Today is International Scoliosis Awareness Day. This annual event hopes to raise awareness of the condition and, as explained in the first ISAD poster, “help people understand what curvature of the spine is and to raise funds to support people with the condition.”
In previous years I haven’t been very active in raising awareness or funds, but this year is different! I still haven’t managed to think of a fundraising campaign but I am on the radio twice today, with two shows dedicated to scoliosis on Insanity Radio 103.2FM and Coastway Hospital Radio.
The first, from 12pm until 2pm, features an interview with Anna from Scoliosis Association UK and other information about the condition, alongside songs from the 80s and other favourites from my time undergoing treatment. You can hear it on Insanity Radio 103.2FM across North Surrey and South East Berkshire, online on the Insanity Radio website or via our Android/iOS app.
At 5pm I will be on air with Coastway Hospital Radio, Brighton, talking more generally about the condition and symptoms, what other conditions are associated with it, and playing more musical favourites from the 80s in honour of SAUK’s 35th anniversary. You can listen to Coastway via the TuneIn app or online, as well as in the Royal Sussex County Hospital on Hospedia Channel 1. To get involved, tweet @tweetcoastway too!
Both shows should be podcasted and uploaded to my Mixcloud at a later date so keep an eye on my blog for more links.
I update this blog to bring you some news concerning my general blogging. Firstly, I have a new blog, but that’s not to say that this blog is not going to continue. However, this blog was set up to document my operation and therefore it will always be personal. It’s not the place to showcase my work outside of articles related to scoliosis and not the ideal website to point potential employers to. Therefore I am now blogging at http://escarr15.wordpress.com/ for more professional and student media related things, while this blog will remain for personal updates and general life based posts. There will probably be crossover, one will likely end up neglected in favour of the other at times, and there will inevitably be confusion on my part that may lead to posts being posted on the wrong blog – but that is an issue for another day! Right now, I would love it if you would hop over to my new blog and give me a follow, I promise not to spam you with posts and provide the same well written content as I do here (but probably more edited and polished and a bit less chatty). And stay tuned for a post on this blog in the near future, I have a few sitting in my drafts!
As you may be aware, I had a charity haircut scheduled almost two weeks ago to donate 7 inches of my hair to charity and raise money at the same time. Currently I have raised just under £275 for Evelina London and hope to reach my target once my friends get their student loans in! If you want to donate, my JustGiving page is here: https://www.justgiving.com/bethcarrhaircut. The hair has been donated to the Little Princess Trust and you can find out more about them here: http://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/.
My hair, 4th April 2016
Over a month and a half ago now, I was privileged to attend the annual Societies Ball with the Orbital Magazine. I came away with the award for Best Journalist, which really made my night and all the stress worth it. They didn’t do speeches at the awards so I thought I would create one here – one that would be much more crafted than if I had delivered it on the spot!
If things had gone my way I would not be standing here receiving this award. I started the year as Acting Comment Editor and was confident that I would be officially elected and work in an editorial capacity for the year, avoiding writing as much as possible to showcase the fantastic journalists on the team. When that didn’t work out it felt like one of the worst things in the world, but I was too committed to give up the Orbital and thrust myself into writing. I moved to the Features section but still had links to Comment and friends in The Student Workshop who wanted me to write reviews: suddenly I was writing two or three articles a month, making it a record four for January! Getting two articles featured on the cover of our most recent issue was a massive achievement and I am so grateful for that.
So on to the thank yous. Thanks firstly to Laura and Holly for giving me the award, you are too kind and it has made my night. Thanks to whoever nominated me, you are great and I am sure you deserve this award as much as me. Thanks to the section editors for loving my writing and editing it appropriately. Well done to all the other fantastic nominees, I enjoy your writing and wish there were enough awards so we could all win. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me in writing: my parents, teachers, Elly Griffiths, Holly and Laura, everyone who sent me wonderful messages after the election. And speaking of that, thanks should go to Abbie for pushing me out of the editorial seat and back into writing, and thank you for surpassing my expectations in your execution of the role. Thanks to Brianna for dealing with a 1,000 word email about the election system and chatting it through with me, I hope it has influenced good changes. And thanks to the wonderful people at Insanity for keeping me afloat when I fell apart, being in the media suite as a radio presenter certainly lessened the blow. Finally, thanks again to my Orbital family and I am so excited to spend another year with you all.
As you can probably tell, I was very grateful and happy to receive the award, made better by the fact that I went through a lot of anxiety to even make it to the ball. Firstly, we had to take a coach to get to the venue, with coaches being one of the things I hate the most. Luckily I had the lovely Holly keeping me calm, and we both shared the same fears over dress and shoe mishaps (which didn’t happen so that was all good). On making it to the hotel, the next challenge was the food: a three course meal and free wine. Although I ended up on the Orbital/Insanity/Rhubarb table with a load of people I didn’t know, it was not a big deal, I met a few people and we still got good food, including small bread. The first course was some very nice soup, the second course was guinea fowl (which was a bit rubbish but hey ho) and then they had the awards before dessert which was wonderful because I was really happy during the final course (the best course because it involved chocolate). And then there was the after party and I got home safely with trophy intact and spent the next day making pancakes and yorkshire puddings. It was great. And thanks again to Laura and Holly for the wonderful award, I really do appreciate and treasure it!
Tomorrow I cut off 7 inches of my hair. Currently it looks like this:
Hair, 12th March 2016
I’ve realised that my hair is a massive deal. So please donate to support the Evelina Children’s Hospital, where I had my operation. I’m also donating the hair to the Little Princess Trust. You can donate at: https://www.justgiving.com/bethcarrhaircut.
Last night was my second time seeing the Mark Drama and it was just as powerful knowing what was to come that when I saw it this time last year. It’s one of the most unique pieces of drama I have seen and if it is being put on anywhere near you, as it is a worldwide phenomenon, I would truly recommend seeing it. Egham locals can catch the final performance tonight at 7:30, location tbc due to the weather. And you can read my review here: http://theorbital.co.uk/christian-union-present-mark-drama/
I was scrolling through Facebook and found the following Buzzfeed article about a back brace.
The girl involved had spinal fusion after a car crash where she fractured her back, and the idea of transforming it into cosplay is something I haven’t come across before. I never had to wear a brace but if I had I would have been incredibly self conscious about it, just as I was with my raised shoe. So to anyone reading who is suffering with scoliosis and the idea of a back brace, take inspiration from Maddie and make it a really cool accessory!