Making Memories

Update posted by Sarah Bradbury On Jul 19, 2017

Yesterday I had my first mammogram - I got called in as they are now triailing women under 50 and because I went to my doctors earlier in the year with a lump I was put forward for the early screening. It's not nice, it's extremely painful, but if it could save a life (any life) then it's worth it.

All was fine and I wasn't concerned in the slightest, right up to the point I was just about to leave and the radiographer said to me "As it's your first you'll be called back, because they have nothing previous to compare to". It wasn't until I got into my car to come home, that her words actually registered with me. "Nothing to compare to"!! If she could see what was going on inside the tiny fleshy mounds she had just sandwiched to within an inch of their life, that would mean she could see anything that may be a potential "issue" at which point she should either have said "you might find as it's your first you get a recall" or just a "you'll get a letter one way or the other in the next few weeks". Her words have now got me thinking that she could actually see something, which is why she mentioned not having any thing previous to compare to. If there was nothing there (that she could see) then having nothing to compare to would not even be an issue.

All I can do is wait now; wait for the letter that arrives, which I am now almost certain will see me called back for more tests. I have to wait, and hope, because being called back may not mean there is anything sinister and that is what I am clinging on to.

I started this campaign with no real expiration date in mind because I didn't believe there was an urgency. Her words, however, have genuinely put the fear-of-god into me and once again reminded me how little time we have on this planet to do all we wish to do.

I don't mind admitting I am a little bit scared at the thought; not only that there may be something "not-quite-right" but also at the thought that I may never reach my goal on making this trip.

Here's hoping I am wrong on both points.

Update posted by Sarah Bradbury On Jun 19, 2017

Someone asked me over the weekend if I find it discouraging that I'm not raising the funds as quickly as they seem to believe I should be. My answer was a simple "no". I don't have many friends (I choose to have fewer proper friends than hundreds of acquaintances" and like myself, most of my friends work hard but struggle most months to make the ends meet, so while you (me, everyone) is encouraged to actively share our fund raising pages and efforts on our social media pages, those of us without thousands of friends who could help, or will share, are obviously going to struggle more than others. That's where we have to adapt to our situation and find other ways to get our pages out there. I have blogs - several of them.

Now, while they are relatively new and therefore not getting as much as attention as someone whose been blogging for a while, they are starting to get picked up more and last week a couple of them were shared, which means more people will be reading them. All it takes is just one person, hence why I could never be discouraged. So far I have been blessed with 3 people making a donation (I am so grateful to them). Tomorrow I could be blessed with 300.

There is no time limit when it comes to other people's kindness and generosity. It will take as long as it takes.

Update posted by Sarah Bradbury On Jun 09, 2017

When I planned my route and worked out my budget I did so remembering that the exchange rate can fluctuate on a daily basis (by quite a bit at times) so when working on my figures I bore this in mind and worked everything out on a worst-case-scenario exchange rate.

I set mine to £1 = $1.20 (when I've been stateside in the past I've got $1.46 and $1.64). Because of this I thought $1.20 might be really low but today (after the UK election) we currently stand at $1.26 and there's talk of it dropping further so it would appear my planning may not have been far off.

Of course by the time I get to go it could have jumped to $2.00 (a few years back this did happen). In that case I'd get everything a bit cheaper which would give us a few more $ to spend whilst out there; anything not spent would be donated to a local cancer charity upon our return; for their sake I hope it rises.

The reason I point this out is because to some of you the figures I need to raise may seem exceptionally high; in reality they may be just about right - or could even be higher.

Update posted by Sarah Bradbury On Jun 03, 2017

Being organised and preparing for the trip (I know we will find our way

there - hopefully thanks to some of you lovely/kind people :) ) I've

written a guidebook for the kids to take along/use when we travel. I've

just been asked "Why?" Here's my answer.....


At the time of doing it I did so because I wanted them to learn

something and I know what they are like. They would have visited these

places but not really taken in what they were seeing/doing. By making a

guidebook for them and then putting questions at the end of every day I

know they will have to read the information at the places we visit, they

will have to take notice of things. Anyone can go to Old Faithful, sit

on the benches, watch it blow, take a photo or video and walk away. In a

year of 2's time they may remember back to their visit and what a good

experience. We can all do that. I want the kids to look back and smile

when they remember that part but I also want them to understand what

makes it blow. I believe knowing what's going on with the earth at that

point can only add to the whole experience. Last year when camping with

my nephew we wandered into a field to talk about the constellations in

the night sky because someone had mentioned something and he didn't

understand what we were talking about. This time around (just last

weekend at the same camp site) my niece also let on she doesn't know a

thing about our solar system or constellations (she's also never been

taught to read a map!!! WTF are schools teaching kids these days? Surely

all kids in a geography lesson should know how to read a map? - as for

orienteering she didn't have a clue what I was talking about; shocking).

Anyway, while sitting there on the Friday night we watched Jupiter

rise, saw the international space station fly overhead twice, saw a

small shooting star followed 4 or 5 minutes later by an amazing comet -

it was a huge white ball of light with a massive tail to it; almost the

best I've ever seen (nothing will ever top the bright green one I saw

during the Orionids meteor shower 6 years ago - that was mind blowing).

My niece didn't understand anything about these things. She'd heard of

them but knew nothing. I went to point something out and told her it was

"just north east of the plough". She had no idea what I was talking

about. Not knowing which was North East was is bad enough; to not know

what I meant by 'the plough' was more than shocking. Can you imagine

their faces when I show them a night sky in Yellowstone National Park? I

doubt they even know so many stars exist. Education doesn't have to be

boring. To them the things I'll teach them will just be a part of the

trip, yet they will come home with a knowledge of things they could only

ever dream about before. I have lists of things they need to be looking

out for also; it's not just about the thermals. I want them to learn

about the wildlife - their habitats, hibernation, foods. I want them to

look out for certain plants and trees. I want them to come away with so

much more than a few photo's. This trip will be about so much more than

that.

When I take them to Little Bighorn National Park I will pay for a guide

to take us (them) around. I know this is more expense but I want them to

hear from someone who know's the history; someone whose people were

involved. They need to experience a different culture not just by what

they've read in a text book at school, or seen in the movies. Little

Bighorn is on the Crow reservation. From there we will head into South

Dakota where they'll meet and speak to people from Rose Bud and Pine

Ridge - people from the Sioux nation. To the kids the crow and sioux are

'all the same'. Yes, to look at they probably do all fit the same

mould, but their stories and history could not be more different. Their

lives and culture are different to each other and most definintely

different to ours. Embarking on this trip is about so much more than a

middle-aged woman, her old man friend (and designated driver!!!) and 2 teenagers hitting the open road in a car.

Memories will be made, experiences will be shared.

Update posted by Sarah Bradbury On May 19, 2017

Having just experienced the most mentally and emotionally draining 19 days I've had in over 24 years I am back on track and ready to get down to some serious fund raising; not just for me but for the kids too for they have also suffered a devastating loss in their lives just 15 days ago.

Whether you agree with my reasons for this fundraiser (or not) I will not quit until I achieve my goal.

If you wish to know anything about me please feel free to message me; I will (do) reply to each and every message I recieve personally. [email protected]

Update posted by Sarah Bradbury On May 08, 2017

If you're not entirely sure about whether to help with the funds on this page, you can find out who I am by checking out my blog. You can find it by Clicking Here

Update posted by Sarah Bradbury On May 04, 2017

Today I have heard of another friend who has been struck down with an illness that will take their life a lot quicker than it should be taken, which just goes to re-affirm to me how important it is to make the most of every second we have on this planet (hence why I set this up in the first place). To add to that sadness I myself have a very poorly 20 year old cat who I do not think will make it to the end of next week, and I heard from my niece this morning (the one I have told you all about) and she is this afternoon having to take her Mum's dog to be put to sleep. I can't tell you how brave I believe her to be as she is 17 years old and won't let anyone else take the dog for her. In a way I think for her it will be like losing her Mum all over again and I know she is struggling (even though she won't admit it). How wonderful would it be if I was to be able to give her something to look forward to for once? I can't do that without your help though.

Update posted by Sarah Bradbury On Mar 27, 2017

I realised this weekend - after a conversation with my niece (who I am hoping to take on the road trip with me) that the only good memories from her and her brother's teenage years - so far - are all down to little camping trips and day's out they've done with me. With such an awful home life they really don't have any nice memories of their teenage years. Please help me to change that for them! Please help me to give them just one great amazing memory from their teens that will stick with them throughout the rest of their lives. Please help me to help them. Any amount, from just £1 will help get us there. No matter how small you really will be helping to make a difference. You really could be their light in amongst so much darkness.

Update posted by Sarah Bradbury On Mar 10, 2017

I was asked this morning; "How do I know you will use the money for what you say you will use it for?"

This is such a good question and one I am sure many people who have set up a funding page have been asked. In short, you don't although at the same time, you do. What am I going on about?

With some people you don't know they are using it for what they say they are (I've kind of covered this is an update on here a couple of weeks ago where I was talking about social media - it's worth a read if you are thinking of making a donation to anyone - you can also find a longer more in depth description on my blog (click HERE) to find the article I am on about. As with anything it is a risk you take when you agree to hand over your hard earned money.

How will you know I have used it for what I say I will? Because I am more than willing to share each and every receipt with you all - of course I have to raise what I need first!! From the flight bookings, to the car hire, the motels, to spending money (I always use a pre-pay credit card when overseas - that makes it sound as though I am lucky enough to travel often (I'm NOT)). I will share the receipts of how much money has gone onto those cards. You'll be able to see where each and every single penny will be spent. That was my answer to the person who asked and is my answer to anyone who may be thinking of asking - even more so of someone who is itching to donate. I will be as transparent as it is truly possible to be. It's the least I can do if you have (or are going to be) kind enough to help achieve the dream.

My advice to anyone would be/is. "Don't hand over a penny to anyone if they are not willing to share such details with you".

Update posted by Sarah Bradbury On Mar 02, 2017

My mind is totally blown this morning. A gentleman has donated £90 to the fund (that's right NINETY POUNDS). There is no option for me to thank him directly so I can only hope he will read my updates and see this huge THANK YOU from me. I am overwhelmed.

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My pleasure, I just really like the idea of a trip fund. Good luck 👍🏻

Jason Gines

Update posted by Mar 02

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Donate £25.00 Or More

I\'ll send you a photo postcard from your preferred destination on my trip

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If you want to email me a photo to take with me I will do so and take a photo of your photo at the destination of your choice on my route

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I\'ll happily purchase and post a key-ring or fridge magnet to you from your choice of one destination I visit on the trip

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I\'ll email you 10 photographs taken from different locations on the trip which will be copyright free for you to do with as you please, as well as sending out a postcard from the destination of your choice on the route we take

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Anonymous

Backed with £5.00 On Jun 09, 2017

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Lauren Anderson

Backed with £10.00 On Jan 20, 2017

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Sarah Bradbury

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Please see my blog www.sarahbradbury.me.uk to find out all there is to know

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Jason Gines

Following Since Mar 01, 2017