Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Heartfelt Thank You from the Benedict Cumberbatch Birthday Team For ALS Research

I honestly will be sad when Benedict's birthday is over! It's been an amazing 2 months! Longer if you count the wait we had for @BenedictBDay to go live! Thanks @ReshmaW  and @dWallaceUS for helping  keep me motivated and supporting me every step of the way!  

Thanks to Richard at @mndVIPteam and Maegan at @alsassociation for all their help, support & cheerleading!
Thanks also to @KC_in_NYC @LittleFavour1 @Lisibelle87 @WATBenedict @vereentjoeng @DieBedra for going that extra mile for us! 

Heartfelt thanks to @Gcfanatic and @dWallaceUS for sharing their stories with us.

Thanks @ReshmaW  for the arduous task of collecting all the lovely messages and putting them into Benedict's keepsake book.

Thanks to @CumberNinjas @BenBatched @clarenewman @Yassammez @Cee_Jay_One @MsSilT @Annos_Africa @mndassoc @UseUrEvolution @adamackland @lindashoare @cumberbatchweb @cumberbatchfrm for RTing & cheering us on.

A super huge thanks to every single one of the CumberCollective who donated/spread the word/RT'd/blogged/gave us support in every way! We made over 3x our original goal because of you all!

And of course the biggest thanks goes to the man who inspires us all, Benedict Cumberbatch!  Something about this incredible person brings out the best in all of us.  I'm very proud to call myself his fan and a member of the CumberCollective!

Thanks for the incredible ride!

We love you #BenedictCumberbatch #HappyBirthdayBenedictCumberbatch

Please keep following @BenedictBDay throughout the year! Thanks!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Family's Nightmare: The insidious disease that is ALS

This is another heartbreaking story from my good friend Tanya LaRose. We thank her for sharing her story with us.

Here's our Story:

My husband David noticed that his fingers wouldn't work very well last summer. He couldn't button the top of his jeans any more and he found it was getting harder and harder to tie on his fishing hooks when he went fishing.  He mentioned it to me occasionally and we both thought it was arthritis.

By the time November came along,  he noticed that he was having a lot of trouble working. He was a groundskeeper and his jobs were really physical.  He got to the point where the fatigue was overwhelming and he had to rest most of the day. He also had a respiratory thing he couldn't seem to get over. On top of that, he was having horrible constipation that he couldn't find any relief for.  Our doctor ran every possible test.   Blood work, x-rays, CT scans.  Pulmonary function testing.  She finally diagnosed him with mild emphysema from his years as a smoker. She prescribed inhalers and a nebulizer but it wasn't helping him. He was getting worse instead of better. Over the winter, he saw several specialists, including a Pulmonologist, and an Endocrinologist who told us that he should be seeing a Neurologist as his reflexes were very strange.

David was referred to a Neurologist but he never made it to her office for his appointment. The weekend before Easter of this year, he was very sick with what we thought was Pneumonia.  I called in sick to work that Monday, the 14th to take him to the doctor. She sent him directly from her office to the hospital to have a chest x-ray and bloodwork.  He had just finished up with that and we were heading home when she called us and told us to turn around and go right to the ER. They were waiting for us.  We did as we were told and they were waiting with a wheelchair for him.  They bought him right into the exam room and gave him a nebulizer treatment to try and break up what was in his lungs.   Suddenly, he couldn't breath at all and he went into respiratory failure. They had to intubate him.  It was terrifying.

He was admitted to the hospital and they kept him in a medically induced coma while they pumped him with antibiotics. He has a severe bronchial infection.  The Neurologist he was supposed to have seen that week came to the hospital and examined him.  That was April 17th.  She did an Electromyogram after I explained all of his symptoms.  I thought maybe he had MS but she met with me the next day and told me that she was pretty certain that he had ALS. She told me that was no test for it and there were tests that they could do to rule it out but I shouldn't get my hopes up.  It was quite a shock and I went home and cried for hours that day.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Daughter's Story: How a father's ALS diagnosis affected one family

The following is told by Debbie Wallace, a member of the @BenedictBDay team, whose father was stricken with ALS.  We thank her for sharing her story.

My Dad was diagnosed with ALS in early 1974 while I was away at university. The first time I saw him after the diagnosis, we talked while he shaved--it took both his hands to pull the razor along his face and 3 times as long as normal to finish his shave. By Christmas, he was no longer able to hold his job, despite the help of his friends with day-to-day activities. Being young and naive, I thought "Boy, I bet he's glad he doesn't have to go to work anymore". I then watched him cry all the way into the house.
By summer 1975, he could no longer walk. We sold our house and moved to be closer to my brother so that he could help with Dad’s care. By the next year, 1976, he was totally immobile, could barely speak, was eating next to nothing, and required vigorous treatments to keep his airway clear so he could breathe. On December 1st, my Dad woke up unable to breathe and he died before the ambulance reached our home. I was not there. When I spoke to my Mom after the funeral, she said that, while she had cried every day after learning he was ill, she couldn't cry anymore because he had finally been set free of his prison.
It's been almost 40 years since my Dad passed away. At that time, doctors & scientists didn't know what caused ALS and it had no cure. It's now 2014 and while care and support services have improved considerably, doctors and scientists still don't know what causes it and there is still no cure for this fatal disease. Scientists are continuously doing research to find the causes and cure. All of our donations help further their work.
I am but one of many stories out there. Thank you for taking the time to listen. 

This incurable disease affects whole families in so many heartbreaking ways.  We can make a difference.  Any amount you can give will help scientists in their search to find a cure. 

Please consider a donation here:

Thank you sincerely,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch's Birthday Fund to raise money for ALS/MND research around the world


We are pleased to announce the launch of our birthday fund in honor of Benedict Cumberbatch in affiliation with the ALS association in the US and the MND association in the UK.

You can donate here: Benedict's Birthday Fund



You don't have to be an American to donate, the funds collected here are to supplement worldwide research in the treatment of ALS/MND.

If you'd like to leave a message for Benedict, you may do so on the site or at the email:

 All messages will be collected in a book and presented to Benedict by a member of the MND team in London.

Please follow us on twitter: @BenedictBDay

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch Strikes Again: an example of how modesty, charm and sweetness will surely win over every woman's heart! Report from January 20th TCA 14 Sherlock Panel

I must say it was a great day all round! Our #BenedictCumberbatch meeting at the #Sherlock TCA 14 Panel in Pasadena was perfect! My daughter, Lauren had not been able to go with me on the other occasions, so I was praying it would be a special experience for her...and WOW it certainly was...all because of Benedict. The Langham Huntington Hotel which hosted the event was a much nicer hotel than the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. And when I say nicer, I mean both in its classiness and generosity. They let us stay on the premises, right next to the ballroom where the panel was being held...they provided chairs, coffee, tea, water and easy access to bathrooms.

We got there at 8am since we weren't sure what time it started. A few people were already there. Surprisingly, Benedict arrived around 10:30; we saw him get out of the car, and Lauren squealed since it was her first time seeing him. However at this point he said that he was sorry, he was running late and he went straight in. But that didn't deter anyone...we had hope. :D

Shortly after, Amanda Abbington, Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue came out and were kind enough to pose and sign. Then we saw Benedict again walking down a glass windowed hallway near where we were standing. I had to point him out to everyone! Lol   He waved and smiled.

During the panel, girls were reading out the live tweets . They were telling us everything Benedict said. When he got to the part about how he was sorry that he couldn't meet with us earlier and that he appreciated us, of course we all were thrilled. He also promised to come back out!

While we waited, Benedict's driver came over to us. It was hilarious because he asked ME when Benedict would be finished with this panel because he was waiting for him! LOL We chatted with him for a few minutes and he told us he always drove him when he's in L.A. 

A lot of the press people talked to us after the panel, all bragging about him, but they did all say how much he appreciated all of us and was coming back out. One lady had the nerve to tell us she touched his hair...(What the heck?) Several of them took pictures of us that I'm sure will be all over the net and in newspapers. (The pink CumberCollective sign in front of us was made by Lauren!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The major distraction that is Benedict Cumberbatch

So sorry I haven't posted on this blog for a long while. I'll be honest, I've been very distracted by my newest obsession, Benedict Cumberbatch and the amazing show Sherlock.

I first discovered Benedict and his incredible acting in Star Trek Into Darkness. I've always been a Star Trek fan, and I loved the first J.J. Abrams film, so seeing this one was a given! I went in not knowing Benedict from squat! I had heard of the funny named Brit, but I didn't even have a good idea of what he looked like. After seeing the film, I was immediately impressed with his acting style and that silky smooth, mesmerizing voice of his. I remember thinking he was slightly weird looking...not bad, just different. But the fact remained...I was intrigued!

I had also just acquired Netflix about a month before...lucky me.  A little voice inside me said, 'Since Benedict was so good in Star Trek...give Sherlock a try!'

Bam! I was hard I barely knew what hit me! Wow, I can't even begin to describe how much Benedict blew me away in the first minutes of A Study In Pink. I knew by the end of the first episode, that he was destined to be my next obsession! The other five episodes didn't disappoint at all. Benedict's performance in all six episodes is truly extraordinary!

I can honestly say it truly was his flawless acting that first attracted me.  He is able to make Sherlock extremely likeable, even loveable despite being a sociopath and "an annoying dick" as John has referred to him.  His social defects can somehow be overlooked.  I would normally find it difficult to like a person such as this in real life.  How Benedict makes him appealing is part of his magic.

The physical attraction to Benedict soon followed. He's not classically handsome like Ben Barnes (my last crush)...that's a certainty. He even makes fun of his own looks; his long, alien face, high cheekbones and wide-set luminous eyes. The weird thing is, once you've seen him act...he becomes INCREDIBLY handsome and desirable. Ask any member of his ever-increasing legion of female fans, called the CumberCollective. They'll tell you this almost verbatim.  Combine this with the fact that he's been proven to be kind, generous, charming, emotional and sensitive, and a classic gentleman, he's as close to perfection as you can get. He's even asked us not to call ourselves the Cumberbitches out of respect for us; such a sweet and classy guy!

And now, in season three, Benedict has developed Sherlock's character even further! I didn't think that was possible, but it was! We get inside Sherlock's head and Benedict delivers with intensity!

I've had the thrill and pleasure of seeing him three times in person. Once at the Bafta Britannia Awards last November, once at the Hobbit premiere in December, (also briefly outside of Jimmy Kimmel, but I don't really count that time) and most recently outside the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, prior to the Bafta Tea Party.
I posted this report on Twitter of my encounter with Benedict at the Four Seasons.  It's been edited slightly from the original: