Kale’s Bastille Day.

Kale’s Bastille Day.




For most of us, not all of us, if a favourite band of ours is playing a couple of hours away and we want to go it’s as simple as affording a ticket and then getting there.


For others it’s not so simple. That’s why Given To Live had no hesitation in approving the application for Kale. This was our most logistically challenging show to date as we learned more about Kale’s needs, his mum’s needs to be able to give Kale the care he needs on a daily basis - a hotel that would work with us and the need for hired equipment to be set up (thank you, Steff at the Park Plaza Cardiff), accommodating two carers and making sure there was time. Plenty of time.


Time to get Kale ready, to feed him, change him, get him into his chair, into bed, out of bed. Everything takes time.


They arrive at the hotel having made good time which Given To Live was told was unlikely as as mum, Jane, is particularly good at being misdirected. This give us plenty of time to present Kale with his show poster, get everyone to their rooms, unpack the incredible amount of kit that’s needed for just one night away and have a rest before heading to the Motorpoint where a meet and greet awaits Kale. The Motorpoint Arena Cardiff box office and accessibility team have been fantastic to GTL and our guests on previous occasions and this time was no different with Kale being greeted with ‘we’ve been waiting for you’. And rightly so!


Soundcheck, a Q&A with fans who were there for the soundcheck party and then the band all for himself where as well as meeting them mum was able to let them know how much Bastille’s music meant to Kale in hospital. The band were wonderfully attentive and generous with their time as well as signing and photos. Thank you.


Time to head back to the hotel for a change and nap as brain injuries are exhausting and we all want him fresh for his big show. Nap time and a change are taken care of by his carers, Ange and Anne Marie, which gives Given To Live the opportunity to take mum and eldest son Fionn, out for an early dinner and to give Jane a surprise of her own that we’ll let you know about in a few weeks.


Showtime and on Bastille come. Songs old and new played to an adoring crowd and whilst everyone else’s attention is on the band we’re watching Kale, Jane and Fionn. Mum and brother dancing their way through the show, Kale a glint in his eye. Watching the care, the love Jane and Fionn have for Kale is so beautiful.


9 o’clock is Kale’s usual bedtime so it’s no surprise there were a couple of times Jane thought we might have to head back early but no, Kale hung in right to the end and we let the crowd disperse and make our way back to the hotel.


We all know how seeing our favourite band feels and the restorative properties of a good night’s sleep. Well, Kale is no different and the following morning as he arrives in the lobby ready to go home he’s positively shining and the smile is deep and wide.


Logistics be damned, early night tomorrow…there’s a rock n roll show.





**************************************


With Many Thanks…


Steff Millard at the Park Plaza.


Everyone at the box office and accessibility team at Cardiff Motorpoint, especialle Ollie.


Beth for Kale’s show poster.


Dick Meredith, TM.


Andrew Guy.


And to all the artists who’ve donated to us, without you we wouldn’t have survived the pandemic.


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