Looking for some autumn inspiration? From support for her mum to taking steps to beat ovarian cancer, Gillian talks us through how her family are fundraising.
"My mum, Frances, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in February 2012 after taking ill shortly after the new year - it was a complete surprise. Mum was put in touch with Target Ovarian Cancer and attended a Being Together Day in Glasgow which helped answer a lot of her questions and she got to meet other ladies in the same position.
Taking steps to beat ovarian cancer
It was at that Being Together Day that mum signed up to the first The Ovarian Cancer Walk in Scotland at Callendar Park, Falkirk. She raised £1,000 which she was really proud to do. Unfortunately, her friend took ill a few days before the event so I offered to walk with her and support her with my one year old daughter in her buggy. It was a great day and for a great cause!
Since that year, we have taken steps to beat ovarian cancer by taking part in The Ovarian Cancer Walk each year. I’ve always walked with my family – one year my aunt flew over from her home in America by surprise. Mum got such a shock, and many tears were shed, but our family wanted to support her in such a good cause and because she was fit enough to walk 5km.
Raising money and awareness
My favourite part of the day is knowing I'm raising awareness for a cancer that many don't know the symptoms of, hearing other people's stories and spending time walking and chatting with my family.
I had a JustGiving page to help with my fundraising and I asked my friends and work colleagues to sponsor me. In 2016, I pledged to raise £1,000 as mum had done - I wanted to make her proud. I added to my sponsorship with a cake bake at work and an Easter party for friends and their kids!
Making my night count
To help reach my fundraising goal, I also took part in November Nights. It was a great excuse to invite my “second Saturday Mums” together for a catch up and raise money.
On the night, I decorated with banners and balloons from Target Ovarian Cancer and had a collection box for everyone to donate what ever they could. We had a quiet night with drinks, nibbles and plenty of chatting. It was easy to organise - the pack was helpful as it felt like a party and had good ideas for games...although we talked too much to play any of them!
My sister and cousin also walked The Ovarian Cancer Walk in London last year and my Brother-in-law ran from Cambridge to London - between the four of us we raised over £1,000!
Raising money for Target Ovarian Cancer means so much to me
I would recommend taking part in any event to support Target Ovarian Cancer, it's a great charity that has supported my Mum, and helped educate and keep me up-to-date with progress being made. It's allowed me to meet other people in the same position and I've had fun with friends and family while doing this.
Raising money for Target Ovarian Cancer means so much to me, I hope it will help find a cure for ovarian cancer, provide training for GPs so they can detect it quicker, help drug trials and provide support for people like my Mum and our family. Target Ovarian Cancer have been so helpful with my fundraising. From the initial fundraising guide, to giving me ideas, to the regular emails and support throughout last year.
I am proud to say I will have walked all four of The Ovarian Cancer Walks in Scotland. This October, I'll get to see some familiar faces, raise some more money for a great charity and have a good blether with my sister! I’ve planned a raffle for my colleagues at work and I’ll be running a 10km the week later! I've also invited friends to my house again for another November Night - I'm looking forward to a good catch up!"
Join Gillian in saving lives:
- Find out how you can take steps to beat ovarian cancer this October at The Ovarian Cancer Walk
- Have a fun-filled evening with family and friends whilst raising money. Find out more about November Nights.