The cancerispants campaign may look pretty slick, but really we have pulled it all together in double quick time. We did some thinking about how we would try and get the word out but what we could not have imagined (or even hoped for) is that it would be picked up by a cool young you tuber with hundreds of thousands of young subscribers, many of whom are teenage boys and young men. I am not even sure we would have considered aiming at this sort of well known person to help raise the profile of the campaign. But this amazing 22 year old happened to see a tweet shared by Tyler, a friend of my 14 year old son William. This is a story of chance, luck and love.
Tobjizzle was getting close to his 900,000th sub (subscriber to you and me) when the below message landed in his twitter feed.
He retweeted it. At that exact moment, Tyler, who happened to be at his house on the xbox with William, who was at our house, saw the retweet and told William that his tweet had actually been retweeted by Tobi. We managed to follow him immediately and send a tweet to thank him for sharing Tyler’s. Seconds later Tobi sent us a private message. He said he had been thinking about what to do to celebrate his 900K subscriber and this had caught his eye. I have copied the messages (I am sure he won’t mind). He said he has been blessed to have had his parents for his whole life and he would not be where he is without them. He wanted to do what he could to help Ella keep her Mum for as long as possible.
He immediately donated £1000 and asked if we would be OK with him dedicating a video to draw attention to the campaign to help us reach our target. And that is how the Tobjizzle video https://www.youtube.com/user/TBJZL came about.
Within seconds of him posting it our gofundme inbox went absolutely mad and it stayed that way for about 24 hours. Donations came pouring in, mainly between £0.50 and £5/£10 – but lots and lots. Tobi added another photo yesterday to encourage more donations and photos.
These were followed by lots of photos of young boys and men with pants on their heads. This was trending last night on instagram (which I don’t have but William showed me).
What stands out so powerfully is not only the influence that this young man has on his many followers but that one thing touched all those who donated – their love for their mother.
‘I'm so sorry to hear about your mother, I know I would be devastated if this happened to my mum, she is 50 this year and I love her to pieces. I hope you are able to raise enough money to get your mum to Germany to have treatment :) I saw this from tobi from the side men in one of his videos and was upset by it so I hope my donation helps’
For most kids the fear of losing their mother is deep rooted. Fairy stories are full of children whose mothers have died, grasping the imagination of generations of children with tales of the unimaginable. And boys (like girls) love their Mums. What touched these kids is the idea that any family might go through losing their mother. The response to Tobi’s message about his love for his parents was an outpouring of love by teenage boys and young men for their mothers. Such a wonderful response.
The other thing that the messages we received show is that cancer touches everyone. It is always somewhere lurking in the background and often closer to home. So many, many, people’s lives rudely interrupted. If a mother’s life is interrupted, life for their families are never quite the same again. Cancer is a family affair.
In addition to messages of support for us as a family, from people telling us to be strong and donating in memory of a loved one, I have received private messages from people from all over the UK with advanced cancer or with a loved one with advanced cancer. It confirms what I have recognised from my journey so far – that advanced cancer needs a bit more awareness and focus. Hundreds of thousands of people are diagnosed with an advanced cancer in the UK and they and their families are thrown into a mass of emotional, practical and financial uncertainty as well as a maze of care options and decisions. They live in a strange limbo space. They have been given a best before date of sorts, but as treatments develop or depending on how they respond to treatments, this date can shift backwards and forwards unpredictably. They have to navigate the day to day reality of this diagnosis, deal with the physical impact of illness and treatment, manage their own emotions, and more difficult still help manage those of their loved ones.
On top of all of this, as you come to the end of the road with standard treatments, doctors are currently unable to support you in decisions about what other ‘different, alternative’ treatments you might try, so if you do have the energy to try and find out more by yourself you are left overwhelmed by the information you can find and unsure of what routes to take. None of the treatment options you come across are without cost and some, as you know from the treatment I am seeking, are expensive. You feel out on a limb making these decisions on your own. The result is that many people with advanced cancers are not benefiting from many promising approaches which can contribute to improving the quality of their life and extending it. The recent Saatchi Bill tried to address this – The Medical Innovations Bill. Maurice Satchi lost his wife to ovarian cancer. After a public consultation, which saw over 18,000 ordinary people, professionals and others engage and support it and only around 100 oppose it, time ran out as Parliament came to close before this upcoming election.
I am wondering what happens next? Does it get a second chance? I am going to find out more. The Bill looked to give the medical profession more space within the regulatory framework they work within to try innovative therapies for their terminally ill patients when all standard options run out. Sounds just what we need. I am going to find out what needs to happens next. I will blog more on this Bill as I find out more about what it offered. Maybe cancerispants can help keep the pressure up!
Here are some of the many messages gofundme.com/cancerispants received after TobiJizzle’s video (thank you to everyone who donated - we are planning a thank you surprise as we hit half way!):
Cancer touches everyone and boys love their Mum
Lost my Dad to cancer almost 6 years ago so I'm more than happy to do my small part, particularly if it helps to prevent someone else losing a parent
kick cancer. I lost my grandpa to cancer in 2008 and i would love to help you guys. Stay strong!!
I lost my mum to breast cancer when I was 10, 8 years ago. this is all I can afford right now, hope you can beat cancer again and you enjoy many more years with your mum!
Hope this helps, I know it's not much but it's something. I'd be so sad and miscible if I lost my mum, I don't know what I'd do with out her, so I know how much it would mean to you. Good luck! ❤️
Good Luck. My mum overcame this terrible disease and i hope with all my heart your mum can too. Stay Strong.
Hope it all works out, best of luck. This inspired me a lot
Thankfully never had a close family member go through this disease, but saw a friend's mam suffer through it. More than happy to help someone spend more time with theirs
Hi I am donating because I recently lost a close relative to cancer and I hope this small amount can make a difference to you and your family... #CANCERISPANTS
I know how much I love my mom so I just want to see you spend more time with yours.
I've been through this myself and luckily my Mum is still with me. All the best!
My mum died a few weeks ago having not had time to go abroad to get treatment.. Good luck to you all! X
Ode to Tobjizzle
I hope you reach your target. Big thanks to Toby(tbjzl) for getting me to donate.
Hope this helps in some way here because of tbjzl good luck in the future!
Good luck - Hope TBJZL's Callout brings enough support and money for your mums treatment
Tobi (TBJZL) sent me here. Such a great cause and I hope you reach your target!!❤
TBJZL, absolute legend ♥ Hope you guys can reach your goal, good luck!
Saw this on TBJZL YouTube and had to donate. Hope you reach your target quickly. Nobody deserves to go through this!
TBJZL brought me here, hope it helps. Greetings from Poland :)
Not much but i hope it helps a little :) tbjzl helped me find you guys. All the best for your family and keep your heads up!
I hope you get all the amount you wanted! Credit to TBJZL for raising awareness in his latest video!
Tobi brought me here. I hope your mom gets well as soon as possible. Best wishes from Switzerland
So glad Tbjzl brought my attention to this cause. Wishing you all the best and good luck! :)
Best of luck. So glad that this great cause was brought to my attention by Tobi. You guys are really brave and strong and I totally admire you for that. Stay Strong!!!
Hope all goes well in Germany! Lots of love... A loyal subscriber of TBJZL
TBJZL bought me here, hope this helps!
Wishing the best of luck to you and your family! tbjzl deserves a lot of love for promoting your cause. #cancerispants