The Beauty of Giving

Just quick post here as so much has happened in the past couple of weeks and I don’t want to forget it.

I began my ‘Midlands’ fundraising a couple of weeks ago with a coffee morning for Myeloma UK in the school that one of our children goes to. Whilst we’ve been up here for a year, it isn’t the same as when you’ve spent 13 years somewhere and so I set my expectations low and decided it was about awareness and that I’d be happy if we raised £100 after costs. However, I’m so pleased that it raised over £400!! It was a lovely morning and gave me an opportunity to get to know more people in the village that I hope one day we will live in!

The day after, we travelled down to Selsdon for a ball that my amazing sister I was holding for Myeloma Uk and LAM action. It was a fantastic night and her & her friend raised a spectacular £19,000! It was a superb event and another great way of spreading awareness and raising more money that will hopefully help to find that cure that all us patients are hoping for! And obviously it will make a massive difference to LAM too…another extremely worthwhile charity.

One of the fantastic things about the timing of this was the announcement by Myeloma UK last week that they had heavily contributed to a piece of research by the Intstitute of Cancer Research that had identified  more of the genetic factors behind myeloma allowing them to focus research for future treatments on areas that are likely to have a more significant output. And for us as patients, that is what we need. Focused treatments that can put us into remission and keep us there as long as possible. And hopefully be more likely to lead to a cure before it is too late. This is what fundraising achieves and why, I am unlikely to ever call it quits on what I want to raise. 

To follow that up, only yesterday I heard another patient on the UK myeloma Facebook  forum saying that she had run out of options for treatment… but that thanks to the work Myeloma UK do with NICE, a new drug had been put back onto the Cancer Fund list and was available to her again. What a life changer. And that’s largely because all of those pennies and pounds you guys all donate, are put to such amazing use. 

I fundraise for a few reasons ;

  1. It allows me to keep control of something in my life in a positive way – I can’t control what happens with my cancer but I can take control of how I let it impact me and what I choose to do
  2. I want to help the rearchers to find those treatments that at the very least can improve the quality of life, but ideally, increase the length of life of myeloma patients. 
  3. I want the researchers out there to find a cure…for me, for my friends and for the people that follow on (Fingers crossed that it’s not genetic and it won’t be our children!)
  4. It gives me a real sense of purpose…and an ability to encourage others to do a similar thing…and take a similar outlook

So, in reality I don’t think I’ll ever give up on what I do. It’s tough sometimes to know how to balance it. With my family, and increasingly so, with my job. I’m working for a great charity at the moment called The People’s Orchestra and I get to choose my hours to a degree. But I sometimes feel bad about my myeloma Uk fundraising running alongside it. I keep the two very separate but find it difficult not to worry that the TPO might think I don’t do enough for them, or that I should be trying to access the businesses that I approach for one, and get them to support the other. I hope I get it right… when I spend time doing MUK work, it is time I’m not working on TPO, but hopefully I’ve got the balance right. It does make you realise how many good causes are out there. My hope is that they’re such different charities that the people who will support them are different types of people and that naturally reduces the conflict. 

So much for it being a short post….?

Anyway, I’m at hospital for my monthly update today so fingers crossed it’s all good as we’re off for my niece’s wedding in Oz soon! Time to get excited soon!!