Cyclejen's Blog

The Charity Hierachy
June 28, 2010, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Cycle Jen Main | Tags: , , , ,

So, if you’ve been on my Justgiving page recently, you’ll see that I have reached my initial target of £1300. I am so incredibly chuffed and delighted with every one of you who have donated so far. After all this is over, I shall come to where you live, knock on the door, look you in the eye and give you a big hug. If you live in Australia, all the better – although expenses will have to be paid for by the donor. Of course, what I have just said about hugs is most likely a well-intentioned lie and I hope you’ll see it as such. Just allow it to act as a metaphor for the scope of my gratitude. And a desire for all expenses paid world travel. 1st class.

But you know what? Fundraising is haaaaard. I’m not really the type of person who likes to ask for things. I was once so scared about asking a teacher to go to the toilet I peed myself in class. This is a horrifyingly true story. What can I say, I was very young and the teacher was very scary. She was one of those teachers who seemed to think that anyone asking for the toilet was DEFINITELY-I-DON’T-CARE-WHAT-YOU-SAY asking if they could skive. As if the sole purpose of childhood is to learn how to hold it in while trying to slack off as much as possible (wait a second…). She also once shouted at me and got me to stand up in front of class to repeat the mistake that 10-7 = 2 for the whole class’s amusement. Thankfully, I’m older, wiser, and know that10-7 actually equals 4.

But asking people for things? Nope, still not very good at it. The crazy thing is, is that I work in advertising and my whole job is to convince someone why they should be doing this thing as opposed to the other, and yet there are still days where asking them for their home address feels like I’ve just asked them if they have a history of uncontrollable rectal bleeding. This is why I hoped that, when initially raising money for the CF Trust, if I did something big enough and simply let people know, I wouldn’t have to ask for money, people would just give. This would save the embarrassment of just having to grow a pair. However, I cannot and will not rely only on this softly, softly approach; I’m going to have to up my game now, and there are plans afoot for getting more pennies! Who knows, if you haven’t donated yet, I might just outright ask you for it. Just don’t stand near my feet when I’m doing it and watch out for any suspicious puddles…

Perhaps, in a bid to avoid actually asking people for money, what I really need to be doing is finding ways to make myself more bankable. I was speaking to my sister Suzanne the other day about my attempts to get my story published in the local paper. There tends to be a lot of stories in the paper about charity events, so I really need to find a way to make mine stand out. Cycling from Aberdeen to Banchory and back for charity X? Ha I can do that in my sleep – literally! My boyfriend gets really annoyed! Anyway, I’m cycling 300 MILES! Cycling 300 miles? Ha! I HAVE CF, BABY! And yet, judging from the lack of response from said paper, obviously this is not quite enough. Yes, I have CF, but I’m healthy with it. To get the paper’s and potential donor’s attention, what I really need to do is to get on the transplant list, better yet, be post transplant. With a devoted regime aimed towards decline, I can achieve this, as most people with CF will end up on the lung transplant list at some point. To up the ante further, while in the operating theatre, I could ask them to take a chunk of my liver to help save my pregnant sister, whose life hangs in the balance due to a pretty nasty case of Cholestasis. Let’s chuck in a kidney for a homeless charity for good measure. I can see the headlines now: Local Hero Cycles 300 Miles Hours After Double Lung Transplant While At The Same Time Donating a Kidney to the Homeless and Part of her Liver to her Dying Sister. Now that’s a title that sells papers. So I could do that, sure, but I’ll still find myself bumped by a man who has survived ALL the cancers (even the female ones) and is going on a sponsored bike ride TO THE MOON.

This is the charity hierarchy. For everything you do, there will be people doing less, people doing more, and, apart from feeling a little smug at the people jogging along for the local 5k, it would be grossly unfair to judge yourself by someone else’s achievements – we all have our own goals, our own Everests to conquer. Cycling 300 miles? I recently read about someone who cycled around the world. I’m a slovenly couch potato compared to that jerk. The point really is to get as high up the hierarchy as you can and within your own limits. For some it may be the 5k, for others, the moon. No, the people I really should feel threatened by are the over achieving fundraisers. Just when I think I’m doing well, I’ll discover that some kid has raised £10,000 for Teenage Acne or goddamn Wood Splinters. I shouldn’t get jealous though; I should be calling them up and asking for tips. I’ll just make sure I’ve emptied my bladder first.


7 Comments so far
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The same teacher once made me lick her finger (which she had just put in a bowl of milk), to assertain that the milk was warm. I think we were making cheese or something. Do kids still make cheese/yogurt/bread at school?

And Jen, your fundraising is getting out there. You have had donations from people you’ve never met. So 300 miles with CF is worthy of donation in many peoples eyes, even if as you say you’re “healthy”. So never mind the rubbish papers who want people further up the hierarchy!

Comment by Lizzie

Jen your doing an amazing thing and never doubt it. I also feel similar healthwise… what a bloody crank compared to others with CF… and no I am not willing to give up part of my liver, race to have a lung tx or give a kidney (though I would donate a kidney in reality) so sod it! We take umpteen meds to and LUCKILY we are fairing better off than our peers at the moment. So whilst we are, why not go that extra mile?

Your awesome, I’m awesome (you clearly more so… 300 MILES!!!! Nutter 😉 ) we’re all awesome. My donation is on its way Jen Armstrong (apologies to the bf 🙂 )

Jodie’s x

Comment by Jodie

HehHeh! Welcome to the CF Frauds club! Seriously, look, you’re getting off your arse and doing something, you should be proud. 300 miles isn’t easy whoever you are.

Anyway, keep plugging away at the media, maybe you could use makeup to look more pale or something? 😉

Comment by Woody

Yes, we’re all awesome. I love being in the CF Frauds Club, although I’m scared they’re going to make a Watchdog program about us fakers. “This is Jennifer Hutchinson. At 27 years old she claims she has Cf. We went undercover and got her medical records under the Freedom of Information Act. This reveals she has a lung function of 83% and a BMI of 24. Join us as we expose this faker, spending taxpayer’s money on needless medication, and watch as we force this addict to give back her daily supply of prescription drugs, paid for by you, the taxpayer.”

Comment by cyclejen

>cut to a reporter chasing after me as I walk quickly through a car park trying to avoid her.<

"Jennifer Hutchinson! Do you have anything to say about recent allegations that you are holding down a full time job and exercise regularly?!"

Comment by cyclejen

Reporter 2 – Miss Hutchinson, Miss Hutchinson!!! What have you to say about the allegations your doing a 300km cycle whilst claiming you have a life threatening lung condition??? Are you proud of yourself??? Miss Hutchinson, come4 back, what about the video links online confirming your actions!!!

Comment by Jodie

>cut to media stoked angry mob gathered outside cyclejen’s house<

"Grrr! We waarnt our tarxes back!"

Comment by Woody

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