As I write this post my stomach is doing flip-flops, this could be due to nerves and excitement or the amount of Sweet Chilli Sensation crisps I have consumed due to my nerves and excitement.
Today I received a call from a BBC Radio Oxford, I had been forewarned that they would call, as they were extremely interested in covering the Sponsored Synchronised Swim for SWAN. Typically I received the call at the wrong time, whilst at the petrol station, so I frantically answered the phone and put it on speaker whilst shouting at the friendly voice that they would have to call me back,as the Attendant was looking at me very sternly.
I have always been told that I speak a) too fast and b) too much. My Grandad would agree with statement a) and my husband Paul would most definitely agree with statement b. With this in mind whilst driving back and thinking about the impending phone call I was subconsciously telling myself to speak slowly and not to waffle. This is easier said than done!
The very friendly Irish voice called me back and told me that he wanted to know more about Isabella, SWAN UK and Waterbabies. Taking a deep breath I talked about my favourite topic; my beautiful SWAN Isabella. The friendly voice sounded genuinely interested and wanted to meet us both and interview me at home. He also invited me to appear on air live tomorrow at 7am, along with the Owner of Waterbabies and the SWAN Co -ordinator.
The interview was very surreal. We have had a lot of people in and out of the house visiting Isabella, but never anyone from the media. He was very friendly and made me relax, even Isabella felt relaxed and had something to say. So taking my time I told him all about the different stages we went through from knowing there was a problem to Isabella becoming a SWAN. I also told him about the wonderful support we had received from both SWAN and WaterBabies alike.
It’s funny the amount of times I have told the story and I still find myself listening to it and reliving it. I am sure sometimes strangers we meet in the street wish they had never asked. I don’t intend to tell people the long version, but sometimes it is hard to shorten it. It usually goes something like this.
An initial friendly interaction with Isabella; perhaps asking her name or how old she is, the person waiting for a reply or following on with asking Isabella if she is shy. I then follow on with;
‘Isabella is severely disabled, she is 2 and cannot walk or talk or do anything for herself.’
‘What is wrong with her?’
‘We don’t know.’
‘You don’t know?!’
and so it continues with me explaining the numerous tests that she has had that have all come back normal. Leaving us and the medical professional puzzled. Then I go on to explain about SWAN and the fact that Isabella is not alone and that there are thousands of children like her.
I guess that is why I am both excited and nervous about tomorrow. I want people to understand that not everything is black and white, or clear-cut. That not everything has a label and can be put in a box, but if they do need a label I can say Isabella is a SWAN and they will understand and recognise the term. I am obviously nervous, as I don’t want to waste this wonderful opportunity of giving people an insight into our lives with Isabella as a SWAN and what SWAN means to us. I also want people to know how grateful we are to WaterBabies for making it possible. Without their idea of sponsoring SWAN I would certainly not have been interviewed by BBC Radio Oxford and given this chance. I really hope the message gets across clearly and perhaps not only will it raise much-needed awareness, it may even help other families like us find SWAN UK.
The interview will be on from around 7am tomorrow (26th July) on BBC Radio Oxford http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00vxcc8
If you are unable to tune in you can catch it on i Player all day.