It feels like I'm up for an Oscar!

No, really!  When you write a parenting blog, to be shortlisted for an award in the Mumsnet Blog awards is the blogging equivalent of being up for an Oscar.

Late one evening last week my phone pinged with a twitter notification from Mumsnet, apparently I am one of eight bloggers shortlisted in the best campaigner category in their annual blogging awards.  Blimey, I nearly choked on my cup of tea!

There are 8 blogs on the shortlist, all absolutely amazing reads,  written by women doing incredible things.  So why would you want to vote for me to become one of the three finalists, to be be judged by Shami Chakrabarti of being awarded the accolade of being "Best Campaigner"?

Well, as regular readers of my blog know I just don't sit still.  I may have been thrown quite a few curvballs in my life and introduced to a world of which I had very little prior knowledge , but I want to change things for families like ours and children like Daisy.

As I say over and over, we are all just a car crash, a premature birth, a gene mutation away from becoming disabled or being the carer of someone with a disability.  This happened to me; from a sucessful marketing career, overnight I became a full time carer of a child with complex needs, I fought to get a diagnosis and support for my two boys who have high functioning autism and I then cared for my terminally ill husband.

I use my voice and my writing , both on my blog and through other speaking and writing opportunities, to raise awareness of the issues involving carers and disabled people in the UK today.  I fundraise for our hospice, ShootingStar-Chase and am often found speaking at events for the Children's Palliative care charity Together for Short Lives because I am frustrated that no guaranteed government funding is available for these essential services despite healthcare providers and social services relying on them so heavily to support families like ours.

You can read more about my fundraising and campaigning work here and here

And maybe you've read my stuff in the media, I've written for the Guardian, The Independent, The Huffington Post, BBC Ouch! as well as guest posting for Mumsnet, Carers UK, Mencap and Great Ormond Street Hospital.  I have spoken at numerous events from the House of Lords, The Inns of Court, the Department of Health and Fundraising receptions.  I don't have much spare time - as you can imagine - but much of the spare time I do have is spent trying to make a difference, I can't sit back and see injustice when I can use my voice to make a change.

So if you think I am worthy of your vote, please click on the icon below.  Mumsnet have huge influence in the UK, when they speak, people listen.


Voting closes at midnight on 7 October and the winner will be announced at Mumsnet's Blogfest on 12 November .  Thanks to everyone who nominated me to get this far, it seems that lots of you did!  Hopefully you will also want to vote for me to become one of the finalists.

A medal for Daisy, thanks to Parallel London

I try to be a positive role model to my children, I'm always out and about doing some sort of sport, running, swimming, cycling, I want them to see that exercise need not be a chore.  I'm not sure if it's really hit home with the older three, the times they have run with me they have got stuck in the mud and their shoes have come off, or they see me heading off for an open water swim when the sky is grey and rain is forecast and shake their heads in disbelief before returning to their computers .

Daisy, however, is my biggest supporter.  When she is able she loves to cheer me in races,  even more so when there are medals to hang up at home. Actually running with Daisy though has always been a bit more tricky.  She is completely wheelchair dependent so cannot walk and relies on someone to push her.   Her complex regimen of intravenous infusions and catheter care means that most races are out the question as they tend to start at 9am and it's physically impossible to get her up and ready and out of the house. Until recently she only had a standard wheelchair which is not ideal for being pushed in while running.

Earlier this summer we were able to order a fabulous special needs jogging buggy thanks to a fundraising drive by my running club.  Since it's arrival Daisy and I have enjoyed lots of lovely trail walks around Richmond Park and a few jogs around the park opposite our house.

We were really able to put it through it's paces this weekend however as we were invited to participate in the first ever Parallel London Festival in the Olympic Park in East London.