You can't dance with cancer without knowing a bit about Lance Armstrong (especially if your Dad and your brother are keen cyclists). So for the last eight months or so I've been paying attention to what his charity Livestrong is up to. It's all good, as far as I can see. I follow @lancearmstrong and @livestrongceo on Twitter - they haven't reciprocated, but they have 1,612,065 and 400,923 followers respectively, so I can see why they haven't spotted me and decided to make time every day to enjoy my mainly-knitting-related tweets- but that's about as far as my association with Livestrong has gone.
A couple of weeks ago, out of the blue, I had an email from the press/PR organisers of the Livestrong Global Cancer Summit, inviting me to apply for press accreditation for the event. As I have (a) no formal journalistic training and (b) very little experience, outside this blog and a bit of corporate/magazine stuff last century, I wasn't quite sure why I'd been asked. (I've got to assume it's the blog.) Taking the 'nothing ventured, nothing gained' approach I filled out the application anyway, which didn't take long, as apart from the details of Bah! to Cancer I seemed to be typing 'none' or 'N/A' in most of the boxes.
Last night, checking my emails on the way home from a lovely dinner with lovely Jude, I was amazed to find an email telling me that my application had been accepted and I have been given media accreditation to attend this event. (To understand how I felt, rearrange these words into a well known phrase: "knocked could a me you down feather with have".)
I can't tell you how much this means to me, and how I excited I am about it. First and foremost, I will get to be part of an event that is looking at the big picture - it's all about creating a sustained global movement to change the way cancer is dealt with. Secondly, I'll be able to share that, via this blog and other publications. And, on a personal level, there's something very special here.... Jude and I had a long chat about writing last night, during the course of which she asked me whether I was still enjoying blogging. I said that I was, and added that I sometimes get anxious that I will run out of things to say... but every time that happens, something seems to pop up to keep me going. Then, lo and behold, the email arrived. (Obviously I do understand that the universe has better things to be doing than keeping me supplied with blog material, but then again....) Finally, I get to hang out in Dublin for 3 days pretending to be a real journalist, something I've always wanted to do. (The journalist part, I mean, though Dublin is clearly a bonus.)
So, I'm excited - and not a little nervous. I think I need to find a real journalist to tell me what to do as all I know about stuff like this I've learned from Drop The Dead Donkey. Please feel free to contact me with your advice and any requests you have for stories, interviews etc while I'm there. Details of the conference are here.