Lynn and I were lucky enough to attend the DS Scotland Fundraising Ball in Glasgow last Saturday night. I hadn’t really thought too much about what the night would entail, other than indulging in too many drinks along with some great chat at a table full of my friends.
In the end, my friends chat was probably average at best, but the headache the next day suggests the first thought was probably true.
What I hadn’t banked on was how emotional the evening would be, from listening to other parents talk on stage about their challenges to the CEO’s speech describing her pride in the team at DS Scotland.
It made me reflect on why I support Down’s Syndrome Scotland. Granted, my daughter has Down’s Syndrome (and we live in Scotland), but I haven’t really had to rely on them for support.
One parent gave a fantastic speech and described her journey. She talked of her daughters recent diagnosis of autism on top of Down’s, all at the same time as the usual girl-starts-high-school stresses were in full flow. It struck me how steep the road is in front of us as a family. I marvelled at how she talked with such strength and there was an almost matter-of-fact way that she faced into so many complex issues. It was a glimpse into a future that I’m nowhere near ready for.
I understand that Eilidh has challenges, but I’ve come to terms with them gradually and we’ve all grown as a family together. What I struggle to do is look forward 5, 10 or 20 years. I don’t want Eilidh to face the struggles or prejudices that I know she is will. Lynn and I won’t be able to do it on our own. We have a strong circle of friends, but even then, there will come a time where we need other help.
And this is why the charity is so important to me. I might not be directly using their services today, but they are always there providing tailored support to other families, creating social opportunities, influencing government policy and generally raising awareness and acceptance. They are relentless in their quest to help people realise their potential but they rely almost entirely on donations and fund raising in order to do so.
So if you can, please donate on my Just Giving page (see the link below). Every pound you donate gets you an entry in Eilidh’s raffle. The generosity in gift donations that I have received have been overwhelming and I really hope I can justify this by raising a large amount for the charity. Not only do you have a chance of winning an awesome prize, but you can feel good in supporting the team at DS Scotland.
Thanks for helping.
10th March 2017