A few weeks ago our Chief Banana Matt was asked to review the newspapers on the BBC Essex early morning programme. As a family, we went together but it was Matt who was interviewed. When we arrived we were given all of the Sunday papers and told to choose three stories that Matt would like to talk about on the radio. As Banana Crumble features Good News we wanted to find 3 stories full of good news.
It was actually really hard to find three stories that fitted in with our Good News ethos and that could be inspiring to others. The first story Matt chose had the headline “Nice to see uni, to see uni nice” and it was about a young lady called Tilly Griffiths who had previously been given a Pride of Britain award for her charity work. The article spoke about Tilly being sponsored by Sir Bruce Forsyth and how she had won a place at top US university Stanford.
We didn’t really know anything about Tilly other than the short article we featured. The story resonated with us and we thought it would be great to do some research into Tilly’s story and to find out a bit more about her and her inspirational journey.
Tilly Griffiths was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a muscle degenerating disease when she was a year old. Tilly finds everyday tasks difficult, she is unable to walk, control her head or to lift her arms above her head. She was given a specially designed wheelchair to help her by The Caldwell charity which she has said on numerous times has completely transformed her life. In 2012 Tilly and her sister made a butterfly collage and put it up for an auction at a charity ball and on the evening it raised £860,000 – a remarkable achievement for someone so young. She was awarded The Child of Courage at the Pride of Britain Awards.
At these awards it was Sir Bruce Forsyth who presented her with the award and after the ceremony he became an ambassador for The Caldwell Children’s Charity and he worked really hard at promoting this until he died. Tilly was in fact asked to speak about Sir Bruce on the television after he had passed.
It has been reported that Tilly had always wanted to go to university but didn’t think it was a possibility. However with her strength and determination she has turned that dream into reality by winning a scholarship to Stanford. The more research I did into this story the more amazed I was with what I read. Tilly has ice skated, abseiled along the way plus many other activities that would be seemingly impossible. Tilly has her own website Dreams, wheels and killer heels and it is when you read this that you see what a remarkable young lady Tilly is.
Tilly’s scholarship will cover the cost of the course but she has launched a crowd funding page to raise funds for her accommodation and other expenses whilst she is there.
Banana Crumble would like to wish Tilly all the best with her studies and we will certainly keep an eye out for her updates. Perhaps we will try and get her to do a Banana Chat…..
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