Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity. Just Giving allows one charity per page; I am supporting two. I would dearly like the donations to be evenly spread here across both these wonderful organisations. That bit, dear reader is down to you please.
The cover photo shows my wife, Claire. Claire lost her long, hard battle with cancer on 30 May 2017; she fought it for almost four years. Nationally, we see many campaigns for research and organisations such as MacMillan, who, while their work is invaluable; aren't so visible when things don't go to plan. I want to raise money to enable two local charities to continue with the fantastic work that they do in my community. Both were invaluable both to Claire and to me and our children as we faced the fact that our story was not to have a happy ending.
Firstly the Leon Barwell Foundation; which offers respite, support and breaks for families affected by cancer. Leon Barwell was a former chairman of Northampton Saints rugby club; who passed away following an 18 month battle with Cancer. The foundation was set up by Leon's widow, Paula. The foundation's emphasis is on enabling families to try to maintain a sense of normality and create memories, despite the tresses and chaos cancer case for all concerned.
Secondly, Cynthia Spencer Hospice; where Claire spent her final weeks. Cynthia Spencer Hospice provides inpatient care, outpatient services, Hospice@Home, lymphoedema service and palliative care clinical nurse specialist service. In plain English; CSH is full of wonderfully dedicated staff and volunteers who will do whatever it takes to ensure that patients are comfortable and families are afforded every opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.
Both organisations rely significantly on public support to do what they do. End of life care; and the kind of support offered by Paula Barwell and her team, does not simply happen. The hospice is part financed by NHS England; but could not survive without support elsewhere. The Barwell Foundation relies exclusively on public support. So what am I going to do about it all?
I am hirsute. Bearded and pony-tailed for some 25 years now, at a guess and I have always said that it would take something very significant to get me to part with both. Personally, I would say that the loss of my amazing wife; becoming a single dad, or MAD (Mum And Dad) to three children at the age of 55 is no small matter. Where cancer beats people, it does so and does so hard. It gloats, makes like as tough as it can. Where cancer is going to win, then that is when places like Cynthia Spencer Hospice come into their own. When life becomes too much, then that is when people like Paula Barwell hold out a hand and offer breathing space. Quite simply, the children and I have received more support and goodwill than I can ever repay. But I would love to try.