It hardly seems anytime at all since I first came across PPI and what it was and all it entailed. Starting off small and only doing the odd bits and pieces to now a year and a half down the road and I am more involved in patient and public involvement in research more than ever.
I have been given some wonderful opportunities over the past year or so and done somethings that I wold never have thought possible.
PPI has given me a second lease on life.It has given me something to do when I am not well enough to work, or those long nights when my asthma is bad, it brings a positive out of a negative situation. To start with I was only volunteering with the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research however now I have given talks for Asthma UK about what its like to live with severe asthma as part of a workshop set up in reposes to a severe asthma funding call. I am lucky enough to help a team of researchers who are putting a bid together for a paediatric research project. It is amazing the input they have wanted from me and how much they listen to me.
I have also been asked to become a Research and Policy Volunteer with Asthma UK and had several opportunities to help them with various different projects. I am very excited about the coming few weeks when I travel to London and go to various meetings including a reception at Parliament.
I have a pretty packed schedule when I head to London as I am giving a talk to Astra Zeneca about living with severe asthma. This will be in front of about 150 people. Just about the largest audience I have spoken in front of. Im looking forward to it though. There will be a question and answer session as well. It will be chaired by Monica who I know already from the centre and various things she has done. Her work for asthma is amazing and feel very proud to be asked by her that I speak.
I will also be attending a meeting about an ELF project for children with severe asthma and giving patient input into that.
I am kind of over whelmed by everything. I am so excited about it all but at the same time I can’t quite believe I have been asked to do all this, they could have chosen anyone but I have been asked to do this. I am so thankful for it.
I will write a proper blog post about what London is like and all the different events I go to etc. It is a really exciting time and I really hope I stay well enough to be able to make the most of it. Im aware that I am only less than an week out of hospital so need to really look after myself in the lead up to this.