So SWAN UK is 10 years old!
🎶 Happy Birthday to you
A wonderful crew
Happy Birthday dear SWAN
Without you what would we do!! 🎶
Who they? Those that know me don’t need to ask. My best friend even ran a marathon for them. When you have an undiagnosed child (or 2 like us) this charity is a lifeline. Set up by Genetic Alliance, recognising that half of children with genetic conditions never get a diagnosis. Building support networks and raising awareness.
Why a lifeline? Imagine your child misses all their milestone, they stop breathing half the night, they are regularly in and out of hospital but no one knows why. You embark on a series of tests, too many to mention eventually leading to research studies in the hope of understanding what has happened and more importantly what the future looks like. But no one knows. This was our journey with Angel and Soldier! It’s a lonely lonely place. Long term friends and friends made through baby networks are all walking a different path to you. Finding SWAN 9 years ago was like finding a family. Our Facebook network a world of wisdom. A world of support. A world that just ‘gets it’. So many other families all in the same place on an unknown journey. When your mind is racing in the middle of the night there is always a SWAN parent online to help
What do they do? The best Facebook group ever! SWAN meet ups where those virtual relationships become real. Unofficial SWAN mummy weekends, time to let our hair down and really bond, a SWAN mummy friend reminded us this week that it is 8 years since our first unofficial weekend away in Birmingham, wow, seems like yesterday! Friends for life 🙂 working with professionals to educate them on what it is like for parents of undiagnosed children, living everyday with the unknown 😦 How it feels to hear again and again ‘we don’t know’.
Once you are a SWAN family you never leave. It’s the most supportive, non judgemental place we have found. The SWAN team work very hard to develop, protect and grow this wonderful culture. We now know the gene flaws Angel and Soldier have, identified by a research study at the Sanger Institute BUT we still have no idea what the future holds… so things really haven’t changed that much… we still turn to our SWAN network regularly and share our journey and tips with other SWAN families. All of us all the better for SWAN UK 🙂
Happy Birthday SWAN U.K! You have made a massive difference to the lives of families like ours. Here’s to the next 10 years 👏