Today marks the start of Wonky Wilma Week!
Okay, technically Tuesday may seem an unlikely day to start the week on, but I'll admit, I got a bit distracted by the sock excitement yesterday.
The aim to raise £1000 for GOSH by Christmas goes on. The total is at £328. This week is going to be packed full of posts about Wilma, to hopefully inspire you all to have a stab at making one of your own. Here's where you can give your £5 and get your hands on Wilma...
At the end of the week, there will be an elephant gallery, of all the brilliant and quirky versions of Wilma made by my lovely readers. You still have time to star in that...
So, on with the show. Our first Wilma post comes from Alice Smith - another Bedford mum, and co-founder of the wonderful Sarah & Alice children's clothing company (which has some great things to help with filling those Christmas stockings, by the way). Thanks, Alice!
|Polly and Wilma outside Great Ormond Street Hospital|
I have been reading all about project Wilma for quite some time. I love Wilma. I love her wonkiness, and her many different incarnations. I've got as far as downloading the pattern so far, but am determined to make at least one Wilma of my own before Christmas. I love the ingenuity of the project, and most of all, I love what Wilma is raising money for.
|Wilma on the play bus in the reception area|
The first time that I went to Great Ormond Street Hospital Richard and I were pushing a week old baby in a pram and we were both terrified, although Polly was mostly blissfully unaware of all the fear. We were there because at five days old, Polly had the routine heel-prick test, and was diagnosed with a rare metabolic condition called PKU. You can read more about PKU here, but basically it is an inherited genetic condition which means she has an enzyme that is missing, or not working. That particular enzyme is the one that breaks down an amino acid called phenylalanine. For Polly, that meant a strict low-protein diet for life, supplements three times a day, and regular blood tests to monitor her phenylalanine levels. Ever since then, we have taken her for regular check-ups at
Great Ormond Street who offer advice,
support, cookery sessions (we have to make most of Polly's food from scratch,)
and opportunities to meet up with other parents. The nurses, doctors and
consultants that we have met are all so dedicated to their work, and so kind to
Polly and to us, that check-ups are a pleasure to go to. I can honestly say that
I have never been somewhere with such a bright atmosphere and kind, calm staff,
despite the hugely difficult work they do there day in, day out. Spending time
there is always a huge lesson in perspective – seeing children so sick does
always reminds us how lucky we are to have healthy children.
|Polly and Wilma by the Peter Pan statue outside the main entrance|
So Polly took a Wilma, made beautifully by
Sharon, to a party at Great Ormond Street on Saturday. We
wanted to show some staff, patients and parents there how brilliant Wilma is,
and tell them how they can get involved in project Wilma. Needless to say, she
was a huge hit. Wilma played musical statues, musical bumps, and pass the
parcel – her trunk came in handy for that one!
|Wilma getting ready for the train journey!|
The work that
Ormond Street do for children who are suffering
with rare, complicated or
life-threatening conditions is life-saving. The support and care they
offer to the parents and families of these children is also a lifeline in what
can be a lonely and incredibly scary time. Wilma is raising money for such a