Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Dear 'Shared Experiences' supporter,

I wish I knew where the last few months have gone because so much has happened. I'm delighted to tell you that 'Shared Experiences' was officially launched in Dublin at the Reach AGM, at the end of October 2009.

We sold over a hundred copies on the day which was great because most were bought by parents of children with upper limb deficiencies, including many of the contributors, so I was able to catch up with lots of people and make new friends.

Sales have continued to come in directly to Reach www.reach.org.uk and it's also available via www.amazon.co.uk SO PLEASE BUY A COPY! An please buy a copy for any midwife, teach, doctor, occupational therapist you know!

Just before Christmas sales hit £4460 and that all goes to Reach. Sales are going well and particularly outside of the UK because facebook has helped me promote the contents of the book to groups all over the world and I'm in touch with many parents.

I received quite a number of emails from mums and dads - some sharing their stories but many asking for advice or simple help. For example one mum asked if I could explain how I tie my shoe-laces. That proved impossible to write down so my husband made a video of me demonstrating how to I wrap the lace around my stump etc.! I have posted that on facebook and it's available to genuine enquirers.

You might be wondering 'who is a genuine enquirer'? Well it's a person who has a genuine personal or human interest in limb deficiency. Unfortunately there are a group of people on the internet who have an unhealthy interest in limb deficiency and target people with limb deficiencies to satisfy sexual preferences they have for people with stumps. I could go on and I was very tempted to write an article about what they do and how they do it, but several friends suggested that in explaining their actions that I wold be in some way normalizing it! So for the moment I'm sitting on the fence with it all until I decide how best to deal with all the info I have.

Luckily I'm in contact with another charity who have also been targeted and we're sharing info on these people so as to warn other unsuspecting limb deficient people.

Back to 'Shared Experiences' .......well I feel very honoured to have been given an an award sponsored by C.H.I.L.D ( http://www.childorg.net.au/ ) an Australian charity which supports children with limb deficiencies. The award is for the person who has done the most to raise awareness about limb deficiency in the community. I also feel humbled because many of those who voted for me did so because they have read 'Shared Experiences' and it was useful to them.

So the best way of saying thank you to those who have supported me is to keep on raising awareness about the issues surrounding childhood deficiencies whether they be everyday concerns over 'how will my child tie their laces' or 'should my child have a toe to hand transfer'

Thank you for reading my blog. I won't leave the next update so long. All the best to you all in 2010.


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