Who would have thought that just a few weeks ago I was yearning for people to become aware of SWAN UK and the thousands of children that currently remain undiagnosed with a genetic condition and today I got my wish. Today I went on live local radio and shared our little SWAN’s story!
As promised I received a phone call just after 7 am. It was the producer of BBC Radio Oxford. I had been awake since 5 as my excitement (and nerves) woke me up early. When the phone rang I ran furiously towards it, shouting ‘Oh my goodness, oh my goodness.’ I was very thankful it was a phone interview as I was most definitely NOT sporting my best look! I grabbed the phone shaking and said ‘Hello’. Just like the friendly voice I had spoken to yesterday the voice on the end of the phone was equally as friendly. She asked me if I was ready to speak to Phil. I swallowed hard, trying to stop the quivering in my voice. ‘Yes.’ She explained that he would play back the edited piece that was recorded yesterday and then I would speak to Phil, Live on Air. I am a little odd, as I always think of funny things at the most inconvenient times. She said she would ‘patch’ me through. All I could think about was Jack Bauer from 24 and the CTU phone ring!
Standing with the phone in one hand and Isabella’s breakfast in the other, I sat down at the breakfast table, tentatively waiting. Isabella was looking at me, as if to say seriously how long does it take to make some Weetabix and banana. I began feeding her, whilst listening to Phil Gayle introduce our story. Hearing mine and Isabella’s name on the radio was very strange indeed. Isabella was chatting away to me in her own little way, no doubt asking me why I was pulling such strange faces and taking so long in-between each mouthful.
The strange face pulling was due to a mixture of emotions on realising this was it. I badly wanted to be heard and now thousands of people were listening. Listening at home in their beds, listening at work, listening in their cars, listening to me; I was listening to me. This made me smile but then at one point I thought I might cry. I swallowed hard and pushed back my tears. ‘You can do this.’ I told myself.
‘Good Morning Tracey.’ In the split second before I replied I said to myself, ‘Okay are you ready? Relax, breathe and whatever you do woman speak slowly and please don’t waffle.’ Hoping I would heed my own advice I started to speak:
(I am not the best person when it comes to technology. I am a ‘Techno Biffo’, but hopefully if you click on the link or copy and paste it into your browser it will play the whole interview in two parts.)
When the phone conversation ended I felt overjoyed. I had done it, done what I had set out to do, I had got the SWAN name out there. Only now I wanted to know if I had made an okay job of it. Had I spoken too fast? Had I waffled? Was I clear? All these questions were immediately answered by my friends who had been listening in Isabella’s bedroom and the calls I immediately received from friends and family. Everyone told me that I had done a good job and that they were proud. No one likes to hear their own voice and I certainly don’t like the sound of mine. I have also realised that I have a tendency to say ‘ya know’ and ‘kinda’, I wasn’t aware of that whoops! But I could sit here and nit pick my strange little quirks I never knew I had when talking, but I won’t. I will just say I am over the moon with be given the opportunity to tell people about SWAN, Isabella and the Waterbabies Sponsored Swim. I am sitting here proudly knowing that I have made my husband, Family, Waterbabies and SWAN family proud 🙂
I would like to dedicate this post and say a huge THANK YOU to Lauren Roberts from SWAN, Saz, Liz and all the WaterBabies Team and Barry, Sarah, Phil and all the BBC Oxford Radio team for making it all possible.