South Nutfield Family Fighting Against Life-threatening Diseases With Charity Ball
South Nutfield resident Sarah Abellan is busy planning a special charity ball next month at Bletchingley Golf Club to raise funds for two causes good close to her heart, the Meningitis Research Foundation and the Epilepsy Society. Sarah and her daughter, Gabriella, 14, both have epilepsy, while 20 years ago Sarah battled life-threatening disease, meningitis, and now want to give back.
Fundraisers Sarah and Gabriella from South Nutfield are among the one in 100 people in the UK living with epilepsy, and it is believed that there are 87 people diagnosed with the condition every day. The condition and living with associated seizures can affect a person’s education, mployment, ability to drive which often leads to isolation and anxiety, and each year 1,000 people lose their lives to epilepsy.
Sarah and Gabriella both take medication twice a day to keep symptoms under control, mum Sarah was diagnosed in her late teens after a couple of Grand Mal seizures, and despite medication problems, allergic reactions and during pregnancy, Sarah firmly believes she is luckier than many others who live with epilepsy, although she was not
able to fulfil her career dream of joining the Mounted Police.
Speaking about her diagnosis and that of Garbiella, Sarah says: “When I was diagnosed, I loved hiking up mountains. My doctors warned me against this, but I am lucky enough to know some time in advance when a seizure is coming and as long as my friends knew what to do, there would not be a problem. I try to encourage Gabriella who is sports mad to adopt this mind set. It’s just about being sensible.”
Meeting the challenges of serious health conditions is not new to Sarah, in April 1999, she contracted meningitis, each year in the UK there are around 3,200 cases of the condition meningitis and septicaemia diagnosed which babies, children younger than five and young people are especially vulnerable but anyone of any age can be affected which can leave life altering after-effects.
Be A Bell Of The Ball
For tickets to the charity ball at Bletchingley Golf Club on Saturday, September 14 from 7.00pm to 1.00am, visit: abellancharityball.wixsite.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call: 07739714474. Tickets are £55 each, and include a welcome drink, a three-course meal, coffee, live music and a disco. The ball will also feature a casino, glitter bar and photographer along with a raffle and silent auction which will be active a few weeks before the ball.
Sarah says of the incident 20 year ago: “I had indescribable headache and neck pain along with fever and vomiting. However, I had no problems with light or a rash. You don’t always get all the symptoms and you only get the rash if you develop septicaemia. Scans and lumbar punctures confirmed it as bacterial meningitis. I made a full recovery and am truly lucky to not have any major long-term side effects.”
Speaking about the much-needed work of the Epilepsy Society, Sarah says: “It is one of the UK’s leading charities in this field. It has a centre for medical research in Buckinghamshire. This is vital as there is still so little known about the condition and many people continue to suffer from it. They offer a lot of support which unfortunately is so lacking in the NHS”, and she now wants to give something back.
Speaking about the charity ball in aid of the Epilepsy Society and Meningitis Research Foundation and the appeal for more of the community to get involved, Sarah says: “I’ve been amazed at the response so far from individuals, but I am also seeking support from local firms in terms of sponsoring the event and associated activities. We’ll be sure to give any sponsors excellent coverage throughout our community.”