Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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When the media calls…

Posted by Oli on Thursday 30th November, 2006

It’s certainly been an interesting last 12hours.

Following the announcement last night that Gordon Brown’s 4-month old son, Fraser, has been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, I’ve already done three breakfast radio show interviews – 2 on the phone for BBC 3 Counties Radio in Luton (Beds/Herts) and BBC Radio Berkshire, and one in the studio for BBC 3 Counties Radio in Bucks, which happens to be just up the road from my Mum and Dad’s house where I’m holed up at the moment.

I first heard the news when Em phoned me last night and told me about it.  It must be horribly upsetting for the family, especially having it “outed” as it appears to have been by a Sun scoop.  But they seem to be dealing with it in the best possible way, staying upbeat and positive and looking towards the future with hope.

And there’s no reason for them not to.  With Fraser being diagnosed at birth and going straight onto a regime of necessary treatment, there’s no reason to think that he should be capable of having a really good stab at a normal life.  With the Gene Therapy trials just around the corner, babies being born with CF stand an infinitely better chance of leading a full and happy life than ever before.

Support for the Brown’s from the CF community has been over-whelming, with the message boards on the CF Trust inundated with parent’s and PWCF leaving messages.

I was woken this morning at 6.45am by a call on my mobile, which is always on because of the possibility of a transplant call, and a researcher from the BBC asking if I’d do a phoner for them at 7am.  Bizarrely, I agreed and while I was on the phone to the studio giving them my best “CF’s rubbish but the Brown’s needn’t be all blue” I had a beeping in my ear from the other branch of 3 counties and a voice-mail left to call them.

No sooner had I come off air from my first interview (where I’d actually managed to leave the presenter speechless – go me!) than I was arranging an 8am studio visit for the MK branch of the breakfast show, whilst getting a call off a producer with Berkshire who is engaged to the first researcher I’d spoken to who had obviously relayed my performance just minutes earlier.

60 seconds later I was doing my second phoner of the morning and within 5 minutes was back off the phone, lying in bed and drawing up my morning dose of IVs.  Having administered them, I got myself up out of bed and dressed as quickly as my puffy little lungs would allow and jumped in the car with mum to trundle up the road to the Bucks 3 Counties Studio, where Martin Coote does his breakfast show that I’ve visited twice before.

This time I dragged Mum in with me and she gave a great account from a parent’s perspective, before I filled Martin in on my current situation and even managed to get a plug for the Live Life Then Give Life campaign in, which was a bonus!

I was back home by 8.30am having pretty much not stopped since the first phone call this morning.  I’m now starting to feel the early morning slightly, so it’s off to the sofa for me and – maybe – a bit of extra shut eye.

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