A Sunday well spent brings a week of content, that could not be more true of how we have spent Sunday 7th May. Today myself, Chris and Noah took part in the third Purple Walk for Young Epilepsy, a 10K walk aimed at all the family followed by fun and games on the lawn of Waverley Abbey House.
It had been a fairly last minute decision to go, but after the London Marathon I was desperate to see so many of the families that had been part of my journey and offered me support on the hardest days with epilepsy so off we went to Farnham. From what I have seen and been told the Purple Walk has grown year on year with this year being the biggest and best yet! We arrived with plenty of time to spare and my first thought was just how lovely everyone was, it started as I stepped out of the car with Wayne saying Hi. It set the tone for the whole day. Noah was a little overwhelmed at first with all the faces and everyone saying hi but he soon warmed up and loved the attention. For me seeing some of those who I put in my 26 miles for was bringing a lump to my throat and I was ever so grateful of Noah running about to distract me before I made a complete fool of myself and started crying in public. I was also very excited to see Emily, we admin a support group together and I haven’t seen her since the Young Epilepsy Champion Awards in 2016, it was great that she got to meet Noah finally.
The event had been organised by Carol Hunt with the assistance of Hollie Lucas and sponsorship from Fidelity which meant that every penny raised went straight to the charity. The day started with Carol saying a welcome, then a speech from the Mayor & Mayoress of Waverley followed by a warm up lead by ME! I am not the best at public speaking or being centre of attention but it was good fun and I think I did ok! Then we were off on our walk. For anyone thinking of doing it is a beautiful scenic route and really takes your mind off the fact you are walking 6 miles! The atmosphere was amazing and it really was the perfect opportunity for people to get to know each other, this was all helped by a pit stop in a pub at about 3KM!
At today’s event were three regional fundraising groups, YES (Young Epilepsy Staffordshire) run by Vic Byatt, YEH (Young Epilepsy Horsham) run by Rebecca Turnbull and YEP (Young Epilepsy Portsmouth) run by Wayne Cannings, it was so lovely to see these all come together, and see the work they do across the country. For me personally these guys along with Emily and YE supporters The Thurstons have been such a huge part of my life since Noah came along, or with my marathon effort; offering support and comfort, and to actually be able to hug these amazing people is a feeling I won’t ever be able to put into words. It really was like hugging an old friend, they were all brilliant with Noah, and all the kids played beautifully together. For me it is so important that Noah gets to be around people and realise that he isn’t the only one to live in the shadow of this condition, so to see him today with them was brilliant. The Byatt and Turnbull boys were all fab with him despite being quite a lot older they were high fiving Noah every time they came past and chatting away to him, they were a total credit to their families.
Another high of today was getting to spend time chatting with James Gaydon (Sports & Challenge Events Manager at YE) to me James IS Mr YE! His enthusiasm is infectious and he really goes above and beyond to make everybody see how valued their efforts are. I don’t think he realises just how highly thought of he is amongst the families and supporters of YE, before he even arrived today there were people asking after him and wanting to meet him. James really gets it right when it comes to being involved with the supporters and that shone through today in the affection shown for him. We have a frank and honest relationship and I always say I’ll tell him if I think he is going wrong somewhere, well today Mr Gaydon let me tell you; you get it very right! So on behalf of the supporters who you work tirelessly for Thank you! It was also lovely to meet your family today and see the person behind the job.
So once we made it back from our 10K walk you’d be forgiven for thinking that was where the fun ended but it didn’t, we were handed our medals and there was a real chilled out garden party atmosphere, it was like spending a Sunday afternoon with your favourite people, the children had lots of space to run about, a bouncy castle and soft play toys and were perfectly safe, families laid out the most beautiful picnics and the café was serving yummy cakes and drinks… The only thing missing in what turned into a beautiful day was a BBQ (nudge nudge for next year!)
I spoke to Carol after the event to get her thoughts and she said “I was thrilled at the way participants embraced the event, not only to support Young Epilepsy but to support each other. Fundraising efforts were outstanding this year which will help us continue providing much needed services to the 112,000 children and young people living with epilepsy across the UK. I’d also like to thank Waverley Abbey House, the Mayor & Mayoress of Waverley, Farnham Rotary and all our volunteer helpers today, it would not be possible without you”
Then it was time for the raffle, and I took my own little superstar up to draw it…low and behold he pulled out Daddys ticket! Not a fix I swear! I always said our boy was lucky :) He has had a fabulous day running about and has his first bit of bling so a very proud Mummy and Daddy! Our fun continued at home when I managed to bath Noah for the first time EVER without a bath seat! A huge milestone in my journey as a Mummy with Epilepsy! Chris sat outside the bathroom the whole time but I was so inspired by the little (and not so little) superstars that I met today.
The best part of today is that it didn’t feel like a charity fundraiser, it was a day spent with dear friends and family, and that is what is at the core of Young Epilepsy, these guys are our family, my precious purple family and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Same time next year?
My names Faye, mostly known for being a tea addict and keen runner. I'm 31, married and I had my 1st child in June 2015, oh and I also happen to have epilepsy. This is my story of Pregnancy, Motherhood & Epilepsy.