We had two events on Rare Disease Day, and two cakes. What’s a celebration without cake?
Cake is for sharing amongst family, friends and community. It is a great leveller. People gathered to admire, to photograph, and enjoy. There are no hierachies as far as cake is concerned. No need for formal introductions when admiring someone else’s hard work. There were smiles and laughter from all.
Cake brings a party atmosphere. There were no brightly coloured balloons, but there were sweets on arrival, finger food for meals & people were dressed up (I wasn’t wearing pyjamas!!). There were presents- not simply free pens from some exhibitors, but awards. The NIRDP public service award went to Kieran McCarthy, MLA and the NIRDP community award went to our mate Ditzy. (The long term reader may remember tales of driving round the region with Ditzy and the always attendant chaos.)
Days later some of the symbolism of cutting the cake occurred to us: not only honouring the cutter as in a birthday, but marking a new togetherness as in a wedding. The message was we value you, and we want our relationship to be long term. Our cake cutters were the Health Minister, VM (lead for Clinical Genetics), Ditzy, Kieran, AK (Chair of the UK Rare Disease Forum) and DS (head of Commissioning for health & social care in NI)- patients, families, clinicians,policy makers and politicians. Cake to mark the development of community.
All that, and it tasted great!
Learning from Rare Disease Day 2016- always choose cake; you’ll think of a good reason later.