Alison Daniels' Fundraising Story
12 March 2018
"Hi, my name is Alison Daniels and I lost my cousin to SMA when she was 7.
Katie was my first cousin. In my family I am the oldest grandchild on both sides and for a long while, my sister and I were the only children so I remember my excitement when I was told I was getting a cousin AND it was going to be a girl! I have no memory of being told she had SMA, but I do remember my mum and aunty talking about how Katie stretching to the edge of her highchair table was something that wouldn’t last – I must have only been 7.
As far as I was concerned she was still a brilliant cousin - she had fun wheelchairs to play in, had a brilliant Sylvanian families collection and loads of funky pillows in weird shapes that you could build dens out of. She loved pink, I remember that, much to my uncle’s annoyance; her funeral was entirely pink and she had Minnie Mouse things EVERYWHERE. She loved to laugh and for things to be colourful and bright.
She died 10 years ago this October. It does not feel like that long ago that I stood in the living room, in shock, after my mum had got off the phone; I can remember it like it was yesterday. I remember thinking 'science should have been able to do something, there are lots of amazing cures out there, why didn't someone know something!?'. Of course I was 14 at the time and still thought that when I was an adult I would know the answers. I cannot directly pinpoint the moment I decided I wanted to pursue a career in science, but her death was ultimately the deciding factor.
So this year I am going to be giving something back, all in her memory and hopefully through things she would find funny or enjoyable.
Challenge 1: Give up sweet things for lent. No chocolate, no cake, no biscuits, no ice-cream, no milkshakes, no sweets. Fruit is allowed. I 100% think this is going to be the hardest of the two and I will definitely need to see donations coming in to prove that it is worth it. My work has a massive cake culture (especially on a Friday), and I have already found the hungover cravings for milkshake particularly brutal!
Challenge 2: Colour Obstacle Run. It is only 5K, but it has 20 obstacles and foam pits and I will probably collapse at the end, but Katie would have loved the colour and the fun of it all and I know if she could have she would have run one too. I am no runner and I have no upper body strength, so don't laugh, but this is going to be hard. I have spend the last 4 weeks in constant leg ache – me and treadmills DO NOT mix well.
I have already smashed my £300 target, so I changed it to £600 and would really love to smash this one as well! So please, please dig deep into your pockets and find me even 50p! Every little helps. I know a lot of charities are clamouring for your money at the moment, but by donating to these guys you directly help a family like mine. Please help me all you can; it’s a wonderful charity and they have helped my family enormously."
If you would like to help Alison reach her £600 target, you can donate through the following link:
Alison Daniels' Fundraising Page