Victory in Vegas!

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I still can't quite believe it, but yes, it's actually happened, I've started this entry to my Leukaemia blog with the words "Yee-Ha!!!!!"

Baldy's Blog has now scooped an international award in the world's biggest blog competition. From Yorkshire to Las Vegas - who'd have thought it?!

A total of 545,446 votes were cast in 49 categories.

What a result and thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. Last week's voting was so much fun and a really welcome distraction. Can I just say how interesting it's been too reading some of the other blogs in my category.

If any of their authors are reading this I'm just a journalist working in Huddersfield but living in Sheffield in the UK. It's been quite an experience dipping into the world of big-time blogging. There is some really impressive stuff in our category. I wish you all continued success.

I wanted to use this post to re-cap Thursday night and try and reply to some of your fabulous comments that have been posted throughout the competition.

This award doesn't change anything for me but what it gave me, and those close to me, was a very welcome distraction for a week. That voting system was addictive wasn't it?

The result has been an incredible boost. No matter what happens to me, live or die, this is something that will always be remembered and bring a smile to people's faces.

So - this is how the night unfolded.

London- time 8pm

I was invited down to London on Thursday to meet the Anthony Nolan Trust and attend a special media training day at the Groucho Club in Soho. Apparently this is quite an exclusive and famous venue but I'd never heard of it.

Throughout the day I was getting texts saying the blog was still in the lead. Then I got a call from BBC breakfast TV asking me to come on the show the following morning. Really hoped it was going to win now.

The course finished so I tried to get a quick drink in the Groucho Club's bar - but apparently I'm not a "private member". Oh London. So I trundled off with my suitcase, hat and fat steroid head, to meet some of my friends.

By the way the steroids (also now routinely referred to as 'steds' or 'roids') are still keeping me pumped up.

I met my friends from journalism college. First up was Lucy Twitchin who showed me something truly incredible. She works in PR and after hours they actually have an office that transforms into a bar. I feel like I should write an entry just about how magnificent it truly is.

We then headed out to a few more bars and met Laura Oakley, Ashley Rogers and his wife Laura (you may remember them from a previous post), Will Pavia and his girlfriend Brook.

We then saw the news that some huge tidal wave was coming to wipe out the east coast of England. Sure enough, Will - who works for the Times - was called straight away to head to Norfolk.

We were all laughing because it was now a sure bet I would be ditched from the BBC's line-up. You could almost hear the national reporters grabbing their wellies, anoraks and venturing out to the action.

But we all knew that when the media gets itself really organised for a natural event that's supposed to be massive - it's rarely as exciting as it's supposed to be.

Sure enough at 9pm I was phoned and subsequently ditched from TV. The tsunami was coming! (For anyone reading this outside of the UK we were told there was going to be a huge tidal surge in the North Sea which could have flooded thousands of homes. In the end I think two cellars got a bit damp - possibly in unrelated incidents).

But I wasn't bothered - things were still looking good.

At 10pm a friend from university Phil Driver - the guy who ran the London Marathon and raised about £5,000 for the Anthony Nolan Trust - text to say the polls had closed and it looked like I had done it.

To celebrate my friends treated us to a bottle of champagne.

Here are the victorious scenes!

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Couldn't believe it! All we needed to hear now was the official confirmation from Liam Mcneilis and Steve Harrison state-side.


Las Vegas - time (I'm a bit confused now)

Hundreds of people were gathering for the largest blog competition in the world.


Liam speaks:


Once again this is Liam, reporting for my good friend Adrian. I've recovered enough from both the hangover and jet lag to let you know how the awards ceremony went.

The Joint

First off the award was held in 'The Joint' a nightclub within the Hard Rock Hotel. On the night before rock legend Gene Simmons from KISS played a concert here. For our night, The Joint had been hijacked by bloggers.

The 2007 Blogworld Expo party and Blog Awards actually. All across America bloggers, podcasters, social networkers and assorted people who otherwise live on the internet came together for drinks, food, extremely suspicious dancing (people who live on the internet can't dance but a few brave souls did attempt to prove this theory wrong... they didn't succeed).

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Of course as well as having fun the purpose of the evening was for those in the room to roar their drunken approval of each others blogs, and find out who won which awards.

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The cream of the blogosphere like everyone else like to know who is top dog. I'm pleased to say that the top dog this year, at least in terms of Health Blogs, turned out to be our friendly neighbourhood Adrian Sudbury. The tragedy was of course the old boy wasn't able to join us for all the free booze.

Once everyone has sampled the free grub, and more than a few free drinks, it was time for the winners to be announced. Steve Harrison did the honours and collected the award on Adrian's behalf.

Explaining that we had flown all the way from England to pick this up for Adrian he thanked the organisers and thanked everyone who had voted.

Honestly I've not been drinking officer... hic

The organiser recommended everyone in the room to read Adrian's "inspiring" blog and privately wished us to pass on their best wishes to Adrian.

If you are wondering - Liam and Steve have been incredible behind the scenes making this blog possible. I hope you all agree it looks really good, regardless of the content, and that is all down to them.

This project is not part of their job but without complaining once they have constantly updated it for me when I have been too ill. I am not a computer genius. I felt like I was in the Matrix when I cut and paste my first bit of HTML (that is the nerdiest joke I have ever made) but any ideas I have had - problems with any pictures or videos - they have both made time to sort it out.

I was delighted when our company's top boss Sly Bailey contacted me to say that they could fly out to the awards on my behalf.

These are the final votes:

Please have a look at some of the other finalists too. I think it shows just how big and important some blogs are becoming.

Thanks once more to everyone from Huddersfield and around the world who has supported me so magnificently.

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6 Comments

Thank you for all your phenomenal support. Here I have tried to reply to everyone who has posted a comment. You have all helped give me and those close to me a brilliant lift. Thank you all for your time and interest in what I've been writing about.

Tom - your support has been brilliant. Hurry up and find that cancer cure. Going to need it after all that TBI! Get you and Zoey up to Sheffield soon.

Jacquie Roeder - The Laura Crane Trust has been incredibly kind to me. Both me and Poppy really enjoyed attending your massively successful ball on Saturday. Hope the speech I gave was OK. Will be in touch soon. Anything else I can do to help feel free to drop me a line. Just let me know how many words you'd like for your newsletter. Great to be in black tie again.

Jenny Lewis - Many thanks for taking the time to vote and comment.

Liz Boffey - The YFC were out in force supporting the Huddersfield-based but national charity, the Laura Crane Trust on Saturday. They raise money into research into young people with cancer and strive to improve facilities for them. Will definitely have to help give that calendar a push. Let me know when it's ready.

John - appreciate that, thanks.

Jenni - I hear you have been tirelessly voting! Thank you very much. Although we've never met I know your support, along with former Newark colleagues, has really helped support my dad. That's meant a lot to me too. Thanks again.

Garry - Thanks again mate and thank you for the continued interest in the blog. Can you believe it actually won this thing?

Stefan - I know I dropped u a line before but thanks again for the support. It's much appreciated.

Dawn - I know you will have given it everything you can. Brilliant support and it has totally paid off. Great to have some good news to write about and u helped make that possible!

Row - Great to have the Nottingham/Namibia connection phibing and vibing again. Lovely to see you again and thanks for spreading the word so widely in proper Robin Hood Country. All these Yorkshire folk reckon he's from Doncaster! No way! Would be good to see you again soon.

Auntie Sheila, Uncle Jim, Bob, Di, Rick, Julie, Jack, Alice and Harry - I can't believe it took two types of leukaemia, a bone marrow transplant and an international award for me to finally pick up a phone and call you! I know how you have all been following what's been happening to me online and I'm really grateful for all your support. Best wishes to you all.

Anne On Emos - Thanks!

Nikki - It's incredible thinking this blog is being read all those thousands of miles away in New Zealand. Well, it did win - so thanks for all your votes from that side of the Earth!

Amanda - Thank you for such a kind comment.

Carla - Thanks for the luck. I guess it paid off!

Raman - Cheers mate. Did I ever see you at the back curtain of Time Tunnel?

Deborah - Really kind words. Don't really know what to say. I will say writing about all these difficult things has helped me come to terms with them. I have also learnt to make the most of the good times too - like these! Thanks again.

Lesley - I will try. Support like this really helps you keep going.

Paola - I can't believe there were a few votes in Venezuela! That is mind boggling!! Thank you for getting in touch and spreading the word.

Annie - Great to hear from you again and I gather it's great news about Steven too. That Glivec is bloody good stuff so I hear. Firstly thanks for letting lots of people in the US know about my blog and secondly for being such a good friend to my mum too. The impact of this blog has gone far beyond anything I thought possible when I started writing it. Thanks again for your continued support.

Nick - Amen to that homie!

Staff nurse Sue - You have no idea how important you, along with all the nurses up on P3, have been to me over the last year. It's been a privilege to have such a dedicated team of professionals looking after me. I can't begin to thank you enough. A present should be on its way to you all soon though.

Serena - Thanks for getting in touch. Bradders is great isn't she? Human beings are impressive in some situations aren't they? Thank you for commenting so positively.

Anne On o'Mouse - To hear people say they are going to sign up to the bone marrow register because of this blog really makes me feel that at least something positive has come out of this. Thank you so much for doing that. You could have just saved someone's life. All the best to you too.

Jordo - MOMMY!

Mark - Good to hear from you and thanks to all the Hunters who have been voting over the last week. Thanks very much mate.

Kay - Are you the Kay from the Bilborough College bus? If so lovely to hear from you. If not it's still great to hear from you! What are you up to now? Thanks for posting a comment. Would be good to see you again. Thank you for your very kind words too. AD

Gemma - Cheers.

Ailsa - It's hard to describe how good it makes you feel when people like you post comments like that. Thanks so much.

Rob - Can't believe it came off! Cheers for your support.

Laura - Thanks for dropping me a line. I think we met once many moons ago. Thank you for voting for me. What are you doing these days?

Lesley - Or should I say Mrs Maslen?! Thanks a lot for getting behind the blog. Loving the European connections too. It means a lot to me that you have taken the time to do all that you have. I hope you know how much I appreciate it. Hope Neil has forgiven me for failing to attend the wedding. Apologies for sending drunk Poppy! See you soon.

Georgia - A massive thank you to you and your family. Your support is all hugely appreciated. Sincere best wishes to you all too.

Olie, 2i, Benito - sterling work lads!

Laura K - Thanks a lot for checking out my UK blog. I felt like a bit of a fish out of water with some of those big boys in America. Thanks for being so complimentary about what I've been trying to do here. I think people respect honest accounts and I guess it's that.
Sounds like you are having a tough time too. Rubbish isn't it? Have you been offered/tried any other treatment for your immune disorder other than steroids? I'm seeing if this new treatment works for me - it's bizarre and a new video should be on the blog later this week. Know what you mean about avoiding infection. I think u have to strike that balance between being sensible and not living your life.
Loving the USA steroid hug! Thanks for getting in touch and I wish you well too.

Julie - How come I never got sent to Vegas either! Just my luck x

Karen - Thank you for getting in touch. I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. I was told I might have been as close as two weeks away from dying. My first type was also AML and I didn't realise initially just how lucky I had actually been. I'm sure if she'd been given the same chance as me she would have fought just as hard and if not more.

Jacko - Those initial pictures were shocking but at least they aren't holding up their trainers.

Rob - Thanks a lot. I wish I'd been there too but hopefully I will get the chance to go to America another time. Thanks for your support.
Lucy - That is a really kind comment thanks ever so much. The competition was really strong so to come out on top is really humbling.

Julian - Good work mate. Being carried out on a stretcher in front of your colleagues must have established you as a legend! It sounds like things are picking up for you now though. How are things looking long-term? Best wishes.

Jill - Thankfully I had Steve Harrison to go up and collect the award on my behalf! Please have a look at the video that should have been put online. Nurses are brilliant. Autograph? - I'll give them whatever they want!

Andy, Anne, Tom and Harry - Great to hear from you all again. My mum and dad have told me how you have been following my progress. I really appreciate your support and thank you for voting!

Mazza - I love you too. Thanks for looking past the gigantic face and discovering my real beauty beneath by bloated exterior. You and the Maslens rock!

Fiona - I don't think you'll ever appreciate just how much of a lift comments like that are to me. Thank you ever so much.

Mike - Thank you for logging on and voting. You are a really good mate. Genuinely hope things are looking up for you too. Best wishes pal.

Hi Adrian,
Sorry that I missed you last week when you dropped by the chapel. Jack passed the slips with information about the awards onto me - congratulations! Perhaps catch you next time that you are passing?
With best wishes,
Mark

Hi again Adrian.
I spoke with Sly Bailey at last week's Trinity Mirror conference and told her how much you (and we) appreciated sending the lads to Las Vegas. Obviously we didn't know about the free bar at the time!
Seriously, she is very proud of your blogging skills and your achievements and so are we all.
Reading all the blogs and comments, it is weird that the best of human nature so often comes from the worst of human circumstances. There must be a lesson in there somewhere, but for the moment I'll settle for you completing your recovery and getting back to work at the Examiner before you get too famous for us. That slightly swollen head is the steroids - isn't it?
Regards to you and Poppy. John G.

Hey Adrian
I really like this photograph of you - can almost hear the chuckle that goes with it. Its really awesome about your blog winning. Great stuff!
Hope your other treatment is going well too and that you are starting to feel almost normal now.
And yes, Steven is great - thanks :-)
love
Anne
Steven's mom
http://livingwithcml.blogspot.com

Fantastic result, you deserve it!

Wow. I just discovered your blog and you're like me! I'm a 26 year year old bald hottie with a recurrent lymphoma that was diagnosed in April 2006. I'm looking down the barrel of another transplant, and hopefully, my best case scenario of a long life with graft vs. host. I appreciate how bold you are to post your experiences. I understand how it feels to be beat down again and again. Try to focus on the difference in the world you have made so far and how much more you could make in the future.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Adrian Sudbury published on November 11, 2007 4:54 PM.

Live from Las Vegas: Winning result was the previous entry in this blog.

See Super Steve Harrison pick up the award. (Does the guy think Steve's Baldy?) is the next entry in this blog.

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