For as long as I can remember I’ve been a rugby fan. Any rugby game that’s on the telly, whether it’s the Heineken Cup or a friendly game, I’m always glued to it. 

So getting an opportunity to go to the Leinster Team Training Centre was a dream come true! πŸ’™

A few weeks ago I was at a meeting with Judith and Cheryl from DEBRA Ireland, and Sebrina was there too. 

I remember Judith telling me about a meeting they had been to that morning. The Leinster Rugby team were looking for 2 charities to be a part of their ‘Charity of the Year’. It sounded very exciting. 

I couldn’t stop thinking about it. That it would be a huge opportunity for us! πŸ€— I so hoped they would pick us. 

A few weeks later I was lying in bed after one of my mid-week bandage changes when I got a text from Jude. It read “Can you come to Dublin next Monday? We got Charity of the Year with Leinster”!!! 😱

Omg, seriously??!! I can’t believe this is happening!!! 😜 We went for this a few years ago and missed out so it’s absolutely fantastic we have it now. 

Sebrina usually works on a Tuesday so I had to ask her if she was able to swap days/times. 

I needed her on Monday from 12noon til 7pm. I was so nervous she wouldn’t be able to. If she had something else on I was in trouble.…and I so wanted to be there!! πŸ€—

I couldn’t wait til I saw her to ask her. I had to text her on Wednesday evening. She said she had nothing on and was able to bring me up. Yay!! πŸ€—

Would you believe me if I told you I also had to ask my nurse to come to me at 7.30am on the Monday morning in order for me to get all my bandages done on time!! πŸ™„ How, in the name of God, will I get up at that time??!! 😱 It’ll (probably) kill me!! πŸ˜‚

Sebrina arrived at 12noon and helped me get dressed and we were ready to go at 1.30pm. I got all dollied up – you never know who you might meet up there!πŸ˜‚πŸ‘—πŸ˜‚

I set up the sat-nav and off we went! I was so excited! To be honest I was more excited than I thought I would be! I don’t know why. I am a big fan of the Leinster Rugby Team! πŸ‰ I even nearly spilt my beloved Costa on the way up!! πŸ˜‚

We got to the Leinster Training Grounds at 3pm and met Jude, Cheryl and Susan. We went in and then met Marcus who’s in charge of Media and Communications. He seemed lovely and a big help to the girls in DEBRA Ireland. 

We also met the guys from Aware. The other charity that was a recipient of the Leinster campaign. The guys from Aware were lovely. To see both signs up for DEBRA Ireland and Aware was so great. We were all very excited! 😊


The boys had been at training so slowly they came up to the room. James Tracy, Tom Daly, Leo Cullen, Adam Byrne, Isa Nacewa and more were there. 

They seemed wrecked after their hour of training. 😴 But they were all lovely, chatted away and answered all our questions! 😍 (ALL our questions!!)

Unfortunately, my Johnny wasn’t there. πŸ˜ͺ He’s still out of action after damaging and having surgery on his shoulder. I was so disappointed that he wasn’t there. He’s so lovely and I really like him. I’ve always got on with him. He’s a gentleman. 

Marcus then did a quick “Hello” to everyone and then introduced Jude to speak. She said a few words about how grateful we were and how much we needed this to raise awareness for such a small charity like us. 

Then she handed it over to me! πŸ€” Oh no, what do I say to all these giants standing in front of me?!! πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚ 

I mainly spoke about the pain I endure. About how I’ve always lived in constant pain. Although I’m sure they know a thing or 2 about pain. They’re beaten around a pitch every week! 

It’s ironic…I’m speaking about how fragile my skin is and they probably have the toughest skin in the world!!! πŸ˜‚ Butterfly skin Vs A Giants skin!!! πŸ˜‚

I finished my short (& sweet!) speech. Then Aware got up and spoke too. They spoke about the stigma that comes with Aware. People who are depressed are looked at differently. That’s very similar to my every day life – I always get looked at differently. 

Then it was straight into taking photos for their website/social media and for national newspapers. I loved it! Surrounded by rugby men isn’t the worst thing in the world!! πŸ˜‚ EB?? What’s EB??!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

We took some photos inside with the boys…

And then we took some more out in the sunshine.…

They turned out really well. Although I saw some of them having trouble kneeling on the tarmac! πŸ™ˆ Our t-shirts kinda matched their training shirts too!! We co-ordinated really well!! 

While the photos were being taken Sebrina ran to Marcus and told him that my dad was a massive fan of rugby. We wondered was there anything he could do for dad. He ended up coming to us before we left and gave us a little bag full of goodies for dad. I was so grateful. I knew dad would be delighted!! 😊

Then it was time to say our goodbyes. πŸ˜ͺ The girls stayed on with Marcus and Aware to have a chat about the year ahead. I had to go, I had to get home. I was starting to struggle with my pain levels and I was running outta pain meds. 

Even though I wasn’t coping very well, we couldn’t leave without getting a few pics!! The lobby of the Leinster Headquarters is done up really well. I had to get some nice photos – I don’t know when I’ll be back! 

The next 2 years ahead with Leinster will be amazing. 

I can’t wait for the many happy days coming our way! 

“From The Ground Up”

πŸ’™

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