Jacqui Drake

Jacqui's Million

Fundraising for Leeds Cancer Centre Charity
£433,287
raised of £1,000,000 target
We raise funds to support patients at Leeds Cancer Centre

Story

BE ONE OF JACQUI'S MILLION In 1993 I had successful surgery to remove a small mole from my right leg, which was diagnosed as Melanoma, and for many years after I was clear of Cancer. However, in 2009 a lump appeared in the same place and after numerous tests unfortunately it was a secondary Cancer, which is virtually unheard of after such a long time being clear. Some would say I am extremely unlucky, I say I am blessed as I was referred to Leeds Cancer Centre, where since that time I have been receiving treatment as my Cancer is malignant in stage 4.

Three operations on my leg by the amazing Howard Peach ensured I could keep doing what I do best – dancing and choreographing!! In 2011 the Melanoma had spread to my lungs, oral chemotherapy thankfully kept things at bay for two years, but the tumour in my right lung had escalated to such a degree that in February 2015 again another wonderful surgeon Kostas Papagiannopoulos removed the tumour and also my right lung.

Since then I have continued with chemotherapy, other drugs for the side effects and I am currently on immunotherapy which I call my "wonder drug" and although the above sounds devastating I am really positive and living every day to the full. Life expectancy for an “average” person with my condition is usually one year – but as the specialists say “I am not average”…..and here I am 14 years on!!……..I say “Everyone is terminal, it's just that I'm not getting off at this terminus”. I am still living a fun packed life.

So, Jacqui's Million is all about raising awareness, positivity and also much needed funds for “Jimmy's”, Leeds Cancer Centre. During the time I have spent there as a patient, I have come to see first hand the tremendous work they do, long hours, low pay, but with an ethos that is truly outstanding – they really are all angels. It makes my blood boil when I hear that the NHS should be privatised. We need to help our NHS so they can continue to care for us, as they have done for many many years.

My goal and legacy is to raise £1 million for The Bexley Wing, and if I can get one million people to donate just £1.00 then the job would be done!! The money donated is used in a variety of ways, but specifically for all Cancer patients from children to adults. I will of course keep you updated on the items funded with the proceeds, it is all about patient comfort care. Check out my posts on Facebook & also www.jacquismillion.com to see the amazing work we achieve and how your donations are being used to help many Cancer patients.

But Jacqui's Million is more than just raising well needed funds, it's also about "peer support" something that is very special and precious to me. Trying to help patients and their families in their time of need, giving them hope and positivity too, that you can live a really positive life with the "big C" and early diagnosis is of course vital so that you can receive the best possible care. I hope that I have listened, supported and helped many people and if you feel I can help you in an small way please feel free to contact me via email: jacqui.drake1@btinternet.com

In 2020 I started my radio podcast "Cancer Journeys" on Bradford Community Broadcasting BCB106.6FM. This has been so successful with so many patients, clinicians, doctors and families sharing their stories and experience of Cancer again to help others when they are diagnosed. It could be a very depressing show, but it's not, it is informative and very uplifting, again giving people starting their own personal journey hope. The podcasts are available to listen to at: www.jacquismillion.com & at www.yorkshirecancercommunity.co.uk. If you would like to take part and share your story again simply email me for more information.

About the charity

Leeds Cancer Centre, part of the Leeds Cares family, diagnoses and treats cancer for the people of Leeds and the Yorkshire region. It is one of the largest cancer centres in the UK and provide some of the most up-to-date treatment, care and support for people with cancer.

Donation summary

Total raised
£433,286.91
+ £24,026.38 Gift Aid
Online donations
£195,704.91
Offline donations
£237,582.00

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