Hey Paula

I should be sleeping but I’m not. Saturday morning at 5:57am should be a time for recovering the body in preparation for another adventure, but instead I’m still living one. I find myself aboard a Virgin Pendolino (careful now…) heading back to Scotland after a whistlestop visit to see my family down south. With Frank Wilson on repeat in the so called Quiet Coach (I’m the only punter in this wagon does that title actually matter at this hour?), I’m back in the LifeCycle studio to lay down a bonus track for my niece Paula.


Because Paula cares about what I’m doing.

I saw her and Diamond Geezer (so called because he used to play pro for Rushden & Diamonds) last night and both were on top form. After dinner, Paula asked me a killer question that pressed all the right buttons that spawned this bonus track: “why did you decide to do LifeCycle”?

You see Paula, like so many other people I meet, had never heard of Neuroblastoma. I tried my best to explain, and in doing so I came to realise that this journey is not just about the money we raise, it’s about getting the message out there that this devastating disease kills.

I explained that I wouldn’t be doing this if David Murray hadn’t used a dodgy tax avoidance scheme at the now defunct Glasgow Rangers. I certainly wouldn’t be doing it if there was Twitter and no Facebook but most certainly of all I wouldn’t be doing it if there’d been no t’internet and Rangers Tax Case.

The discussion then moved on to The Celtic Network (that in itself should make you proud Wullie Broon) and the article that kickstarted the blog. Paula got to learn about Vanessa Riddle, Oscar Knox and MacKenzie Furniss. She got to see the picture of wee Oscar running into the arms of Hoopy at the Cliftonville Champions League qualifier. She got to know that Vanessa beat cancer twice, she got to know about Nicola McCurry for whom the battle has started all over again at the age of 26 and she got the story of Brogan Rogan Trevino and his magnificent project management of the fundraising amongst the Celtic support. Basically, she got it: Paula got to understand why getting up at 5:15 every morning for four years and pitching up against the best that Michael Fish has to offer is the best I can do help the Vanessas, Oscars and MacKenzies make it to adulthood.

But now, in the cold light of day, I realise that I should also have told her about Parson Bhoy, aka Father Time on Just Giving. I’d like to meet Father Time one day, if only to shake his hand and say thank you. Father Time is special because he gets it. He gets Celtic, he gets his two pounds in every week with a kind word or two but above all else he gets LifeCycle. So does The Black Knight, another of my appreciative Celtic minded supporters.

And, I suspect after our wee chat last night, Paula gets the Celtic connection as well. A wee lass working with diabetics in the north west of England not only gets LifeCycle, she gets where it came from and gets what it can do if only we can only get the message out there.

Paula, this one’s for you.

Thank you.

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