I have some strange and wonderful friends. I just want to get that out there before I go any further. I know some weird and wonderful people, all of whom will drop round to my house and sit at my table. They usually bring vodka, so I allow them to stay for a while. Some end up moving in. Most go home. They all add something to my life that I would be lost without.
One of these friends is a stray brought home by The Hubs. They used to work together, and one night he said, in passing, as you do, “I’ll be bringing a friend round for dinner Wednesday.”
So I nodded, prepared a meal. Waited, and waited, and the bloody friend never turned up. It took another ten months before I finally met this friend of The Hubs. By this point, I thought he had gone a bit mental and had an imaginary friend. But he was real, and David entered my life.
Now, David is crazy. He’s been known to dress up as Widow Twanky. He’s done pantomime, radio, plays sport (gasp) and makes up completely mad scripts to songs he hears. He can hold his liquor too. I like that in a friend. But above all that, he works tirelessly for good causes. He’s one of those genuine people you want to be able to hate, because no one can be that nice, surely.
He’s also a double amputee (through the knee on both legs), and a full time wheelchair user. He has prosthetic legs, but he’s been known to break them or take them off and wave them at people. One night, round my house, he scared my daughter’s ex-boyfriend by twisting a leg behind his head. He’s that sort of person.
So when he said he was going to do a 24 hour push, in his wheelchair, I thought, “Okay. Sounds like something insane enough for you to do, David…”
Willow is a 6 year old girl. She has a myriad of issues with her health, and broad learning difficulties. She was starved of oxygen during a complicated birth, and suffered a bilateral brain haemorrhage the day she was born. Willow’s mother, who was kind and patient enough to chat to me about her, thought she was going to lose her baby. She was terrified. She prepared herself for the worst. Yet Willow didn’t die. She lived. She has had nine brain surgeries, has Cerebral Palsy, suffers from Hydrocephalus (Fluid on the brain) and has shunts to drain the fluid.
She is also registered as blind.
David’s 24 hour self-propelled push aims to raise £10,000 for Willow. To get her the sensory equipment that would make her quality of life so much better. She’s had some stem-cell treatment, which has yielded some hopeful results, and now it’s time to build up her eye muscles, and just help Willow have a better quality of living. There may be more treatments in the future as well, but the hospitals are abroad, if her parents choose to take that route again. Travel time, time off work, accommodation…it all adds up. It all takes more money than they have.
So, please, share this around. Because a legless maniac wants to wear out his arms and push himself for 24 straight hours to raise these funds. Do it so Willow can get the sensory equipment she so needs, and deserves. Do it, because you’re all amazing, and you can share things better than anyone I know.
So for Willow, please spread the word about a very odd man, and his masochistic tendencies. Sponsor him if you can. Ask others to, if you can’t. Thank you!