Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Oh Carol 

Carol? Well, it's like this. I was at college with a guy called Graham Harboard - Ginz. He was one of those guys who always seemed to have everything figured out earlier than the rest of us. He always very comfortable in his own skin, and had an ability to get on with everyone: nerds to troublemakers, and all points in between. He's the kind of guy that anyone would like to chat to over a beer or two.

Since I first met him, Ginz had always had a girlfriend: Carol. Lots of people came to college with a boyfriend or girlfriend back home, but Ginz was one of the very few who never showed any sign of giving up on the person he had decided was right for him. In retrospect, theirs was about the only 'proper' relationship around at the time, and after college, they inevitably got married, and settled down near Gloucester, handy for his beloved Gloucester Rugby Club.

In February 2002, Carol died of Hodgkin's disease. She was 31 years old.

This would probably have destroyed me, and triggered a retreat into self pity and despair, but Ginz is made of sterner stuff. He needed to do something - the kind of thing Carol would have done in the circumstances, so he established a charity - Carol's Smile. He then set off to raise funds for the charity by walking round the coastline of Britain, starting and finishing near Gloucester, and raising funds as he went. After about five thousand miles of walking, he finished his journey in October 2003. To date, the charity has raised just over £140,000 against a target of £200,000. This is indisputably a significant achievement.

Now the part that you've been expecting: the money. You know you'll feel better if you give some money to something as worthy as this, and even a few quid will help towards their target. To donate takes less than five minutes - you've got a credit card, and it's easy. Look at it this way: if I introduced you to Ginz, you'd happily buy him a drink or two, so use the money responsibly and put it to good use. You save yourself the "crawling home from a curry house you've never seen before" part as well. The link for donating is here.

If you've got this far, then thanks for your patience, and sorry to fill up your busy day. If this is the kind of thing that really irritates you, then my humble apologies, but I felt that I had to try and help by spreading this story a bit wider, especially as it feels very close to home.

Now go back and donate, and if you think it's worthwhile, get some friends to do the same! Also, if you have a blog and a heart, please provide a link to this page. The permalink is the # symbol below.

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