I have so much to say about Saturday night, yet have had so little time since to write it.
My God, it BY FAR the most glamorous event we’ve ever been to ( more amazing than going to a dinner hosted by Charles and Camilla a few years ago in Buckingham Palace ).
I’ve never seen so many beautiful women in one place, at the same time.
No idea why but their husbands all looked a bit older than them.
The event started in ‘side hall’ of the Museum, with champagne and canapés.
Then we were guided into the main atrium, that huge hall at the front with the giant Brontasaurus skeleton in it.
There were about 70 tables of ten people, maybe, everyone in Black Tie.
I was in that chair that elevates me to a standing position ( hugely beneficial in social situations where everyone else is upright )
I don’t know who the rich and jet set of London are, but I imagine they all know each other ( the wealthy, the beautiful, the highly paid sports stars etc ) and most seemed to be at tables towards the front.
We were on a table of eminent doctors and representatives of the Christopher Reeves Foundation.
Reg Egerton ( the genius who thought of using an epidural implant ) was sat next to Dani – and what a lovely, modest guy.
After an intro speech by Tanya Bryer, the big draw , Bill Clinton, spoke, for about 15 minutes, passionately and earnestly, with the repeated message that money is the key to unlocking the secret to the cure for paralysis, as well as to providing wheelchairs and suitably adapted facilities to those that need them.
The developed world is far from wheelchair friendly, but is far better than the Third World, where the terrain is totally unsuitable. Walkabout has all its ‘expenses ‘ covered by a benefactor, which means that every donated penny goes to the ‘end user’ ( paralysed person) in the form of wheelchair(s) and/ or facilities
The provision of a chair to someone who without it would have no option other than to lie, immobile, in a bed, or on a mat, is a total life changer. People can get jobs, go places, be independent, all leading to drastic improvements in confidence and mood. Parents can contribute, rather than only be on the receiving end only, of the generosity of others.
I know only too well the psychological effects of feeling useless, and I have had a chair from the start. I can’t imagine how much worse it would feel, not having one for years, or possibly never.
This Gala was 5 years in the planning, but was probably well worth the wait
Tugging on the heart strings of the very rich is a good tactic to raise money , and it worked, people pledging donations of single amounts up to £100 000 .
I don’t know the total raised, but £100k buys 500 wheelchairs , transforming FIVE HUNDRED lives
And that’s a lot of happiness, to the guy in the chair, his wife, his parents, his children, his friends.
So if you read this and want to help, hit the link above and make a difference to a lot of people