I have just lost the blog I wrote which gave an update on the fundraising aaaaaaaah. So this is going to be a shortened version of it. We have now passed £64,000! This is beyond our original target, which is absolutely amazing. I have been able to go to Germany and have the first of the five sessions which make up the dendritic cell therapy I am having thanks to the generosity of everyone who has given and fundraised. (see the last 2 blog posts)
When I first realised that I could not sit and passively work my way through the list of treatments currently on offer for people with advanced cancer in the UK I started the research which led me to where I am today. What became clear was that for advanced cancer patients there are options available, alternative therapies, cutting edge approaches, trials (which you must pay to join) and drugs still unavailable in the UK - all of which require money and not insignificant amounts of it. I could not sit and wait. I needed to start fundraising, not only to access the treatment in Germany, but to be prepared for any relapse. And so in early April ‘Cancer is Pants’ was born, around our kitchen table with Ella, my best friend Sophie and our friend and expert campaigner Ellie.
We decided on an initial target of £50,000 as this is what I needed for the treatment in Germany. We thought that although it was an ambitious target, it might just be possible….. And we made it!
Hitting the £50K mark and exceeding it has taken us beyond the next 4 months into thinking about next year. It has opened doors of possibility and allows us to think about the choices available to me when and if I have a relapse. Assuming that if this should happen we would not have time to fund raise the plan is to continue fundraising beyond the cost of the current treatment. Having funds gives me the option to access whatever is the best treatment available. Amazing!!! Thank you!
We could not have imagined the response we would get when we launched the campaign in April. Donations have come in from family, friends, friends of friends, neighbours, work colleagues (and mothers of work colleagues), and so very many strangers. The community just pulled up their up shirt sleeves and came together in an overwhelming show of love and support - practically but also engaging in all sorts of fundraising activities. Cancer is Pants has raised funds through sponsored walks in the Surrey Hills (Kasia and the Donaldsons), sponsored cycle rides (Arthur, Jon, Rueben), cake sales (including Eliana and Mia), staff pants on heads days (Blueberry Nursery), a garden party with auction and portrait sales (Jo, Andy, Harriet and Toby, Jason for portraits and Rory for generous gifts for auction), a mammoth bike ride from Chester to Brighton (the Kemps), local shops and cafes holding special events (The Lavender Rooms, Filfil Cafe and the Newsagent and the Dials), the local schools (BHASVIC, Cardinal Newman, Stanford Infant and Juniors) donating space for the Zumbathon or holding cakes sales and competing for pants on heads photos, a sponsored walk in Norfolk (the Mermagens), a 13K sponsored run (Annie), a sponsored Three Peaks Challenge (Chris), a fundraising football tournament (Hove Park Colts U12, Hove Riverdale U12 and Seagulls U12), a Pilates Bonanza (Cecilia), incredibly generous donations from the 2 funds ‘Hold Amy’s Hand’ and ‘GavAID’ and from youtubers TobiJizzle and the Sidemen, and a Cancer is Pants Yoga event which was held today (Ellie with Hannah, Hannah and Jess).
There is one more big fundraiser on the horizon, a massive Zumbathon- 2.30-5.30pm on 4th July at BHASVIC (SATURDAY!!!!) - thanks to Ellie and Federico Bedoya. We would love people to come along and make this event a huge party and celebration of what we have achieved so far so PLEASE do join us and spread the word this week to your friends and family! There will be prizes (including family Go Ape ticket, Co-op vouchers and Body Shop gift basket) for the most dedicated!! You can book online or turn up and pay on the day. If you can’t manage dancing for 3 hours solid you can sit and watch eating some delicious home made cakes- just bring pants, smiles, energy and let’s make a great atmosphere!
I am not sure how to thank the many, many people who have donated and raised funds and shown my family and I such love and support. We have decided to hold a thank you tea party. We have booked Exeter Street Hall on Sunday 19th July for a Golden Pants Award tea party between 3.30 and 5.30pm. The Howes family would love to see as many of you there as possible. We will provide tea and some cake but please feel free to bring more. We have some Golden Pants Award certificates to give out and would like a chance to thank you in person. Please come!!