A few weeks ago I wrote a post to raise awareness of a very worthwhile campaign for a charity very close to my heart. The campaign is called The Big Bandana Bake and the charity is The Brain Tumour Charity. The premise of the campaign was to get baking, get messy, hold a cake sale and raise a load of money towards funding much needed research. The goal is to raise £150,000 which will fund 2 years worth of research in an area of medicine that is so under-funded.
WHY I SUPPORT THE BRAIN TUMOUR CHARITY
My brother-in-law was diagnosed with a brain tumour back in 2014. It was a massive shock as Alun was a fit, healthy man. Alun’s tumour was on his brain stem and had spread across his brain. He had a stage 4 glioblastoma brain tumour. It was aggressive and there was limited treatment available. Alun passed away 15 months after being diagnosed. He was 47 and the father of twins. They were 16, and half way through their GCSE exams when he died.
THE REASONS WHY THEY NEED OUR HELP
- Progress in research into brain tumours has been slow – since 1971 there has been an overall increase in survival of less than 10% for people with a high-grade brain tumour, one of the poorest improvements across all cancers.
- In 2016, in the UK, only 1.9% of £580 million spent by the government and largest cancer research charities was spent on brain tumours.
- 11,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour.
- In the UK 14 people a day die from a brain tumour.
- Brain tumours continue to kill more people under the age of 40 than any other cancer. They kill more children than leukaemia, more men under 40 than prostate cancer, and more women under 35 than breast cancer.
The last statistic is a real shock and yet so little money from the central pot goes towards research in this area.
(Source: The Brain Tumour Charity and Brain Tumour Research)
THE BIG BANDANA BAKE
All the events The Brain Tumour Charity hold really resonate with us. The Twilight Walk reminds us of Alun as he had such a passion for being outdoors. He was happiest when he was reading maps and planning walks in Snowdonia for the family. Every year on Boxing Day he’d have us up a mountain so much so that it is a family tradition. One we carry on today in his absence.
His other enjoyment was chocolate and cake. He had a REALLY sweet tooth. When he was diagnosed Alun cut sugar out of his diet in the hope it would keep him alive for longer. It may well have done. We will never be sure. So when I heard about the Big Bandana Bake I just had to get involved. It felt like another perfect opportunity to remember him and do something apt in his name.
I promoted the cake sale to friends on social media – not thinking about how I’d accommodate everyone – and started reading cookery books.
I bought the bandana so that I looked the part, and started flicking through cookery books. For two weeks before the event my work colleagues were force-fed cake as I tried to perfect the recipes. The day before the cake sale I went in to panic. What if no-one showed up? What if everyone shows up? What if the cakes are horrible? What if I run out? Where are they going to sit? When am I going to clean before they get here? I’ve ran 10k for charity before now and at that point it felt like an easier option than baking cake!
I needn’t have worried. Throughout the course of the day over 30 people turned up and I had lots of helpers. A couple even brought cakes with them that they’d baked especially for the event. Those that couldn’t come left money on a Just Giving page I set up on request. The atmosphere was fantastic with everyone chatting away and getting to know each other. There were also stories about Al that were shared with those that never had the pleasure of knowing him. Before we knew it 5 hours had gone by. Its true what they say about time flying!
The money we raised far exceeded my expectations. In total we raised £330. That’s a heck of a lot of cake and some very generous donations. I can’t tell you how proud I am of what we achieved, and I am so grateful for having such a wonderful and supportive group of friends.
It’s never too late to get involved. If you can help please contact the charity via their web page Brain Tumour Charity-Fundraising
All contributions will be gratefully received. You can make a difference.
PS: I promised friends that if we raised over £100 I’d post a selfie of me in my bandana. Photos of me are extremely rare. True to my word I’ve done it (cringe).