Updated on Aug 31st 2011 at 10:54 PM from the JustGiving API
Dear all. For several reasons (recent family issue, work pressure and need to push sponsorship towards target) the jump is postponed for a few weeks. I will confirm new date ASAP. Thanks for your kind donations so far!
Updated on Jun 11th 2011 at 7:18 PM from the JustGiving API
A massive thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far!
It is the Autumn of 2008. Taylan is the eldest son of Andy and Figen. An important part of a blissfully happy family which was completed by his doting brothers Kaya and Altay.
Many of you reading this, like myself, will be parents (or grandparents, uncles, cousins......) Our kids are our world. We take every day for granted and I am sure that Andy and Figen did too. That is until 24th October 2008. I vividly remember hearing the news and speaking with the two of them on that day. Taylan was six years old - a year younger than Ollie, my eldest son, is now. The news they received that day would change the family's life forever. Taylan had a brain tumour - a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (or as Taylan understood it a lump in his head which the doctors were going to fix). To say I was devastated is frankly an insult to how Andy and Figen felt but, in a comparatively small way, I and other parents shared their pain.
From that day on the two of them tirelessly read and researched - desperately looking for that cure. Hoping. The positivity they maintained in the face of adversity was incredible. Taylan was amazing. Never a complaint. Full time school during radiotherapy. Always a smile. As charming as ever.
As Andy and Figen's monumental efforts continued it became clear that the treatment options were limited and the firm evidence and research was not yet there. More time and money was needed - but time was sadly not on their side. Or that of other children and families going through the same pain.
Despite an amazingly positive spirit and strength of character during his brave battle, Taylan very sadly passed away in the loving arms of his ever-supportive family on 19th August 2009.
I simply can not put into words the admiration I have for Andy, Figen and the boys. I empathised regarding their situation. I still feel so saddened writing this. Children and their parents should never have to go through this pain. I for one also felt so helpless. I am very aware that it is a cliche, but if we can all pull together and save even one more family it would be worthwhile.
Selflessly, Andy and Figen, along with friends, subsequently founded Taylan's Project which has been raising funds for Brain Tumour Research 'Funding the Fight'. Charity events including balls and fun days have raised much-needed funds, but the battle continues. And I have decided to offer my own support in a small way.
Now, I detest heights and I'm not too good on planes. So, what do I decide to do? Take a flight in a plane and then jump out of it. Brilliant. It is a testament to Taylan and the Brain Tumour Research Charity that I am considering this - but, seriously, I want to honour his memory and if we raise a HUGE sum of money then all the better.
As Brain Tumour Research puts it.....
There have been tremendous advances over the last fifteen years, but even now, newly diagnosed brain tumour patients and their families don’t know:
LET'S CHANGE THAT TOGETHER.