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Eileen Barber avatar
Eileen Barber

Eileen's Skydiving page

I am skydiving for Bowel Cancer UK because of my husband Alan.

148 %
£1,481.32
raised of £1,000 target
by 53 supporters
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Bowel Cancer UK

We campaign, support and fund research to stop people dying of bowel cancer

Charity Registration No. 1071038

Story

Hi everyone,

Thank you for taking the time to visit my Just Giving page.
Having recently experienced the thrill of indoor skydiving (a Christmas present from Nicolle and Mark) I am planning to undertake a tandem charity skydive on behalf of Bowel Cancer UK in memory of Alan who sadly passed away 5 years ago. 

As a self confessed "adrenaline junkie" I will test my nerves and bravery to the limit by skydiving. I only ever dreamed about being kitted out with a parachute, boarding an aircraft, no doubt exhilaration and trepidation building in equal measures as the plane reaches its altitude of 2 miles. I wait for the door to open and the green light to indicate "go". Heart racing I take a leap of faith, freefalling to earth reaching speeds in excess of 120mph, before the parachute is deployed and I gently float down to terra firma. I dared not contemplate this until now. On the 18 September the fantasy becomes a reality.


Please can I rely on your financial support by helping me to raise as much money as possible for Bowel Cancer UK? Fundraising supports vital research and life saving work, it starts by promoting awareness about bowel cancer, moves onto education to hopefully effect positive change, now and in the future.

Every penny counts. Your donation small or large will go towards and help fund:
•    Campaigning - £100 could help champion the needs of patients and improve diagnosis, treatment and care.
•    Education - £500 could help educate the public and healthcare professionals about symptoms, risk factors and screening.
•    Research - £1000 could help identify gaps in bowel cancer research which could help thousands of lives.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK after breast, lung and prostate, it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. 41,000 people are diagnosed with Bowel Cancer every year, the number of people dying continues to fall, this is great news, however it is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK behind lung cancer.

In life Alan touched countless people's lives, he had many strengths and endearing qualities, he had such a vibrant bubbly personality, he was outgoing and friendly, he loved helping others and made himself available to anyone and everyone would wanted or needed help, he had a heart of gold, he was genuinely one in a million. If every person had Alan's disposition and caring nature the world would be a better place.

Alan was diagnosed with terminal cancer, bowel was the primary cancer but aggressive secondary cancers had spread to his liver and lungs, sadly he died 9 weeks later.  It was frightening and heart breaking watching Alan deteriorate so rapidly knowing I couldn't help him or ease his pain. 

Curative treatment was not possible and Alan knew his life expectancy was short. Coming to terms with his own mortality, frightened knowing he was facing imminent death he experienced a whole range of emotions as would many patients diagnosed with end stage terminal cancer. In the face of adversity Alan turned his negative emotions into positive actions, his only thoughts and concerns were for loved ones he was leaving behind. Courageously he started to plan for a future he would not be a part of, to sort out his affairs and say his goodbyes in a meaningful way. Such an admirable quality, a wonderful human being and a truly remarkable man.

Alan's many varied interests and hobbies, sport, football in particular was his passion, he could often be seen at The Den supporting Millwall FC roaring the Lions on. (Thanks Dunney for your support ).

Alan loved music, all types of genre, except heavy metal, sorry AC/DC fans Alan left one of your concerts, the head banging, sweat and blood wasn't his cup of tea! Travel was an adventure too, relaxing in a mud pool in Rotorua Alan struck up a conversation with a Maori tribal leader, invited to spend the evening with his indigenous people we found ourselves in their village eating a traditional Hagi feast followed by an evening of local customs and culture. In Cancun Alan noticed a local man standing by his half constructed building looking perplexed, scratching his head and muttering in Spanish, before long they had overcome the language barrier and Alan was helping the owner build his tiki bar, needless to say the man was grateful and the evening was spent with him and his family, beer gratis! In Las Vegas Alan was playing the slot machines sitting next to "Elvis" wearing his white jumpsuit singing All shook up, it was surreal, thankfully Alan didn't engage too much with him, home would certainly not have been Gracelands and doubt he would have been driving a pink Cadillac!! Life with Alan was never dull or boring that's for sure.

In death Alan's memory lives on, he is still very much loved and missed, especially his wicked sense of humour and mischievous streak. They say a picture paints a thousand words, Alan, on the left could make the gloomiest days seem cheerful, telling an anecdote making his brothers and sisters laugh even at their mums wake!! (and the memorial plaque behind is for our nephew Dean - R.I.P.).

Alan came across a poignant quote years ago, it read "if you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of". How accurate and inspirational.

Alan still had so much living to do, his life was cut short by cancer, he worked hard all his life and never got to enjoy retirement. Bowel cancer not only robbed me of my wonderful husband, my best friend, my soul mate, it forced me to come to terms with and adjust to a life without Alan, it took away our plans, hopes and aspirations for the future too. Anyone widowed probably can relate to how I feel, the feeling of being incomplete, an emptiness and a loneliness in ones heart that doesn't go away. Please give what you can afford, together we can help improve the quality of life for those affected by bowel cancer.

I sincerely thank you all very much for getting involved and supporting this worthy cause. Your generous donation means a great deal to myself personally and of course Bowel Cancer UK. If we can help even one person not have to endure the pain and suffering Alan went through, it would be worth it. Your donation is very much appreciated as Bowel Cancer UK relies solely on charitable donations, together with your support we can make a difference, reduce the cancer mortality rate, change lives and hopefully one day stop bowel cancer completely.  

Thank you x

PS - Next on my bucket list is cage diving with Great White Sharks in Australia - if anyone is interested and wants to do this challenge with me, get in touch !!

Photos

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  • Let the adventure begin
  • My thoughts are with Alan at this moment in time
  • OMG !! +19

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