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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone.  My new year resolution is to blog more often! I must confess that you have all been neglected and there is so much to say.  I will do my very best to blog at least once a month, so do watch this space and keep in touch.
2010 I have declared on my facebook as the year of Muir Maxwell, "The" Epilepsy Trust for Children and Families. Our focus is is on the £1 million we have promised to raise to underwrite our world class research team, based at Edinburgh University's College of Medicine. Together we will begin to identify cures for some of the most devastating childhood epilepsies. Our team will take world class research from "the bench to the bed" and start to make it better!
We are already over £300,000 towards our £1 million target.  Although we have given ourselves 5 years to reach this target I am optimistic that we will achieve our goal well ahead of time.  To this end we will be making some changes to the home page on our website to enable you all to monitor our progress.  It goes without saying that any help you can give us would be gratefully appreciated.  Already, our white board in the office is filling up with details of fundraising you are doing for us including sponsored swims, cycles, marathons and even a climb up Ben Nevis! We are so proud of you all and so thrilled to have your support.
This time of year is strange for me. I am reminded of the events of 2006 when I was diagnosed with a life threatening brain tumour. 2006 was therefore not a good fundraising year for MMT as I had to take time out for two major brain surgeries  - one in March and one in September. I have a very rare form of bone cancer in my head called a cranial chondrosarcoma.  Were it not for the brilliant surgical skills of Professor Michael Gleeson and Neil Kitchen I probably wouldn't be here today.  The cancer is incurable but only 20% of it remains at the moment. Around this time every year I have an MRI scan to determine if the tumour has grown.  Until now it has been dormant. Hopefully, this will still be the case following my next scan which is imminent.
Every cloud has a silver lining because were it not for our connection with paediatric neurologists through the work of the Trust, we would never have found Professor Michael Gleeson who was recommended to us by Professor Brian Neville, the first HRH The Prince of Wales' Chair of Paediatric Epilepsy.  And there by the grace of God go I - and the Muir Maxwell Trust!
Muir is in a very good place right now.  He returned to school on Tuesday and was very excited to see his friends, teachers and carers in residence.  It is his 13th birthday on Thursday - Muir Maxwell is no longer a little boy but a teenager! There were times when I thought we would never see this day. Although not many, when seizures threatened death, these are moments that a mother never forgets.  He is in rude health, bursting with energy, growing like a weed, eating like a horse, sleeping late whenever he can, cheeky and full of humour.  The odd seizure still breaks through but nothing that worries us for the moment. Long may it stay that way.
And now to the Trust's fundraising which is focused on two major events - Alice in Wonderland on Friday 7th May in 29 Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow and our Cinderella Ball at the Savoy Hotel in London on Saturday 13th November. Details regarding both of these events and how to purchase your tables will be released very soon. Please watch this space for further information and get your table bookings in early as both events are expected to be a sell out!
Thats all for now folks! Until February, stay warm and cosy and motivated.  It's going to be a very good year.
Best wishes,
Ann Maxwell

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