I’ve got it wrong about charity fun Runs and triathlons.

In the past I’ve bemoaned these Lycra-covered, smug selfie-fests as less to do with fundraising, and more to do with personal profile-raising, calling them Charity Dumb Runs and Whyathlons.

I was of the opinion that if you wanted to do good you could just discretely donate money, and not pester work colleagues and people you haven’t seen since school with conceited, condescending online requests for sponsorship.

Misjudged statements of support – all too often involving photos or videos of attractive people doing things that highlight their attractiveness have left me cynical.

Being covered in water and looking like a wet T-shirt contestant, or posting flattering pics of yourself sans make up, or in states of undress, or in similarly shallow poses has made me sceptical of people’s true intentions.

I have tarred everyone with the same doubting brush. And no, tarring isn’t the latest twist on the ice bucket challenge.

Multiplied and magnified across social media, it felt bullying to me.

But I was wrong. Someone I’ve met briefly socially is unwell. Very unwell. And I’ve watched a huge outpouring of support fan across my social media.

And it’s there, in the harnessing of people’s online followers, in the call to arms to donate blood, bone marrow, money , that I see what’s really happening.

In the face of human frailty, we all feel powerless and desperate to do something to help. Anything to make a practical difference.

And so we tweet, blog, run, swim, cycle, donate, and pose in awareness-raising photos. Because it’s the only thing we can do.

That's why I'm directing you to Anthony Nolan via the link above.

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