An appeal: Please help my cousin hear and speak

OliverBosch

Bucking the trend, this post isn’t about PR or work or my kids. It’s about raising money for my one-year-old cousin who’s facing a race against the clock to be able to speak and hear. His name is Oliver Bosch and he needs your help.

Oliver was diagnosed at 8 weeks old as being profoundly deaf. He’s since faced a battering of tests and, after a failed trial of hearing aids and an MRI of his head, he was found to have no auditory nerves at all. This means hearing aids or cochlear implants will do nothing for him. Without the ability to hear a single thing, he will be unable to speak. He is the only child in Scotland with this condition.

To make matters worse, Oliver was also found at this stage to have fused vertebrae in his spine causing scoliosis, missing ribs and no balance nerves. His face is not symmetrical and he has now been confirmed as suffering from Goldenhar Syndrome.

Oliver’s only hope now for his hearing (and therefore speech) is a revolutionary new treatment called an Auditory Brain Stem Implant (ABI). The founder of this procedure is based in Italy and has achieved a 96% success rate in the 89 children he has implanted so far. However, the operation will cost Oliver’s parents £60,000. They are appealing for help in raising this money – they’ve planned a number of fundraising activities in their hometown of Dundee, everything from Tesco bag-packing sessions, to shaking buckets at the local football matches. But they’re still a long way off their target so I want to share their story here in the hope of drumming up further donations to help Oliver hear.

With the other symptoms stemming from his Goldenhar Syndrome, this lad faces a difficult enough future – but nobody can deny that having the ability to communicate with his parents and older sister can only make life easier for Oliver and his family.

If you’d like to donate to the Oliver Bosch Appeal, you can do so safely and securely through JustGiving, thanks to United For All agreeing to assist with the fundraising.

Myself and my family will be doing all we can to help Oliver’s parents reach their £60,000 target. If you can donate, even just a small amount, it will go directly towards the cost of Oliver’s operation and I will keep you all updated through my blog about the developments in his life.

If you have any fundraising ideas you’d like to share with Oliver’s parents, please feel free to post them in the comments below or contact them via their Facebook page, where you can also keep up-to-date with the appeal.

Thank you.

Oliver Bosch 2

Back to school preparations

Back-To-School

With just a couple of weeks left of the school holidays (I’m half breathing a sigh of relief and half admitting that I’ll miss ‘em when they’re back in the classroom), aside from continuing to manage client projects around various playdates and park trips, I’m turning my attention to getting things ready for the new term.

It’s fair to say I’m a tiny bit geeky about being organised – I’m all about lists and highlighters and post-its; there’s no denying it – but, in fairness, with the kids, the work and now the studying (more on that in a sec), I can’t be anything but. Therefore, I’ve just ordered my 2012/2013 Family Life Book from Amazon. Usually I buy direct from Organised-Mum.co.uk, but as Amazon is part of the Give As You Live scheme, I thought I’d raise a little cash for I CAN while I shop! If you’re not familiar with this utter godsend of a product, do check it out: a week-to-view diary with columns for every member of the family, detachable to-do and shopping lists, planning pages for Christmas and holidays and, FAR more importantly, an abundance of cute, colourful stickers to flag up meetings, appointments, playdates, school discos, nights out and much more. Brilliant. I’m three years into this particular addiction now…

The eldest’s school uniform is bought and awaiting the thrilling task of labelling, the Clarks-run has been done with relatively little pain so we’re pretty much sorted. As for my own studies, I embarked on a BA Modern Languages degree with the Open University in February of this year and am nearing the end of my first two modules. I’m really enjoying studying but after realising I’m far better at learning Spanish for pleasure (rather than to tick assignment boxes) I’ve made some slight tweaks to my degree path: I’m now working towards a BA Humanities degree, specialising in English Language and Creative Writing and am continuing to study Spanish with a private tutor via Skype (technology saves the day again – no need to tidy up before a lesson!).

With my next module kicking off in October, I’m getting things organised on that front too and have ordered my set books online, again raising money for I CAN through Give As You Live by using Amazon (check out my post about the #mums4good campaign here). So all in all, I think I’m almost ready for the ‘new year’… though I’ve got a road-trip to Nickelodeon Land and a day at the Paralympic Athletics to get through first!

How are you gearing up for the new term?

#Shop4Good – raise money for charity while you shop

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You may recall I was working at BritMums Live! back in June, representing Bananagrams and finally coming face-to-face with many bloggers I’d worked with over the past few years. Whilst there, I was introduced to Give as you Live, an innovative and effortless way of raising money for charity.

Simply put, Give as you Live lets people raise money for their chosen UK charity whilst shopping at any of over 2,500 online retailers. This year, I’m backing I CAN, the children’s communication charity, so I’ve signed up (and downloaded a bit of software to my browser which does all the hard work) and now I’m raising money for them almost every time I shop online. Easily done when you consider the great list of retailers who’ve already signed up – my Cath Kidston addiction is well and truly fuelled, and now I can justify my pretty purchases as I’m giving something back without really even realising it!

It’s estimated that each Give as you Live user can raise on average £2.10 per month. £2.7million has already been raised for UK charities through Give as you Live and their overall goal is to hit £5million – their Mums For Good campaign hopes to attract 10,000 parents to the scheme, which could equate to over £250,000 per year for charity.

I’d like to help the Mums For Good campaign by encouraging you all to sign up with Give as you Live – if you want to also support I CAN, that would be great, but you can choose absolutely any UK charity you wish. Simply click the image below or follow this link for more information.

Proud supporter of Brit Mums for good!

I have been invited to become an Ambassador for Give as you Live, joining a number of other mums who blog on a mission to support the Mums for Good campaign to attract 10,000 parents to register with the site.

New client: Peach Pink London

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I’ve been hinting about gorgeous handbags on my blog and Twitter for weeks now, and not because I’m planning my letter to Santa. I’m fortunate enough to be working with a brand new British bag label, Peach Pink London, which has this week unveiled its very first collection to the UK media.

It may seem a little premature to be thinking about Spring/Summer 2013 when we haven’t really been that lucky with the sunshine yet this year, but as the longleads are starting work on their Nov/Dec issues imminently, we thought it pertinent to get their press packs in the post and their samples into production sooner rather than later! I’ve also been busy approaching an array of UK celebrities who have instantly fallen in love with the bags and have already placed their orders – for the celeb-trend-followers among you, it seems the Lucinda Tote is next year’s hot property…

So here’s a glimpse of the delicious arm candy – soft leathers, exquisite colourways,  beautiful detailing… Visit Peach Pink London for more information or, if you have a press enquiry, give me a call or drop me a line.