There are 315,320,472 seconds between when Mavina was born and when Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides was born. How do we know this? We did a presentation today and after we'd eaten Mavina worked it out. Mavina loves BVB. And Andy is definitely her favourite band member.
A while ago the application came in for Mavina to see Black Veil Brides. The only thing is we have no idea when BVB will be touring again. There's an album due out next year (a single was released from it a day ago and Mavina was delighted to tell us that she already knew all the words) and presumably a tour with it but when in a very big question.
Mavina turned 16 today. And she had a birthday party last Saturday. Knowing we couldn't take her to a show we worked with mum to see what we could do.
Mavina has autism. She also has physical difficulties including scoliosis, hyper joint syndrome and chronic juvenile arthritis. Cramping in her muscles often stops her from sleeping needing meds for the pain. Walking the short distance to school can be difficult some days although she rarely needs a wheelchair today unlike when she was younger.
First we asked mum if she'd like one of our artists to create a piece for Mavina to have for her birthday. Yes! The wonderful Darren went to work and the poster has barely left Mavina's side since she opened it. She says there's nowhere to hang it but digging deeper the truth came out...she sleeps with it next to the bed looking at her and hanging it would mean it's further away.
Next we discovered that Mavina goes to music therapy where she plays guitar but has to miss every other session as it clashes with here autism, speech and language group. And the facilitator of the group suggests practise. And more practice. But without a guitar she was unable to play at home.
A visit to PMT Bristol and crew member Baz had shown us all we needed to know in order to offer a started kit to Christina. She said yes, we went back to see Baz and he arranged for us to collect from the Manchester store which is closest to Mavina's home.
Music and BVB especially is important to Mavina, so much so that when she's had therapy in the past she's used BVB lyrics to communicate what she's feeling, needing to express.
Ben at the Manchester store took great care of us and witnessed a speechless, emotional and disbelieving Mavina. She thought we were tricking her and didn't fully believe it was her until she selected a few picks for herself and the guitar was resting on her lap in the back of the car.
We're pretty sure Mavina left the store happy as she said her face was aching from smiling. Grandpa might not be so happy...he's meant to get a visit tonight and Mavina wanted to go straight home to play her guitar. In her room. With her poster of Black Veil Brides looking down on her.
Many, many thanks to Baz at the Bristol PMT store for helping us find Mavina the right guitar. And Ben in the Manchester store for looking after us so well.
Darren, your work is always electric and Mavina is utterly in awe of your piece.
For the last year the Foo Fam, a Facebook group with members from all four corners of the globe, has been supporting Given To Live.