Tuesday, October 23, 2007
(I am aware I look naked in this photo - I promise you I was fully clothed)
Saturday night saw the glamorous do that was the Simone Cowland Trust ball, held at the Dorchester Hotel in London to raise money for Foulis ward, the ward which I have spent months (actually years if you add it all up) living on.
Emma and I were to host; a privilege which I don’t think either of us could quite believe even once we got there to rehearse! A and I arrived at 2.30 to find people rushing around setting up; a very efficient team with just so much to do. We headed up to our room to find a bed that could have quite comfortably slept 8 people with each person having room to roll over without thwacking their neighbour. The hotel itself is just beautiful; so much attention to detail, and everywhere you turn there is a member of staff there ready and willing to assist you.
After running through our lines we went down for a sound check, (cue me desperately refraining from breaking into song in the mic) and then just as we were finishing the run through we were informed that our stylists had arrived. Both of our bedrooms were turned into our own make up and hair studios and our two lovely stylists set to work making us look presentable and fit for the stage.
With minutes to go we swept downstairs to the champagne reception, where I found several members of the Foulis ward team who had cared for me for so long. It must have been weird for them, they have seen me so very ill, on the brink of death, and now I was bouncing around from person to person able to talk in full sentences and they were back to not being able to get a word in edgeways.
The evening itself was amazing. The odd hairy moment (my favourite classic being me hopping up on the stage too early and left standing grinning like a loner waiting for Emma to join me) but all in all it went very smoothly. The crowd were in an excellent mood, despite the loss of the rugby, and the auction raised a phenomenal amount! A sumptuous four course feast (that’s what they say in OK magazine isn’t it?) was served during which a very moving video was shown explaining just what life is like on Foulis. Finally the announcement was made as to how much had been raised; the aim was £50 000 and by the end of the evening £107 000 had already been raised! The hard work over, we then we all got to dance the night away in celebration of our achievements. I collapsed in bed about midnight after a truly wonderful evening; it didn’t seem like work at all, more like a treat, and to think we help raised all that money for people on Foulis…hopefully it will pay for a complimentary therapist; when I was in for months with my chest drain my mum used to come with creams to massage my feet and legs and it really helped not only my physical state, but my mental wellbeing as well. As I said in my quote in the programme, whilst the Doctors’ work hard to improve the quantity of life the Simone Cowland Trust insures quality of life for inpatients is as high as possible. And you cannot put a price on that.
For more information or to find out how you can donate go to www.simonecowlandtrust.com