Jackie's fundraising grew from a modest target to a mighty total with the support of friends, family and local businesses
My reason for supporting and fundraising for Target Ovarian Cancer is mainly that I missed joining up the dots and connecting the four main symptoms before my diagnosis. It was all there, but my knowledge wasn’t. Both my husband and I are very keen to raise awareness, so that other women know what to look out for, and can do something about any symptoms they have, pronto.
I originally set out to take part in Challenge 50: to give out 50 symptoms leaflets, and to raise £50. My mum straight away gave me a cheque for £50, so the goal was increased to £100. When we reached nearly £400, (and I say “we”, as my lovely husband helped me so much), we realised that £500 might be doable. Fundraising took place amongst friends and family, neighbours and local businesses. My Macmillan nurse also supported me, as did every single “colleague” in our community pharmacy. There were also donations from total strangers. Virtually all of my fundraising was done by word of mouth – we didn’t sit down and brainstorm it, it just evolved as it did.
Taking part in The Big Colour Clash on 10 March was a physical strain, but so much fun, raising many a smile in those who saw me that day. Dressed in some of my most colourful and “non-matching” clothes, including some Target Ovarian Cancer balloons attached to my back, I went to an Oncologist appointment at my local hospital. I also visited other departments and afterwards spent a little time at nearby shops raising awareness.
Just as I thought I’d finished for the day, a young Mum came up to me and asked if she could donate in exchange for the balloons I was wearing, to give to her 3 year old son who was beginning to have a tantrum. We did the swap, and the little boy calmed down straight away – a good move for us both!
Symptoms leaflets are distributed almost every day, virtually no-one gets back out of our front door without one, unless of course they already have one. We’ve placed awareness materials in our local hospitals, in our village hall and a few local businesses, along with notice board displays at several GP surgeries. My husband’s darts team and their audience donated £56 to our collection tin. The rest of the money was raised by people simply sponsoring me, especially after 10 March when photographic evidence was available of my “clothes of many colours”, and of the chump that I looked that day. Bovvered by my appearance? Not me! My socks are now checked when I go to see my Oncologist, or when I have treatment, to see whether or not they’re a matching pair, which naturally they no longer are. More smiles.
And we did it. Thanks to the final donations, we reached £560 of which we, and all my sponsors, are immensely proud. We have requested that this is used towards Target Ovarian Cancer’s EDMONd research project. This research could potentially benefit not only ladies who have advanced ovarian cancer, with inoperable bowel obstructions, but people with other forms of cancer too, so could be quite far reaching.
I firmly believe that Target Ovarian Cancer is excellent and deserving. It’s a highly informative, supportive and extremely helpful charity, with a dedicated team of staff, volunteers, patrons, supporters and so on, and I feel it fully deserves all the support it can get. The in-depth knowledge they hold takes some beating.
With your support this summer, more women will get the early diagnosis and care they need.
Organising events in your community is a great way to raise funds as well as awareness, and we have lots of resources on hand to help with your plans.