A couple of weeks ago, a random Thursday evening saw Baby Bear, Mum and I travelling over to a local Football club for a Charity Fashion show.
Strange place for a fashion show, you might say? Well, yes. It might not be the first place you might think of, but this was a fashion night with a difference.
One of my friends, Sam and her lovely husband Alex have 7 month old twin boys. Eldon and Reid. And they are seriously cute.
When the boys were born, it soon became apparent that Reid wasn’t thriving as well as his brother was. Sam and Alex instinctively knew something wasn’t right, but no-one listened to their concerns. It took several weeks before they managed to force a health visitor to take notice, and thankfully they were told to get to the doctor. Within a few hours, they were in Birmingham Children’s Hospital awaiting an operation.
Reid was diagnosed with quite a rare condition, that people just don’t really know about – Biliary Atresia, a rare form of liver disease. This affects approximately 1 in every 16,000 babies born every year.
No-one has worked out what causes this condition, and there is no known cure.
Reid has now spent a lot of his life in and out of hospitals. This included a 6 hour operation at 9 weeks old! This involved performing a Kasai procedure, where Reid’s gall bladder was removed, and his digestive system restructured. The best chance of this being successful it to perform it before 6 weeks old, but because no-one would listen to their worries, this necessary operation was delayed.
Thankfully, so far it has proved to be quite successful, but Reid has been left with some associated issues, due to parts of the liver being scarred.
Due to the progression of this illness, Reid will require a Liver transplant in the next couple of years of his life.
Obviously this illness has taken it’s toll not only on Reid, but also his twin brother who he is frequently away from, and also their lovely parents.
The support that they have been given by their hospital team has been amazing, and although it is a long road for Reid, things can be helped by raising funds to help find out more about this condition, and help other children with it.
This is why we had come to the fashion show, to support them all, raise a bit of cash, Oh and look at loads of lovely clothing that we could buy on the night!
The show was put on by an organisation called SOS Charity Fashion Shows. These lovely ladies run the show, bringing high Street brand clothing at reduced prices. All in the name of the charity you wish to raise funds for.
Add in a bar, and lots of cakes for sale and it was an ideal night out for the ladies.
On arrival I was asked if I wanted to model for the show. I knew a few of the other ladies that were doing in, including my bestie Fi, But I was probably the biggest one there, so ideal for the range of plus size clothing they had on offer.
It was a bit of a rushed affair for me. I hadn’t been aware of this prior to arrival, so I didn’t have shoes that really matched the clothes I would be wearing, and my hair wasn’t done. But compared to all that Reid has been going through, that was nothing.
I duly grabbed the clothing they wanted me to wear, and we all went out to the packed room of ladies waiting to see what treats we had on offer.
I was lucky that there was a great pair of jeans, which I managed to match up with several tops, including a fabulous Mango coloured blazer and strappy vest top.
The final outfit I wore for the night was a beautiful blue lace dress. It would have looked better with the right underwear but them’s the breaks!
After everyone had made their final “walk” people were free to purchase the clothing that was available, purchase cakes and have a natter and a drink.
A huge raffle had been organised, with great prizes, and I was lucky enough to win a great Marks and Spencers body care set. Mum did even better with a £25 voucher off the clothing range that was available on the night.
The whole evening was an amazing success, and managed to raise over £800!
But that isn’t the end of it. Sam and her family and friends are determined to keep raising more and so on 30th April Sam and another friend, Steve will be throwing themselves out of a plane. Now, that would be a nightmare for me, and many others I imagine.
However, it’s nothing compared to the bravery that Reid has to show every day, especially when going through his treatments and hospitalisation.
They really are an amazing family, turning a horrible situation into a positive with spreading the word about this condition, and also raising funds for the ongoing support of families suffering with these issues.
They have got over £800 in sponsorship for the skydive so far, they would love to get even more.
I know times are hard, and we all have our favourite charities that we support, but if you can spare a bit of change, or even share this post to try and get a bit more support and funding, it would be pretty amazing of you!
The link to donate anything you can spare is – Sky Dive
Thank you from Sam, Alex, Eldon, Reid and of course me!
Till next time