It’s Blogtober day 7 and todays topic is goals! There is one goal in my life that I have set and class as one of the best decisions I have ever made. I would do it all again in heartbeat if I had to. It may seem small and insignificant to some, but for me it was everything. I basically set out to raise £2500 in 90 days. Why? To pay for Private Medical treatment for my Son, Finlay.
Finlay was born with severe Plagiocephaly and form of flat head syndrome. His head was a rhombus shape, his skull plates were all crossed which resulted in his facial features being pushed out of alignment. This is a brief overview, but you can read in more depth here and here.
For many months we were advised it would self correct with positioning techniques. We even paid £100’s of pounds for a cranial oesteopath. Although there was improvement, it was minimal. At 5 months old I contacted a Private medical centre. Initially just for advice as I got little from the NHS. I didn’t even know what his condition was called at this stage.
During the hour free consultation I learnt more than I had learned in 5 months. I now knew Finlay had Plagiocephaly. scan measurements advised it was still measuring at severe even after all our efforts. Corrective Helmet treatment was recommended. However it is not funded on the NHS due to his condition being classed as ‘Cosmetic’. He was almost 6 months and coming up to the end of the window of opportunity for the best results. The consultant did not pressurise, but treatment would cost £2500. However, We didn’t hesitate and paid £500 deposit to start treatment there and then. We had 90 days to pay the remainder. For a low income family with me on Maternity leave, it was a dauting task. I had never fundraised before.
I applied to a charity that help fund treatment and we were awarded £900. This was on the condition that you try your best to raise as much back for the charity as possible. I was determined or as Finlay says ‘ My Determtimned’ to raise it all and more! This is how my first blog was born. I wrote about Finlays condition to raise awareness. It has now evolved into Southern Mummy, but I have the main info in my header now. So how did I go about raising the funds?
I set up a Just Giving page and linked it to the charity that funded our treatment. I set this up straight away so that I always had somewhere I could direct people if they wanted to help.
Contacted all Friends and Family
If you were on my email list, you got an email, telling Finlay’s story. I also shared his journey through Twitter and Facebook. I had so many generous contributions. Even from friends I hadn’t seen in years!
The local Newspaper
I contacted the local newspaper and told them my story. They ran an article that linked back to my Just Giving page. We had some sponsership this way. The newspaperwase also really interested in Finlay’s journey and they followed my fundraising events over the coming months. This was great as it kept awareness up locally.
Set up a raffle
I basically spammed (in a nice way) all the baby brands big and small and told them of our plight. Enquiring if they were willing to donate products as prizes. This achieved over 200 donations. I was given a charity table at the local baby sale twice . I charged £1 a ticket with a 1/5 chance of wining.
Buckets on tills
Finlay’s Nanny works in a well known supermarket. The manager allowed her to print some t-shirts and have buckets at the end of the tills for anyone to drop change in.
Along with friends we walked from one end of Eastbourne to the other. It was advertised in the newspaper and we had supporters join us. Again this was linked to my Just giving page.
Within 90 day we had raised about £2750. £2500 through just giving and £250 in cash we put towards the £500 deposit we paid on the credit card. This was enough to pay the charity back and some extra to help fund more people in our situation. We were even recognised by our town for our fundraising efforts. We was awarded ‘Residents of the month’ of Eastbourne and won a dinner out. The treatment itself was amazing. In 2 weeks improvement was already visible and confirmed by scans. Finlay spent 101 days in treatment. He outgrew his helmet slightly early. However, his Plagiocephaly had reduced from 19mm to 7mm. Although not within the ‘Normal‘ range it was only just outside. His head was more round and his features no longer looked out of place. His risks associated with plagiocephaly had also greatly reduced.
So although £2500 may seem like a small goal to some, it wasn’t for me. It was the difference between being able to give a normal childhood to my little boy. Not one with possible complications and bullying. A small price to pay, but the biggest goal I have so far achieved!