Sunday, 26 May 2024
Sunday, 26 May 2024

The power of community fundraising in the fight against blood cancer

WHEN communities join forces, great things can happen – and that is certainly true of the many fundraising groups that have come together to raise money for Leukaemia & Myeloma Research UK (LMRUK).

People working as a team with a common goal was the strength behind the fundraising activities of a golf club in Bognor Regis, and the congregation of a church in Coventry, both in aid of LMRUK. 

Here are their stories.

Holyhead Road United Reform Church

The £5,000 raised for LMRUK by members of the congregation at Holyhead Road United Reform Church, in memory of their much-loved friend Pat Elliman, is a particularly wonderful illustration of the power of community fundraising.

Pat passed away in the arms of her devoted husband Malcom from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in hospital in December 2020 and after her death, he went on to become a key member of the fundraising team at the Church.

Karen Adams, coordinated the campaign with the help of her mum, Sue Adams, as well as Malcolm said:

“Malcolm and Pat were devoted to each other, and Pat’s death hit Malcolm hard. However, he has been supported by family and friends, and as part of that has started coming to church to be with Pat’s friends.

“For as long as I can remember Pat was part of the church, and as I grew from child to adult, she always gave me encouragement and support in the things I did both at church, in my work and in home life. She was always genuinely interested in all people and concerned for others.”

Since Pat’s sad passing, members of the church have been holding a wide range of fundraising events after selecting LMRUK as its chosen charity for 2022. Events have included quiz and bingo evenings, a sponsored spell event by members of the 7th Coventry Girls’ Brigade Company, a second-hand book sale at a local shopping centre, and craft and cake sales.

Malcom took part in the fundraising effort too, by doing a sponsored walk from Coventry to Kenilworth, a walk he would often do in the company of Pat. He said:

“I am grateful that the church Pat loved so much is raising money for LMRUK in memory of her, but also to help other sufferers. I will do everything I can to support this fundraising.” 

Bognor Regis Golf Club

The fundraising campaign ladies captain Heather Tidy coordinated at Bognor Regis Golf Club was also a very personal one.

Heather, who has been a member of the club for 22 years, chose LMRUK as her golf club charity in support of her father Alan Davis, who turned 85 in November this year. He was diagnosed with a rare form of multiple myeloma and amyloidosis in 2005.

He is receiving regular chemotherapy treatment at Colchester Hospital and, over the years, has taken part in numerous drug trials so that both specialists and researchers could learn more about this particular type of blood cancer.

The power of community fundraising in the fight against blood cancer

It was when Heather took on the captaincy role in April 2020 that she had to select a charity she and other members of the club could fundraise for. Heather said:

“I knew I wanted to support a blood cancer charity, given my dad’s diagnosis and treatment, so I took a lot of time to read up about a variety of different charities.

“I hadn’t heard of LMRUK before, but when I came across them and read about the research they fund to find new and more effective treatments for blood cancer, it was a no-brainer.”

As part of the fundraising drive, Heather has hosted tournaments and a ‘Beat the Professional’ competition in which players paid £5 to see if they can better the score of a pro golfer. She is also hoping to organise more fundraising events before her captaincy finishes in April 2023 in a bid to surpass her £2,000 target.

Dr Joanna Tilley, LMRUK Interim Operations Director said that community fundraising was a great way to support the charity:

“There is something very special about people coming together to support fundraising efforts, either for someone who made an impact on all their lives or to help an individual raising money in memory of a beloved family member,” said Joanna.

If you are interested in involving members of your group, club, organisation, or workplace to fundraise for LMRUK, click here for more details.

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