14 February 2014

Hi Again, Good to see you!  Happy Valentine’s Day.

I’ve left it a little while since the last blog as we’ve been busy organising the new office.   It’s now fully furnished and we had our first meeting there last week.  The office makes a massive difference to us. We now have our ‘hub’ from where we can plan and organise our important work.   There was a lot to cover at this meeting as 2014 is going to be a busy year.

One of our new ventures is happily accepting donated goods so that we can sell them to raise funds.    One way in which we intend to do this is via a stall at Knaresborough Market on Wednesday the 26th March.    Our stall is definitely going to be worth a visit!  Come along and buy some of the goods we’ll have on sale;  you won’t be disappointed.  (If you’ve been lucky enough to experience our Tree of Life goods, then you will know that we go with the idea of ‘quality at low prices’).  If you have any books, CDs, bric-a-brac, etc, that are worth selling, then please let us know!

As well as the market stall, we are selling some of the more bespoke or unusual donated items on Ebay.   So far, this is raising a surprising amount of money but some of the donations are a little strange.  For instance, have you ever heard of a “Conformateur”?    I certainly hadn’t.   However, I now know exactly what one is and it’s about to go on E-bay unless I have any good offers beforehand!   Oh, and another rather unusual donation is a Week at a Luxury Caravan in the Sand-le-Mere Holiday Village in Tunstall, East Yorkshire.   The owners are open to offers (they advertise it at £230 per week September to March).  Please let me know if you are interested and I will put any reasonable offers to them.

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A reminder about Ripon Races on Thursday 17 April. In case you don’t know about this, Ripon Racecourse kindly lets us have a box for 100 people at the Course.    From the box, there is a balcony with a superb view of the finishing line.    We have a fantastic lunch with drinks and in my experience over the last couple of years, it’s a brilliant afternoon out – lots of fun and it can be lucrative of course!    See our website for details.

Our next fundraising social event after the Races is to be a Vintage Tea Party at Markington Hall on Thursday 29 May.   Markington Hall is well worth a visit and this looks like being a very enjoyable afternoon at a ticket price of £25.  This is not just any old tea party!  More details to follow.   We can accommodate 50 people so please let us know if you’d like to join us.

The ‘Black, White and Pearls Ball’ at the Royal Hall, Harrogate on 7 November is going to be our biggest event this year and we’d love you to join us.  This is taking some careful planning as we want it to be a fantastic and memorable event.  

You may remember that I mentioned in my blog on the 20th December that Victoria Grafton (she’s a Director of Brindley’s in Harrogate) is undertaking the Coast to Coast walk between the 30th April and the 10th May.    She is doing this for The PPR Foundation. The walk is approximately 184 miles and Victoria intends to walk approximately 30 miles per day.    It’s between St Bees and Robin Hood’s Bay.   She will be doing this with her friend, Sarah-Jane Patrick.    They are also fundraising for Hearing Dogs.  Please have a look at their fundraising page.   It would be great if you could sponsor them.   Having once undertaken a very arduous walk myself for charity, I can tell you that it’s the sponsorship that keeps you going!  

http://www.justgiving.com/Victoria-Grafton

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Aside from the fundraising, we met with Macmillan again this week to progress our support group for carers of those on the brain tumour journey.   Although we can currently offer empathy on the basis of our own personal experiences, in teaming up with Macmillan, we are going to take advantage of the courses they run to help us.  We also aim, via our wonderful helpers, to be able to offer help in the form of complementary therapies for carers.  I was fortunate enough to be offered massage and reflexology when I was at the hospice during Ian’s illness.   At this awful time, I really did appreciate the human touch;  I hadn’t realised until I experienced these therapies just how much I needed to feel ‘loved’ during that time.

If you are reading our blog because somebody you love has been affected by a brain tumour, and particularly by a Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV (‘GMB4’), I wonder if you can help us in some very grass roots research we are doing.      Each of us found that when our own husbands were diagnosed with this dreadful illness, the question was never raised by the medical practitioners we came across “What do you think might have been responsible for the tumour”.     It’s often said that cancer is a lifestyle illness and maybe it is, in which case – is there a common denominator cause?  As seven of us have experienced losing a loved one to a GMB4 tumour, it seemed worthwhile giving some consideration to what might have had some bearing on this.   This is very much a ‘lay person’s’ survey and I’m simply asking if there was anything you suspected your loved one ate, drank, did, was exposed to, etc?     It could be that the same answers will crop up again and again.  Please let me know.   The PPR Foundation is now financing a professional medical team at St James Hospital in Leeds to carry out research into brain tumours, but alongside that, it seems crazy not to ask the people who have personal experience what they think.

And just to finish off, I wonder if you saw Davina McColl on TV this week being pulled out of Lake Windermere after doing the swim that our Sue is going to do in June.    Davina did not look to be in very good shape at that point to say the least!     However, Sue is not deterred and lots of people are donating to her Just Giving page to encourage her to undertake the swim for brain tumour research.   http://www.justgiving.com/Sue-Forsyth

Will be back soon!

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