Yesterday… what a flipping incredible day!
After breakfast in our Premier Inn, we went for a walk along London Bridge, to clear our heads for the day ahead. We saw the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and more! I was eager to start getting ready, obviously with about 3 hours left until we were allowed in to the Ms Awards, but nevertheless we went back to the Hotel. It was in fact a good job we did, as it was a HUGE battle to apply a whole can of Hairspray and put in an entire packet of bobby pins into my hair, that we just managed to arrive in perfect time!
Walking into County Hall we were welcomed by Ms Society staff, ready to show us where to go! County Hall is a beautiful building inside and out, it was a real pleasure to be able to see it. At this point, I was buzzing with excitement, walking down the long corridors and beginning to hear the hum of people talking. We instantly saw faces we recognised, Stu and Marie Nixon, Andy Jarrett, Janis Winehouse and Richard, Stephanie Millward MBE and Adrian, so many people we already had the honour of meeting! We began to mingle, meeting new individuals, all there with a connection to MS, and I once again felt the fuzzy feeling of the MS Family! We were sat on Table 18, with Felix and Hugo White from the Maccabees! It was an utter pleasure to be able to talk to these guys, as well as Andy, Anne, Zoe and her family!
After an introduction by the CEO of the MS Society, the inspiration of the year was announced, who is the incredible Kadeena Cox! I met her later that day, and she was such an amazing woman! Dinner was served next, and I don’t quite think I’ve ever seen a Dessert that has literally fallen from heaven – A chocolate mouse, in a Chocolate sphere, with Hot caramel sauce, raspberries and honeycomb, plus some very conspicuous flowers, that we were unsure if we were meant to eat or not! When they poured this caramel sauce over the top of the sphere, it melted in on itself, aha it was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!
Then on to the awards! Well, what can I say… it might just have been one of the best days of my life! Hearing all the stories, the inspirational lengths individuals have gone to, either to defy their MS or to aid MS Sufferers! With each award, it was getting closer and closer, and the nerves were slowly building up! When the Digital Media Category was announced, wow… that feeling in the pit of my stomach was something else. Kadeena Cox, mentioned previously as the inspiration of the year, presented the award, she talked about each finalist, as they’d done throughout the afternoon. Then those words came… “and the winner is…”
Mum squealed, Nan cried, everyone clapped, and in between everything was me, walking onto stage to recieve my award, the Digital Media of the Year award… I was absolutely and undeniably overwhelmed! My blog has only ever been aimed to give aid for others, to spread awareness, and to recieve recognition of that is something I cannot quite put into words – it means more than you can imagine! I then had to speak… something I am comfortable with now, but what could I say? How on earth could I put this into words? I’d thought of a few ideas of things I could say, if I were to be lucky enough. At this point I looked over to Table 15, the Kleenex Table I believe! There was Marie Nixon in floods of tears, and I thought back to when Stuart asked me “what was the turning point for you?” I’d never been able to conceive an answer, until a day or so before. I had a Stuart Nixon 3am moment, and I knew it was letting go. Letting go of the anger and the pain I held towards Ms. I had always thought of MS as a bad thing, something that stripped us of our ‘normality’, letting go of the belief that I was tied down, and shackled by my role. I am free and I want every single young carer to experience the same feeling I have.
I was then whisked away for photos and an interview, and then back into the ceremony to watch the other awards!
After being awarded the Digital Media, I was certain that there was a 99.9% that I wasn’t going to be awarded the Young Carer. I was so honoured and privileged to be recognised even as a finalist, as Olivia and Thomas, the other nominees were as, if not more deserving than myself… my goodness I would give an award to every single Carer on the planet if I could. The Young Carer of the year, followed the Young Fundraiser of Year, which our Table 18’s Zoe won (She’s a true inspiration, and I’m looking forward to hopefully doing some follow-up work with her) and was the last category of the day!
Jessica Fox, a Hollyoaks Actress, who’s Character has recently been diagnosed with MS, presented the award, she was lovely, and by then we were all well-versed with the “pause for applause”. I got the nervous feeling again, and Jessica said “the winner this evening has been up once already this evening!” That was it, Mum was sobbing, Nanny was sobbing, I was in total shock. In my speech this time, I wanted to make it clear that this award was not for me, but for the entire young carer community. I wanted Olivia and Thomas to understand that the world is their oyster, and they can go as far if not farther than they can imagine. I really am so blessed, thankful and motivated by the recognition. Not for the “spotlight” as it couldn’t be further from the truth, but for the good this does to promote the cause. The real reason we were all there!
Multiple Sclerosis is a debilitating and life-changing illness, from which the community do not fall, but from which we choose to rise. Hundreds of individuals dedicate their lives to the cause, yet the illness still fails to control them. We are a community who thrive on being united, being a family, and making good – and for that I am entirely proud to lead the life I do.
Too many times I get approached with “I bet you’d change it if you could”, and yes, Multiple Sclerosis is a horrible illness, that effects everyone, not just the sufferer; I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but without this illness, I wouldn’t have received the indescribable opportunities I have! It is at the end of the day, a part of Mum and a part of our family.
We followed the evening with a trip to the Shard, for a drink on the 32nd floor. The views were beautiful – I’m running out of adjectives to describe this day!! – seeing London from above, all the lights and once it was dark, my goodness it was breathtaking! The perfect end to an perfect day! I only wish I could have taken every single person that is a part in my life, although we’d need a football pitch for them all! They will no doubt be joining us in the celebrations in the following days! It was a time of memory making – memories that I will NEVER forget!!
Thank you! Thank you! Thankkkk yooouuuuu!!!
“All that I do is to make you proud” -proud, JLS.
All my love,
The odd pigeon xx