Pamela recently took on the #6forthe600 Challenge and blew us away with her ingenuity and creativity. In this article, Pamela discusses why supporting research into epilepsy important to her and why she took on the challenge for her sister, Christine.
My wonderful sister, Christine, was full of fun and always smiling. Despite her disabilities, she was the most positive and uncomplaining person I ever met.
For many years, her epilepsy was well-controlled with drugs, and Christine was able to enjoy a life full of family, friends, outings and holidays. Together we enjoyed visits to the Wales Millennium Centre to see many musical shows. Christine took part in a music concert on the stage at St David’s Hall, and she regularly made us a delicious tuna pasta bake!
Christine’s life was improved for many years due to the outstanding research that had been carried out, and she would want other people to benefit in the future.
However, when Christine reached the age of 52, her seizures became more apparent, more frequent and more difficult to control, and despite efforts by clinicians to alter her drugs, Christine sadly passed away in March 2013.
Supporting ERUK means that, in some small way, I can help fund the vital research which will save the lives of many thousands of people. Christine’s life was improved for many years due to the outstanding research that had been carried out, and she would want other people to benefit in the future.
When I heard about ERUK’s ‘6 for the 600’ Challenge, it took me a while to decide what to do. I told my friends that cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End, climbing Everest or running 60K a day were not feasible options during lockdown (Whew!). However, being a middle-aged lady without any great ambition to prove my physical fitness (or otherwise!), I decided to go for challenges that would be a challenge to me.
In 6 days, I had 6:
- Start and complete a 600 piece jigsaw
- Learn to count from 1 to 6 in 6 different languages (not English or Welsh!)
- Skip, with a skipping rope, 60 times each day
- Learn to recite 6 poems off by heart
- Watch 6 musicals, made in the 60s, on DVD
- Learn how to make 6 balloon creatures!
After setting up the JustGiving page, I contacted 60 of my friends and acquaintances to tell them about it.
Although the challenges completely took over my week, they all proved to be good fun. The highlight was definitely learning to make the balloon creatures. Whilst twisting a green dog’s front legs into place on Day 1, my apprehension was evident (the squeaking was very loud!). However, by the time I reached Day 6, I was confidently making a long-eared yellow rabbit sitting on its back legs! Sending daily WhatsApp videos, recorded by my patient husband, to some of my friends, and videos of my skipping to others, proved a useful tool for keeping as many people as possible reminded about my challenges. I attempted and completed a 600-piece jigsaw because Christine loved doing jigsaws and was brilliant at them. Conversely, I don’t and I’m definitely not! However, I did finish it. Christine would have been proud.
I thought I would set a £300 target. At the time of writing, donations on the page are up to £920! How kind and generous everyone has been! Many of them knew Christine and how special she was.
Christine was, and continues to be, an inspiration. She would have been 60 this year.
And my next challenge? I think I’ll have a rest first!
– Pamela, July 2020