Posts Tagged With: Oesophageal Cancer

A night to remember…

Throughout every stage of our BikeSplashBike challenge we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, family and complete strangers and our experience of organising our final fundraising dinner and auction was no different.

It was absolutely amazing to have Geoff Holt and his wife Elaine with us to help celebrate Daddy’s life and inspire everyone to give so generously. We are all so grateful to them both. When we first discussed the idea of hosting a charity dinner, we were warned that it was very difficult to make a profit and so we were unsure at first. It was only when Geoff generously agreed to speak at our dinner that we felt sure that we should go ahead! – So Geoff, Thank you!

Geoff Holt

When I first heard Geoff speak at the Winchester Enterprise Lecture, in 2012,  the host at that event summed up Geoff’s attitude to life by reference to a theme from Kaballah, that:

You cannot choose what happens to you, but you can choose how you react: and that choice can be an inspiration“.

Those words really stuck with me and often came to mind as we watched Daddy struggle with his illness and the way he dealt with his condition was certainly an inspiration to us…

Thank’s to this over flowing support and generosity we had a fantastic evening and overshot our £30,000 target. We are still waiting for some payments to clear, but we are pretty sure that the final figure will be over £40,000, which is far more than we ever expected! Thank you ALL so So much!!

We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us get this far and especially everyone who came to support us on November 7th and were so generous in their bidding at the auction! 🙂

In particular we have to thank the Royal Automobile Club for donating their beautiful rooms, Encore Entertainment for getting us all in the party mood, Geoff Holt for inspiring everyone to give so generously, Irene Tyack for creating two paintings inspired by BikeSplashBike and everyone who donated the fantastic auction and raffle prizes…

Thomas Plant did a great job at selling them and I hope that they are fully enjoyed by the successful bidders!

We do have a couple of raffle prizes which were not claimed – if you think these belong to you please do get in touch!

Finally – Thank you all for putting up with us!! This challenge has helped us immeasurably through these past few months by giving us something positive to focus on. I am happy to say that Cancer Research UK have confirmed that all the funds we have raised will be used to fund research into Oesophageal Cancer specifically, which will hopefully mean that less people have to suffer the way Daddy did.

A very kind man said to me at the party that if Daddy was able to fill a room the way the Mountbatten Room was filled on the night of our party even after he was gone, then he must have lived a good life…

Daddy did live a pretty great life 🙂 and I can only hope that he was looking down on us all content in the knowledge that all of our lives were the better for knowing him.

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A big Thank You!

We are so grateful for so many unexpected acts of kindness! This week a few people who don’t know us personally have sponsored us and we are really touched by the support!  I am sorry that we cannot say thank you more directly to our anonymous donors, but we can at least thank you here and hope that you might see it.

Perhaps even more touching are the words of encouragement from one donor: “You are doing something amazing and my heart goes out to you. It’s people like you that keep the world moving in the right direction. Never lose faith.” You really made our day – Thank you!

We’d love to hear your story if you know someone who has suffered with this disease. We’d also really love to hear if you know anyone who has found any food, treatment or therapy (conventional or otherwise) particularly helpful, as we’d love to share this information with our Dad and others!

Please feel free to:

–       comment on this blog

–       post on http://www.facebook.com/bikesplashbike

–       email us at: bikesplashbike@gmail.com

We are also really grateful to Debbie Waite, who has written a lovely article about our challenge in this week’s Oxford Mail, which you can read here.

All this kindness reminded me of George Saunders’s Commencement speech on kindness, which he gave at Syracuse University. I discovered it by chance a few months ago and shared it with my Dad, who is genuinely the kindest person I know! It made us both cry and is definitely worth reading if you haven’t already. You can read it here. I can’t recommend it enough!

 

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” ~Bob Kerrey

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Flying Experiment Success

We were completely overwhelmed by all the support we received, which enabled us to raise well over our target amount for our skydives – £14500 (so far!)

We did wonder if we should have waited until 2014, as 2013 seems to have lived up to its superstitious connotations! But it was an unbelievably gorgeous day – we could actually see as far as Rutland Water (40 miles!)

Mummy was too scared to come and watch, but Daddy seemed to enjoy himself (he even had to be reminded that he wasn’t allowed to board the plane without a parachute!) and it was so lovely of Jackie Beaumont (head of OOSO) to come and support us and Jacob Davis. We even learnt that Jackie herself is a very proficient skydiver and a pilot to boot! Very inspiring!!!

And just to prove we weren’t imagining it here are a few photos…

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Parachute Jump for OOSO

In short we are jumping out of a plane to raise money for a local charity – The Oxford Oesophageal and Stomach Cancer Organisation (bit of a mouthful…..ohhh the irony!)

Read on to find out why….

As most of you know, our Dad underwent a brutal, but life-saving esophagectomy in April of this year. The impact of this operation is life-changing for every patient. We were so fortunate to meet Jackie Beaumont, the founder of OOSO, in the days after the operation.

Having been through a similar surgery herself over 5 years ago she provides fantastic inspiration and moral support to the patients and their families at this crucial time. Her positivity and determination were exactly what we needed and we know how much of a difference her presence makes. She was available 24/7 to answer questions and provide the kind of reassurance that can only come from someone who has experienced first-hand what you are going through. It really is hard to put into words how much hope she has given us!

We wanted to show our appreciation for all that she does and help raise funds for her fantastic charitable works!

And why a skydive?

At one of the events arranged by the charity we were inspired by Jacob Davis who lost both his grandfathers to this brutal disease. He kindly donated cakes for her auction, but felt he wanted to do more and decided to jump out of a plane to raise awareness and funds! Our Dad was moved to tears by this generous gesture and we are so happy he has allowed us to join him!

We are aiming to complete our ‘BikeSplashBike’ challenge later in 2014 to raise money for Cancer Research that will go towards studies finding a prevention and cure for this horrible disease. But we hope in doing this we can help support a true local hero, who is supporting those already living with the condition today – and a bit of adventure training never goes amiss!

To sponsor us visit our fundraising page by following this link: http://www.doitforcharity.com/GWeston

What ever you can give will be amazing – in the words of a hugely successful superstore – “every little helps”!

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