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Update: Behind the Mask Exhibition and Treadmill-a-thon in Norwich

  • Tuesday, 23 March 2010 21:03
  • Last Updated Monday, 16 August 2010 20:58
I’m not sure ‘buzzing’ is the best way to describe how I am feeling at the end of our second day here in Norwich, but it’s the best one I can come up with right now!

http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs461.snc3/25317_401332538022_69233973022_4990006_640546_n.jpgMonday went really well, we got things setup how I wanted them (well, after a while) and we had the opportunity to speak to a few people one to one , one of whom had actually had surgery for a brain tumour some years ago. Many people also stopped by and read each of the little stories that go along with the masks which is something I had hoped would happen...rather than them just glancing as they wandered by.

We also had a visit from a lady who works at Dunston Hall, she was delivering one of the prizes for the treadmill participants but she stayed quite sometime with us. Andrew and I walked her around the exhibition and we chatted about many different brain tumour related issues...another lovely encounter!

But today, Tuesday, has been better than I ever expected.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2711/4484680233_788edd6ce3.jpgI am writing this having just watched a group of 5 ‘hoodies’ laughing and joking as they approached the masks (obviously having no idea what the exhibition was about) then when I wandered over one asked what the masks were for...a rowdy group quietened and actually listened to my brief explanation of what the masks are used for...then, they looked at Michael Johnson’s mask and one of the teenagers was quite moved, not only by Michael’s story, but by all the amazing words attached to his mask...”wow, I don’t know how I would feel if I ever went through something like this but this guy (Michael) is so positive”... I think we can call that a job well done!

Earlier a lady with a young daughter was moved to tears by one of the stories she read and spent quite sometime chatting with me about various aspects of having a brain tumour, and about how we all go through life oblivious to so much yet when faced with an exhibition like ours that confronts one of those things hardly ever spoken about we suddenly realise just how lucky we are.

http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs441.snc3/25317_401644423022_69233973022_4997161_5938662_n.jpgToday has also seen many little conversations, lots of people have picked up our leaflets and booklets, we’ve had walkers on the treadmill and I think both Andrew and I feel the days seem to be getting better and better.

We have now had confirmation that Bryan Gunn, ex Norwich City FC and Scotland goalkeeper, will be visiting the exhibition and walking a few miles on our treadmill later this week (date and time to be announced soon!). On Thursday the Sheriff of Norwich, Professor Tim O’Riordan and Chloe Smith MP for Norwich North will be visiting the exhibition and on Friday Charles Clarke MP for Norwich South will also be here to talk with us and view the masks...as you can imagine we are thrilled with the support we are receiving from all these people and the Norwich community.

I’d also like to thank each and every one of the mask participants for not only putting their all into the decorating of their masks but for sharing their stories and inspiring people I never dreamed would be interested in our display and the cause.

I will try to update things again later in the week but bear with me, things are crazy busy and when I get home all I want to do is sleep!

Your BT Buddy,

Natalya