So this week is about the charity I am running for. I was fortunate to get a place in London through the charity that Barracudas supports year round, Children with Cancer. As Barracudas is all about children having fun, helping those who can’t right now seemed a natural link.
For children to go through all that cancer brings is the epiphany of all that is wrong. Battling and hoping each day to rid your child of something you cannot see or protect them from. The stories on the CWC website talk of that life changing moment when the family is told, when everything stops.
Children with Cancer is an incredible charity that funds the research into the causes, cures and treatments of all types of cancer in children and assists families that are going through it right now. They give advice, support and are just there for the families whilst the scientists in the background are working out how to cure and ultimately prevent cancer forming.
I have not really done any major sponsorship event before and to be absolutely honest my focus was running the London Marathon and this was the only way I could. I pledged £2,000 and opened a Virgin Money Giving page in January and planned a quiz/raffle night and a car boot for Easter. By the end of January I was getting worried about reaching the target, but then everything seemed to happen.
I was given some great prizes for the raffle and local businesses responded positively to the emails I had sent. A local bar, The Taproom, have a regular charity quiz night and they allowed me to crash their February one. By the time the quiz night came around, I had sold nearly 1,000 raffle tickets and there were over 70 people quizzing. That night, with all the raffle tickets sold before as well, I raised over £500! Amazing! I was beginning to enjoy this.
My daughter also helped by asking her friends to bake cakes and then selling them at her school, raising nearly £100. I made the office bacon brekkie rolls one morning to the delight of most and the latest event was a charity shopping event organised by friends. They gave me a percentage of takings, another raffle was organised with a huge donated hamper of Easter eggs; cheese, wine and cakes were donated and again that day raised over £500. With the giving page still running this took me over my target over a month early.
The big events are amazing and you see the generosity of people with their time and money and certainly go a big way to a target. The biggest help for me though was the donations through the page. Each time a donation is made, I was sent an email. This little ping on my phone was a metaphorical cheer, a slap on the back or a high-five as I ‘ran’ past. If I had a few on one day, I went out running that night with high spirits as if those people were on the streets cheering me on. It made it all that little bit easier.
So the charity element of the journey has been a surprise. I did not expect to feel the excitement or the motivation from it. Initially I had to raise the money to run, I considered it a necessary route to the start line. I did not expect it to be as energising as it has been, so although Children with Cancer will probably send a thank you email at the end, I would like to thank them for to the opportunity to run for them and the positive impact it has had on me as a person and the motivation it has given me throughout my training.
I would also like to thank everyone who has bought a raffle ticket, a cake, a bacon roll, came to the quiz, attended the shopping event, donated through the page and all those who have enabled the events to actually take place. Could not have done it without you and when it gets tough in April, I will think of each one as a little cheer along the way. Thank you!