The Grand Total!
If you follow CP Teens UK on Facebook and Twitter, you will know how much was raised from The Sponsored Wobble! The grand total raised is (apologies for the big font, but I'm in sheer amazement and shock!)...
I am honestly speechless - I had to do it on the calculator about 20 times just to double check ... my initial reaction was 'oh for goodness sake, shaky hands stop making the calculator come out with such a ridiculous figure!'. Once again, I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who was involved with The Sponsored Wobble, whether you donated, sponsored, walked, wobbled, wheeled etc.!
As I said on the Facebook page, the money raised will enable CP Teens UK to help young people all over the UK with Cerebral Palsy & similar disabilities (by similar disabilities, I mean for example, say a young person in their teens or 20's, who have suffered a stroke or have even not worn a helmet and come off their bike ... they acquire a brain injury that has essentially the exact same affects of Cerebral Palsy, however, it's not classed as Cerebral Palsy for some bizarre reason as it wasn't acquired in childhood). I have a friend in his 30's, who was in the army, and was unlucky enough to be shot right through his brain (I think the bullet is still in his brain - I hope nobody is eating their dinner whilst reading this!), and in his words, it's left him with Cerebral Palsy ... but because he was in his 20's when it happened, it won't be titled as 'Cerebral Palsy'. I met him through Athletics, and in sport he is even classed as a 'CP Athlete' and has an Cerebral Palsy classification.
He's such an interesting and rather remarkable person to talk to! One thing that always gets me is how he says, 'I really don't know how you've 'put up' with CP your entire life!'. I suppose this goes back to one of my blog posts a few months ago; I consider myself lucky to have had Cerebral Palsy from virtually day 1, I don't know anything different, and to be honest, I'm not bothered! However, I can't even imagine how it is for an able-bodied person in their teens/twenties (or any age for that matter!), to go from a fully 'working' body, to one with Cerebral Palsy/a disability over night. I've just grown and my disability has grown with me, allowing me to adapt and make things work every step of the way, and I consider that to be one of the biggest advantages ever.
I need to discuss with the CP Teens UK Ambassadors exactly how we should start to use the money, but as ever, there will be a 'press release' before any spending is done so you can also have your say!
Yesterday, my BBC Radio Sheffield interview was actually aired, which was so blooming surreal! You can listen here, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p028933m, but it will be taken off on Wednesday (29th October 2014). Skip to 1:04, 1:10, 1:46 and 2:52 to listen - for some reason they spread it out over the course of the show! I think it's at 1:46 where they do the phone in ... I have never been so embarrassed! I think one caller said 'oh, she's such a beautiful girl!' ... really?! Have you seen my face?! Only a face for a radio ... literally! It was lovely to hear such nice comments, but I'm only 1 person out of 17 million people worldwide who have Cerebral Palsy, the comments were as if I was the only person ever to live with Cerebral Palsy!
One caller said 'my morning has been made so much brighter', which I had to laugh at as I was listening in my bed, under my duvet, door shut, blackout blind down, no lights on and it was throwing it down outside ... I was like, 'well, my morning most definitely hasn't been made brighter!'. I just don't really understand what people were raving on about!
My University have given the go ahead to the BBC coming in to film me (read previous blog post), which I don't know is a good thing or a bad thing! But, as I said with BBC Radio Sheffield, I want to do it for CP Teens UK and all of you. Yet again, I will make a fool of myself, but, it's spreading awareness and it's all in the name of CP Teens UK! Like I said in my radio interview, so many people don't 'get' Cerebral Palsy (not that there's much to 'get'!). People automatically think I'm 'thick', the whole 'does she take sugar?' syndrome. It's quite eye opening when I go shopping in my wheelchair (because why walk around the shops when you can be pushed?!), the amount of people who talk to me through whoever is pushing me is ridiculous ... 'hello, my name is Ellie, and by the way, I have GCSE's, A Levels, I'm doing a degree at University, oh and I also run a national organisation and charity, but yeah, you talk to me through my Mum, Dad, Sister, Friend etc.'! Tweet your 'does he/she take sugar?' experiences to @CPTeensUK
And, just on a funny note, every time we go to Meadowhall, my friends always quickly remember as I roll away that Meadowhall is actually on a slope! No lie, my friend once said 'where the hell has Ellie gone, the wheelchair was here in front of me?!' ... I had rolled into an artificial bush in Meadowhall - I was texting so just thought I was moving because she was pushing me, so funny!
Believe it or not BBC Look North have really helped with University! Today, my lecturer explained to everyone what was going to happen and why it was going to happen. As sports students, their challenge, and my challenge, was to make sure I was fully involved with every activity and adaptations were made where needed. It actually worked really well, and I think everyone grasped the fact that my arms/hands never go where I want them to go! Often, the fact that my walking isn't great comes to people straight away, but the arms/hands thing often takes ages for some reason! My lecturer then said a bit more about Cerebral Palsy at the end (I was impressed by his knowledge!) and I felt that everyone was beginning to have a clear understanding. I told my Mum when I got home and she was like 'oh my gosh, that man is so intelligent!' ... Never in my years at school has the teacher got up and openly explained about me. Obviously, we are no longer children at University so I don't know if the same thought process applied, but children were basically in my classes thinking 'I don't get it, because I don't get it, I'm scared. As I'm scared, I'll just ignore Ellie'! And, as for the ones who did 'get' it, but decided to disappear off the face of the earth throughout and after Sixth Form and exclude me from everything under the sun because I wasn't fitting in with your 'image', cheers for giving me the inspiration to set up CP Teens UK! Haha!
I suppose the 'I don't get it' scenario within schools relates back to my blog post a while ago about making disability awareness compulsary within the National Curriculum. I am currently working on this with one of the CP Teens UK Ambassadors ... he has fantastic connections and has already uttered something about a trip to Westminster, so watch this space!