Links to all project-related pages:



THE ‘BRAVERY BOTTLES’ APPLICATION FORM IS ON THE BB WEBPAGE (accessed by clicking here, or on the logo in the right sidebar). Alternatively, you can be taken straight to the application form (when open) by clicking here, or the waiting list form (when applications are closed) by clicking here.


Monday, 11 June 2018

Intro & Overview

This post provides a brief overview of each of the other projects. More in-depth information can be found by clicking on each logo. 

The logos are also located in the sidebar on the right hand side of the screen/home page. 

1. MY BLOG: ‘Life through my eyes’. This will be a place where each week I upload a slideshow of photos and videos of my week living with a chronic illness, and also where I write my own posts on a range of topics. This is the 'main page' of the blog, which allows you to access the other project's webpages, but will be based completely illness-based, with easy access to updates on my health and the ins-and-outs of living with multiple illnesses, and the impact that they have on daily life.

2. BRAVERY BOTTLES - A project for anyone with any kind of chronic illness, be it physical, mental, emotional, or otherwise. Upon application, you are sent a ‘B.B. Kit’ which includes everything needed to be part of the project: a Bravery Log (to keep track of beads, milestones, bonus charms, and any other awards that you win), It also includes your 'bottle', which comes on a hanging decoration, the beads that you put in the bottle, and the item you chose upon application that you can display your charms on. The idea behind Bravery Bottles is that the participant awards themselves beads for any act which is brave for them, When there are 30 beads in the bottle (which you'll know by the tracker on the Bravery Log), a charm is awarded. There are also ways to earn bonus charms and credits which are explained further in the ‘Bravery Bottles’ section on the website.

3.  CARE KITS - A small gift bag containing a variety of the basic but vital personal care items, for those who are unexpectedly admitted to hospital. The kits will be given routinely to a ward at my local hospital that I’ve been admitted to multiple times; and from the very first time I was admitted there, couldn’t do more to help me. I'm sure that a lot of people can relate to this, as a  result of being chronically ill and spending a lot of time in hospital is the familiarity with wards (as well as the doctors and the nurses that work there). You can nominate a ward in any hospital that you feel would benefit from a batch of kits (and you can choose whether or not you'd like your name included with them so they know who 'nominated' them) on the ''Distributing the Care Kits' page on the Care Kits page.

4. TEDDIES WITH TRACHS - Having an operation as a child is daunting enough as it is. But when that operation leaves you with a medical device you don’t often publicly see - like a tracheostomy - it must be confusing, scary, and isolating. Following on from the idea of ‘Katie the Bear’, I adapt teddy bears to also have a tracheostomy, and give them to the child prior to their own surgery, so that the children that also need one are hopefully less scared, can be taught more about what will be happening to them (which they can pass on to friends when they start/are at school) so they won’t feel like an ‘outsider’, and will recognise their trachy as the ‘norm’ from a young age. I hope that in time, it will be something I can deliver in person to childrens’ hospitals rather than just the so that they can see my tracheostomy in person too.
In the interest of fundraising for the projects, I have also opened an online shop through Etsy, which you can browse by clicking the 'shop' tab at the top of the screen. If you subscribe to my blog - which you can do by entering your email address in the box in the left hand sidebar on any of the project webpages (all of the pages are linked, so you only have to enter your email address once on any one of the pages) - you will receive free P&P/shipping for as long as you remain subscribed.
 In order to raise as much money as possible before the end of this year, the ongoing fundraiser is the ‘Public Fundraising Challenge’. This challenge consists of 5 simple fundraising activities, each lasting the duration of the month of which it’s announced. The winner(s) of each challenge will be announced on the last day of the month, and the next challenge will begin the next day, (the first day of the following month). There is no restriction on who can participate (hence the ‘Public’ part of the title!), and will run from August through December (challenge #1 - the Smarties Tube Challenge being an exception and lasting for more than a month as it will ‘officially’ be August’s challenge. The 5th challenge will be set to end on the last day of December, marking the end of the challenge as 2019 is seen in. On the 1st January - which coincidentally happens to be Bravery Bottles 1st birthday!), the overall amount raised throughout the 5 challenges, (along with special recognition awards, gifts and prizes) will be announced. Each challenge in detail will be uploaded to the ‘Bravery Bottles webpage, and will be announced on both the ‘Life through my Eyes’ page (in the updates section), and on the Social Media pages. 

Finally, I'm holding a monthly competition that anyone can get involved in. It involves colouring (either digitally or by hand) the 'quote of the month'; displayed at the top of the right side bar. By clicking on this thumbnail, you will be taken to the 'Quote of the month' webpage, where you'll find a brief explanation of the competition, a larger version of the quote, and the 'Gallery' - where all winning submissions will be displayed.  Everyone who participates will receive a small prize; the overall winner also receiving a gift card/voucher of their choice. Please send all completed pictures to me, via email (, by taking a photograph of your coloured picture and sending it, or scanning it and sending it that way. The new picture will be uploaded on the 1st of the month, and the winner announced on the last day of the month. There is no limit on how many months you participate, so please get involved!

If you have any questions/queries/comments about anything at all, please don't hesitate to contact me - the details are provided in the 'Contact me' tab which can be found here or at the top of the page.

Thank you all for your support as always, and I apologise that it's taken so long for me to redesign this blog. Don't forget to 'like' the Life through my Eyes Facebook Page for updates, and please participate in competitions and events as they arise.

Love, Katie😊


Sunday, 8 April 2018

New Blog

Hello everyone and thank you for visiting my new blog!


Most of you will know me already; either in person or online, and a large proportion of people reading this will be a member of 'Bravery Bottles'. For those of you who don't know me though, welcome to my blog! You can read all about me, my life & the medical conditions I have in the 'about me' tab at the top of the page or by clicking here

The main reason for this post is to introduce my new blog and tell you the reasons that I have decided to change it from the blog I was running. 

As a quick and very short overview, I've had a blog of some kind for about 5 or 6 years now, as I started to write when my health problems developed. In that time, I have been on a downward deterioration with my health to the point I'm at today; bed-bound for the majority of the time.

I started this post with the mention of 'Bravery Bottles', and being the reason for the blog change, I'll briefly touch on that. At the beginning of the year, I had an idea of a project that I wanted to set up and trial, for those with chronic illnesses. There are SO many projects of the sort, all with incredible ideas and each successful in their own way (I am in NO way criticising any existing projects - I have the absolute utmost respect for each of them and the people who run them). Having spent more time in the past few years as an inpatient than at home, I signed up for many of these projects, support groups, and charity along the way. 

It was a couple of years ago that I had to move home from uni due to illness, and so I began to be admitted to a new hospital, in a new area and under new speciality doctors. It wasn't only the inpatient care that I was so impressed with, but I was offered community care I didn't even know existed! 

Of course that was such a positive for me, and although I was no 'better' health-wise (in fact I was deteriorating by the day!), I was able to be treated in my own bed, in my own home, but still receiving that all important care that before I'd only been offered in hospital. 

It was one day that I logged onto my laptop to apply for the 'rewards' for one project in particular that I realised I didn't actually qualify for them anymore. Every project I looked at/was part of gave rewards based on being an inpatient; how many times you'd been blue-lighted in an ambulance, spent time in intensive care, nights spent on wards and the amount of time you'd spent admitted in hospital. I do everything in my power to avoid admission, as do so many others, that it was becoming a competition of 'who is the most ill' based on how many rewards from these projects they'd earned. 

It was at this point that I had the idea for 'Bravery Bottles' - still a project for the chronically ill, but awarding those who overcome their own challenges, and wasn't told what they had to do to earn awards. The definition of 'Bravery' is interpreted so differently by everyone in all aspects of life, let alone in the broad spectrum of illnesses that people live with. My project lets the participant award themselves for doing things that required bravery for them, the opinions of others being irrelevant.

'Bravery Bottles' took off near enough from day 1. I was shocked at the amount of applications, messages, compliments, and interest I had from it; and that success hasn't faltered since - 6 months down the line.

As you can imagine, the project takes a lot of organisation. I was beginning to find that the combination of blogging about myself/my own health updates combined on the same blog as the project (which had to display application forms, information, awards, competitions, prizes, and guest blog posts to give but a few examples!), my previous blog was not only becoming too cluttered, disorganised, and hard to navigate and control, but my health conditions and medical updates - the focus of my blog originally - was becoming inundated with 'Bravery Bottles' content. I also had in mind the followers I had previously, who chose to follow my blog to hear about my treatment and state of health, neither of which was I providing any longer.

So, this is the blog that is, and will remain to be, based completely on my health. It's not as easy for me anymore to type long posts like this due to painful and constantly dislocating fingers, so I've decided that this blog will have a weekly post in the form of a 'slideshow'; a selection of photos and videos from throughout the week. this is how I have decided to run this blog:

Each day, I will take photos and film videos of my day-to-day life, focusing mainly, of course, on my health, and how it affects every aspect of my life. I will then put these together into a 'slideshow' with the material collected over a week's period (with the exception of the next post, which will be an update on my hospital admission, including my birthday, and time since discharge), and it will be uploaded to my blog, with a short summary of each day, the following Monday. These will be combined with written posts as and when I’m well enough to write them, but with the unpredictability of my health and it generally only getting worse, I can’t promise a set schedule on said posts.  
Any important updates will be in the ’announcements’ section at the top of the home screen, but in terms of health updates, they’ll appear in the weekly summary, each one will be posted under the corresponding tab at the top of the page. 
I have also set up 2 more projects -Katie’s Care Kits being the first - supplying small kits of essential items (mostly hygiene items) to the ward I am known to at my local hospital, as a ‘thank you’ for the care they’ve given and continue to give me each time I’m admitted. You can nominate wards within hospitals (wherever they are), and they will be sent a batch of kits, either on behalf of yourself (if they know you), or anonymously if you wish.

The second is Teddies with Trachs - motivated by my adapted bear (Katie - Bear in a Wheelchair), where I intend to put tracheostomies into teddies, and distribute them to the local children’s hospital/hospice, to give them a ‘friend’ that looks the same as them.

All updates will be on the relevant blog page, but I’ve also set up a Facebook page that you can follow and get updates on too. It will incorporate updates on all projects (Bravery Bottles, Katie's Care Kits, and Teddies with Trachs), as well as this page; life through my eyes.
 The link for the page is:

Lastly, please take a moment to look at how you can help on the ‘HOW YOU CAN HELP’ tab at the top of the page, because every little makes a difference. 

Thank you all, as always. 

Love, Katie xxx

(p.s. Don't forget to subscribe by entering your email into the box in the left sidebar. You'll get my posts emailed to you as soon as they are posted, and it entitles you to discounts in the online shop).