Oh What A Night! Thankyou so much …

*A letter from me to all who contributed to my recent Fundraising Event (12/02/14)*

An evening of ‘Live music, an Auction & Raffle’ @ the Eastney Tavern, Portsmouth.All washed down with good food and beer, and broadcast live on the internet…

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I have just sat here staring at the computer screen trying to think of how I even begin to say ‘thank you’…”the phrase is small and the words are few, but behind them lies a world of appreciation”.

After becoming so un-well, the constant physical and emotional battle has been so difficult. This was not helped by the realisation of the enormity of the recovery journey ahead and the lack of support from the medical system back home in the UK. There became a point where I was questioning if I would even have the opportunity to have the medical care I so desperately needed, this was terrifying. I was not ready to stop living, and nor was I willing to accept that this constant pain would control the rest of my life. I am 29 and I feel as if life as only just begun, apart from when I spot the odd grey hair! Is that too much information!

At first I really was unsure as to wether or not I should begin a fundraising page. Of course no one wants to ask for money, but having had to stop working for almost 8 months now due to this disease, I really had no other choice. The huge sums of money needed for this treatment, is by far more than what people have in their rainy day fund! Coming to the USA for treatment was not a decision that was made lightly, all I knew for certain was that the life changing possibilities with the medical treatment there, really would save my life.

There is no beating around the bush, I simply would not be here making progress had it not been for each and every one of you here tonight. Please know that just by walking through the door of this pub tonight and buying a pint, you are supporting me and my fight against Lyme. So a massive ‘cheers’ to that. I could fill up this whole page with Thankyou’s and it would still not feel like enough!

I am now half way through my intensive treatment programme here in California. There are very difficult times where I may not leave my room for days at a time, but I am already noticing small but very positive changes, which really give me hope. I am being completely honest when I say I will not arrive home at the beginning of April cured, but definitely making progress. This is a complex disease that has attacked the whole of my body, so it’s one step at a time! What I do know for sure is that you are all giving me the best chance of recovery with your constant support. I am truly grateful for everything from the bottom of my heart.

I would like to do a few individual Thankyou’s without sounding like I have just won an Oscar!

Nick & Denise Courtney, Helen Buteux, Chris Moon, my brother in law Paddy Taylor and my two sisters Justine Lewis and Sabrina Taylor … You have gone above and beyond everyday to spread the word about my battle. You all have your own life, jobs and families, but you have all still made time to organise this event and create an online network of communication to help me. My brother Oliver Lewis wishes he could be here tonight but logistics can’t make this possible, but his support has also been never ending. My dad is currently here in America with me doing the ‘carer/dad’ role and unfortunately my mum is in hospital unwell herself…but they have both shown endless love and support now and always.

Thankyou to the talented musicians providing quality tunes this evening; ‘The Milkmen’, ‘The Monkey Butlars’ and ‘Paddy Taylor’. To every individual or business who has donated auction and raffle prizes, to everyone who has taken a few minutes out of there day to send me messages, post me letters and ready my blog! I often feel very isolated from life outside these four walls, so this really keeps me going. Everyone who has donated directly to my fundraising page or who is here tonight really is making a difference. As Tesco supermarket advertises so well ‘every little helps’, it really does.

Ok, I have a tendency to ramble so I should stop now so you can all continue with the vino and the beers…I give you all permission to get ‘merry’ even on a school night!

I will never forget how you have all helped me in some way, and I will never take this for granted.

Thanks a million, lots of love and hugs!

Chantelle xXx

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