Yesterday morning I received a text from my mum with a picture of my dad preparing to ‘can rattle’ for Myaware. They both spent a good chunk of the afternoon fundraising and raising awareness by speaking to shoppers at Edinburgh’s IKEA. Despite TV show Empire bringing MG to a wider audience, this is very much needed as of around 100 people my mum spoke to yesterday only two had heard on MG. They did volunteering of their own volition – the text was the first I had heard about it – and to their own detriment. As they are both around 70 years old, they were suffering from the extended time spent standing on the shop’s hard floor. My mum is involved in the Edinburgh brand of Myaware and has been thinking about other ways of fundraising for the charity.
While this act of love and support warmed my heart, it also made me wonder about the potential number of people that could be reached if everyone with MG asked their families and friends to raise awareness about the condition. My mum’s text came alongside a visit from my good friend Marie-Claire, who kindly shared my blog on Twitter after our catch up. Again, she did this without me asking – as head of marketing and communications at leading children’s charity Aberlour she understands the power of word of mouth and endorsement. This is not the first time she’s done this – she’s been incredibly supportive and I’m lucky to have such thoughtful people in my life. But my mum and Marie-Claire are rare treasures who know intuitively how to help and support. Their acts made me think about the number of people in my life who would be more than willing to help, but who don’t know how to do so or just wouldn’t think of it.
Asking for help is the difficult part, as there are not many people who enjoy being vulnerable and burdening others. But I learned last year when fundraising for Myaware that people are generous and want to do their bit when given an opportunity. Would people be willing to spare a little time or a little space on their social media channels rather than a little money?
From my experience with Myaware, I have spoken to some spouses or parents of people with MG which is great. These are most likely the people like my mum and Marie-Claire. Think about how big the Myaware army would be if we gently asked others in our life to help.