I’m sure most would agree when I say that I’ve done my fair share of fundraising in recent years. Rather frustratingly, the majority of this has been for myself – first was my prosthetic leg in 2016 and later my treatment abroad from November 2017. On Thursday night I shared a nice picture announcing that I’d donated £2000 to CLIC Sargent and so today I’d like to show you how this money was raised, why I donated and how it may be spent.
The £2000 donation I publicised is actually made up of two £1000 donations from two different events, the first of which was the Hadrians Wall Challenge 2017. This was a challenge were I hand-cycled around 55 miles of the historic wall over two days with a team of thirty hiking a similar distance alongside. The experience turned out to be really memorable to me personally as I managed to do it just nine weeks after my lung lobectomy (removal) surgery and a few weeks before I relapsed and was diagnosed ‘’incurable’’. The £5000+ we raised from conquering the hills was originally going towards a prosthetic leg that was unavailable on the NHS at the time but was later put towards my treatment fund with a small donation to CLIC Sargent as I’d promised.
PICTURE: Handcycling Hadrians Wall, September 2017
PICTURE: On stage at the #ChrisVsCancer Masquerade Ball, November 2018
The second £1000 donation came from last years #ChrisVsCancer Masquerade Ball. This turned out to be a spectacular evening event – and the first of its type that we’d planned – where we raised over £7000 for my treatment fund, again with a small donation going to CLIC Sargent as promised. (Just whilst I’m on the subject, we’re also having our second ball in just a few months time, I’ll link it at the end.)
So Who Are CLIC Sargent and What Do They Do?
In short, they’re a national charity who’s ethos is to limit the damage that cancer causes children, young adults and their families – be it financially or emotionally. If I’m honest, when I was first diagnosed in 2015, I had no f*****g clue what was going on, let alone the problems and inconveniences I’d come to experience as part of the journey. Lucky for me, as a youngster, I was quickly surrounded by outside support networks, one of which being a social support team from CLIC Sargent.
I think it’s pretty difficult for me to sum up just how much the charity have supported me and my family over the years and I say this because there are very few people who know just how hard I fell to the bottom. With this said, here are a few less subtle examples of support I’ve received from the charity:
- I’ve had several free holidays from other charities that my CLIC Sargent social worker applied for.
- Public awareness campaign opportunities (I’ve even done some modeling in London on one occasion – Whit wooh indeed)
- Several grants to help with travel costs and other hospital related expenses – an issue the charity are very passionate about.
- Advice on welfare benefits
- Public speaking opportunities
- Art exhibitions, the list goes on.
It’s also worth noting that the charity offers one to one’s and guidance from their psychologists and also have a number of ‘homes from home’s dotted around the UK where parents and families can stay whilst their child/young adult is in hospital receiving treatment, though I’ve never needed to use any of these.
PICTURE: Repping CLIC Sargent at the Scotish Open, Inverness, 2016
PICTURE: Public speaking with CLIC Sargent CEO, Kate Lee at Sunningdale Golf Club, September 2017
How Far Does £2000 Go?
It could pay for 11+ CLIC Sargent grants to help young people and their families with those hefty cancer costs I mentioned. Or it could pay for a family to stay 60 nights in a CLIC Sargent Home from Home, providing free accommodation close to where their child is receiving cancer treatment. Or it could pay for a CLIC Sargent nurse for 2 weeks, providing care and support at home so families can avoid travel and stay together where possible.
To wrap this all up, I’d like to say that it’s an absolute pleasure to support this charity and I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with them. Since becoming ill my views on charities in general have changed and this is largely because I’ve seen just how far those at CLIC Sargent as well as other charities will go to help people like me. To anyone from CLIC Sargent reading; I’ll never forget what you’ve done and continue to do for me, thank you.