Category Archives: Success Stories

Macmillan Cancer

Macmillan Cancer Support, to give the full name.  I wonder if that’s why so many people support this worthwhile charity because it has SUPPORT in its name.  I would imagine that it’s one thing to have Cancer but it’s the support you and your loved ones need that is of paramount importance.

I have been ‘touched’ by Cancer many times in my life.  This year I have lost five friends to the disease; three of whom have been younger than I am.  Before you ask, it is not because I am older, it is, for me, that Cancer does not judge, it attacks.

I have also known people who have had it, beaten it, only for it to return but have beaten it again.  Although I’m not sure if ‘beaten’ is really the most appropriate word.  They are still alive today to tell their story.

Macmillan Cancer

I’ve been privileged to be involved in many fund raising events for Breast Cancer Awareness; Cancer Research; Macmillan Cancer Support and many more.

Only last week I was humbled to be at a golf event which was part of a fund raiser which accumulated over £20,000.  It is incredible what individuals do to support the charity which has most relevance to them.  It gives them strength and a purpose.

May they long continue to do so.

Keep it Simple

Keep it simple they say.

Now I know what they mean when they say ‘Keep it simple’.  I had the enormous pleasure of meeting an inspirational young girl recently.  At the age of 9 she saw that her mother was struggling at work – that was an understatement – and that she needed to find something else as her work was affecting her health.  So, Teagan came up with a business idea; put a plan together; showed it to her mother and told her to give in her notice.  I know I am massively understating what really happened but, in reality, what Teagan showed me in the short time I had with her was this:-

  • She saw a problem
  • She decided it had to change
  • She developed a solution
  • She put it into practice
  • It worked

How many of us wish we could do the same?  How many of us would have complicated it? How many of us would not have had the courage to even start?

For those of you reading this you may say ‘Oh it’s okay for her but she doesn’t have the overheads I have like a mortgage’.  You’re she didn’t but her mother did and does.

Both are now very happy developing their business together.  I call that a result.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure seems to affect people as they grow older – or so a nurse told me recently.  In my time in Corporate life I saw lots of people having high blood pressure, often demonstrated with a very red face.

shouting

I talk with people who are looking to lose weight.  They are concerned about developing Diabetes and high blood pressure.  They understand that carrying that extra weight brings other complications along the way – not just having to buy bigger clothes.

At the beginning of last year I was far too heavy for my height. If I’d been able to grow a little I’d have been fine.  The scales couldn’t be blamed any longer.  I made a decision to lose weight.  But how much?  Too much in one go and I knew I would fall at the first hurdle.  The little voice in my head telling me I couldn’t do it before I started!  Then there was the fear of losing it and putting it back on again, and some.

Decision time.

  • I decided how much I wanted to lose
  • I divided it into chunks for the year
  • I committed to a 9 day cleanse
  • I didn’t beat myself up if I strayed for a day
  • I took a photo of myself at the beginning and at intervals along the way
  • I kept my old wardrobe
  • I committed to a nutritional programme
  • I didn’t deny myself

Where am I just over a year later?  I didn’t lose the three stone I set myself.  I’ve since found if I did that then I would be underweight.  I have lost nearly two stone.  My clothes are a lot looser; some I’m going to have to give away or keep as a reminder of what I used to wear.  I don’t feel so tired; after all there’s not so much of me to carry around.  I’m getting lots of lovely compliments.  I almost feel as though there are too many positives I can’t write them all down.

The BEST thing though is that I know I have new eating habits which means I’m not denying myself anything.  This all makes for a happier, stress free and – oh nearly forgot to say.  My blood pressure was measured the other day 124/82 – near perfect.

George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw is renowned for his many quotes.  This is one that appeals to me because ……

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

….. well, because, it smacks of possibilities and I can change who I am today, if I so wish.  I hear many people saying that they cannot change the way they are – shape; size; personality.  I agree there are some things that cannot be changed.  I cannot change how tall I am, for instance.  BUT, I can change my outlook on life; I can change whether I have a “can do” or “can’t do” approach.

Let me explain why I think I can affect the end result.  Those of you who see me regularly know I love playing sport.  More recently – golf.  Last Saturday I was playing in a match and I was losing by one hole when we approached the 17th.  We both drove off.  My playing opponent walked in front of me and I took this opportunity to give myself a good talking to. I told myself all I needed to do was win this next hole and then the next and I would win the match.  I emphasized that it could be done and I could do it.

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So, guess what – that’s exactly what happened.  Was it easy – NO.  There were times when I thought I’d messed up but I focused on the next shot and I muttered to myself – “You can do this”.

Interesting to find out afterwards that my opponent was thinking the opposite to me.

So, for me, George Bernard Shaw was right when he said:-

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Child Poverty in Cambodia

Child poverty in Cambodia is not very different to other underdeveloped countries.  However, I wanted to let you have a feel for what a friend of mine is doing in Cambodia. So I have used this week to take a section from her newsletter to show you what she is looking to achieve in helping these children.  Some of us talk about doing and some of us do.

More good news! Remember the brick factory boy? He earns 6000 reils per shift which is about 80p a day. I am happy to say my first Community School at Snaay L’or is taking shape and will be opening in his village for 2 hours a day, 6 days a week.

He and his friends at the factory are going to be offered priority places and I’m hoping this will mean he can get a safer, cleaner job in the future. Many of the children lose their hands or whole arms or are killed due to the extreme danger of the machines and the hot and heavy work. Small children are expected to carry stacks of 12 bricks at a time.

So what are the costs? Set up costs for a school for 20 children in two classes of Beginners and Intermediate is $980 to Include:

White board, marker pens etc, Text books, note books and stationery, Power supply – inc a meter so the power cost is accurate, Matting (they sit on the ground), Second hand lap top, Supervision and basic training for the teacher, Travel to the community, Signage for School and for Sponsors, Tee shirts for the kids – after they have completed 6 months, Assessing the most needy children and awarding places, Launching the school – small gifts and photos for the children and parents

Annual running costs are $1500 to include wages, power, reporting, stationery, books, art supplies, Director expenses such as petrol to and from the project.

It’s important that the full years expenses are raised before the set up of the school so we know it’ll be supported. Better still if both lots of money are raised (for the set up and running costs) by a single group… then 8 months after the launch of the school. The group who have set up the school can decide on an annual donation from each person or another agreed fund raiser for the following year to ensure the next year is covered. The worst thing that could happen is the children are let down due to lack of funding.

Besides having the group’s name on the school, you will be sent news and photos when possible. And if you ever want to visit Cambodia, the children would be thrilled to meet you and you will be made very welcome!

She has a Facebook page which you could ‘Like’ to help spread her word.  Just click on the highlighted area or go to

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stella-in-Cambodia/995208817162205?fref=ts

Thanks in advance