Love the video with John. I like how he says he's embarrassed about the amount of money he made from his garage sale that went to Ty Hafan. John's always so very humble. :D :dog: :clap:
Lori

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