Monday, January 23, 2012

Best Wishes for Blackpool

Today I want to welcome Marieke, from Write Dreams, to tell you about a cause she and her fellow writers have convinced me to take part in supporting.

Here is what she wrote when she first emailed me:

Donna's Dream House is a holiday home for children and teenagers with life-threatening or terminal illnesses, situated in the heart of Blackpool, UK. Run by volunteers, it has hosted and helped hundreds of families. Until just before Christmas, when arsonists broke into the Dream House, stole essential computer equipment, and started a fire that damaged the building so badly, it may have to be rebuilt completely.

And now I'm going to late her share her thoughts with you in a guest post:

I remember walking past a hospital room one day. The room appeared to be sealed off and its white walls and sterile smell didn’t fit in the otherwise colorful children’s hospital. The people inside wore gowns and gloves to keep the risk of infection to a bare minimum.

It looked like the scene from a thriller – Outbreak, or something.

Instead, what I saw were the effects of a bone marrow transplant. I remember staring at the room while the whole process flashed around in my head. A transplant meant harvesting marrow through a needle in your hip. It meant severe chemotherapy to destroy all the remaining marrow in your body. It meant not knowing what would happen next.

I don’t remember if the patient was a boy or a girl, I just remember standing there, aged 12, thinking it might be me.

Up to that point, I’d spent a lot of time in several hospitals; after that moment, I’d spent even more time in medical care because my immune system was doing everything it shouldn’t and nothing it should. Standing outside that room is one of many memories that would forever stay with me. The others? Going to a sea aquarium with other patients. Being allowed to wander around the off-limits section of a military airport (hey, I’m a geek!). Ice cream on an afternoon away from the hospital. Singing along on the top of my voice to Meat Loaf songs at the hospital school’s dance. The colors and laughter of a family room.

Because the only thing that outweighs not knowing if tomorrow is still there is living today to the fullest, together with family and friends. The charity Donna’s Dream House gives children and teens with life-threatening diseases the chance to make those memories and live those dreams. At least, it did. Until right before holidays, part of the main building was torched beyond repair.

They were forced to cancel Christmas for the families set to stay there.

Think about that for a moment.

And then hop over to Write Dreams, a kidlit auction to raise money for Donna’s Dream House. This week and next we have some amazing lots of signed books, critiques, ARCs, swag… not to mention a whole lot of UK authors chipping in too, so the perfect moment to try out some delish foreign books ;-) Hop over and please help us give Donna’s Dream House a better start of 2012.

Thank you <3

No, Marieke, thank you.

So please head over to Write Dreams, and check out some of the books and critiques up for auction. I'm giving something away, but for those of you who read this blog regularly, you should definitely check out everything that's available. If you do want to pay for my critique, for a good cause, you can find that post here, but don't tell me how much you paid, because I don't work well under pressure.

EDIT: Visit the Write Dreams How To Page, for details on how to bid, or even donate.

42 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

Such a worthy cause. Those volunteers are amazing people. I'll head over now.

Jessica Bell said...

What beautiful hearts you both have. I'll hop over and check it out. xx

Jess said...

What an amazing service to offer. My brother-in-law (who recently passed away) was on the board of The Dream Factory~ they grant wishes to terminally ill children. He would have loved what this House was doing for kids, and hoped it was back on its feet as soon as possilble. Thanks so much for sharing this, Matt.

maine character said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie Aguirre said...

Such a great cause. Thanks so much for sharing about it. I'll check it out.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Read about this last week - excellent cause!

maine character said...

I'm totally behind this - thanks for the head's-up.

SA Larsenッ said...

Marieke - a great cause and a wonderful way you're supporting it. Feel free to contact me and use my blog to spread the word. Love to help!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

What a very special cause.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Why would someone do such a cruel thing?????

It's amazing (or maybe it isn't) how everyone got together to help out with this great cause.

I'm off to check it out!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's terrible about the fire!

farawayeyes said...

Thank you very much.

Old Kitty said...

A plague on the houses of these yobbos who burned down this place! Oh but I must always have love in my heart even for these asbos!

:-(

Thanks for the heads up Matthew! Off I go there now!

p.s. love your new pic with the doggy! Take care
x

Marta Szemik said...

What a great cause Matt. Off to check it out.

Sarah said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. It's amazing the difference places like that can make. Off to check it out.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Wow, what a great story, and this is such a great cause. I'm off to check it out now. I don't have a lot of money, but I've also been blessed enough to be healthy all of my life, so I don't suppose it could hurt to help out those who are truly less fortunate than I am.

Slamdunk said...

Sounds like a great cause. On the way over now...

LTM said...

why would anybody do such a despicable thing? Headed over now to get me something. Best of luck in getting the Dream House back in business. Thanks, Matt & Marieke! :o) <3

L.G.Smith said...

What a great cause. Thanks for letting us know about it.

Sarah Ahiers said...

First off, i love online writing auctions. Second i love them even mroe when they suppor a charity i can easily get behind.
What the hell was the point of burning down the house? People are assholes.

Justine Dell said...

Oh, how tragic. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Off to take a look-see.

~JD

Mina Burrows said...

Loved this post. Unbelievably inspiring. Thanks for sharing. I'm heading over there now. :)

Marieke said...

Thank you so much Matt, for having me here!

SA, I will send you a mail today!

You're all wonderful, thank you for the lovely comments :)

Carolyn Abiad said...

Thanks for letting us know about this, Matt. I'll go check it out now.

Bryan Russell said...

Awesome. I'll head over there when I have a chance.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Thanks for the heads up! Going to check out the site now.

Lisa Gail Green said...

OMG I feel like crying. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. And kudos for donating.

Em-Musing said...

Ditto on all comments. I'm heading there now.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

There are these kinds of causes everywhere you look. It does indeed sound worthy of help but I work in social work and I'm tellin' you...if people just bothered to open their eyes you would notice thousands of organizations all begging for money. Let me say that again... "THOUSANDS". If you were to give away a little money to each, and shrug by saying, "This cause is definitely worthy..." you would have no money left over to eat.

Wine and Words said...

There are so many holes we can fill. My desk is littered with volunteer opportunities because I selfishly think it will help heal me to give. Makes you wonder if there is a pure motive left. No matter. My foot is forward and my hind leg just keeps kicking it towards a direction.

Dawn Ius said...

An excellent cause. Thank you for sharing. I'm going to check it out now. <3

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

What a heart-breaking story. Thank you for sharing it. I'm heading over there now.

Emily White said...

That is so heartbreaking. I'm heading over there now!

Carrie Butler said...

What a wonderful cause. Thank you for sharing it, Matthew and Marieke! I'm off to check it out now.

David P. King said...

That seriously just tugged at my heart, strings and all. Better go check this out. Thanks, Matt! :)

Lydia Kang said...

Thanks for letting us know, Matthew.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I heard about this last week. It really is a great cause.

Susan Oloier said...

We have spent time at the Ronald McDonald House here in the U.S. as part of our son's medical care for his life-limiting diagnosis. So I can only imagine the horror of what happened in the U.K. I will hop on over and check it out.
Thanks for featuring this.

Jemi Fraser said...

So sad! I hope they collect a lot of money! Off I go...

Abby Minard said...

That is wonderful they are doing that for the house. I can't believe someone started a fire there. So sad. Best of luck with the auction- I'll head over to check it out.

Kittie Howard said...

Jess is right, you have beautiful hearts. I'm headed over. The cause is sooo worthy.

Colene Murphy said...

Wow, what a beautiful cause. Will definitely stop over there and check it out!