In aid of The Blue Ribbon Foundation
SUNDAY 7TH OCTOBER 2012
Fakenham Community Centre
70 ladies & gentlemen joined Carla & I to complete our 3-hour Zumbathon® Charity event in aid of the Blue Ribbon Foundation
In 2011, leading up to the Zumbathon, Kerry was coming to the Fakenham class, whilst at home her dad was fighting cancer. I admired her greatly, she was going through so much turmoil in her life but she came to class, week in, week out, always with a smile on her face, hiding her heartache. She told me that Zumba helped her to get through the week, helping her release her pent-up emotions and taking her mind off her worries, if only for a brief moment.
Kerry’s father Chris was diagnosed with cancer of the penis in 2002, and later had his lymph nodes in his groin removed before having bouts of chemotherapy & radiotherapy. Even though he was in pain, he never made a fuss and continued to live his life. Chris finally lost his fight on October 6th last year, he was just 52.
Before he died, Kerry’s dad became aware of a new charity being set up by a former prostate cancer suffer, Mel Lacey after spending time in the hospital in the bed next to Mel.
Just before Christmas 2008, Mel Lacey, from Norwich, was in hospital for an urgent operation for prostate cancer. Whilst waiting, he vowed that if he got through it, Mel would dedicate as much time as necessary to helping other men face up to the ‘male cancers’ threatening their lives.
At present, more than 30,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed every year in the UK and about one-third of those, more than ten thousand, result in deaths. Mel felt that with better education, more information and getting people to talk about male cancers, many of those deaths could be avoided.
As pink ribbons are a constant reminder about the dangers of breast cancer, Mel thought it might be a good idea to have an equivalent ‘blue charity’ for men. To that end, he contacted Jonathan Prince of the Pink Ribbon Foundation and asked if it was possible to have a blue equivalent charity.
Jonathan and Mel then started working on the idea and set about raising the funds to establish and register a Blue Ribbon Foundation, to be run in almost exactly the same way as the existing Pink Ribbon Foundation.
The main purposes of the charity are …
Firstly, to raise the profile of male cancers & educate & encourage men to regularly monitor their own health. Many lives are currently lost because of a lack of early detection. As pink ribbons have become synonymous with breast cancer, the hope is blue ribbons will become associated with all male cancers & health issues. Just the wearing of the ribbons will already be raising the profile of these diseases. It is hoped blue ribbons can be used by all existing male cancer charities as a banner for men to rally to.
Secondly, as part of raising the profile, blue ribbons will be sold in the same way pink ribbons have been for many years. The trustees will receive applications from smaller charities and/or research organisations that need funds for projects relating to male cancers. The trustees then distribute the funds accordingly. The Blue Ribbon Foundation is run entirely voluntarily.
Male cancer can affect anyone of us, whether it’s your father, husband, brother, son or grandson. We all know that men don’t like talking about health issues but early detection is vital.
In aid of Rebecca's Wishes
SUNDAY 9TH OCTOBER 2011
Fakenham Community Centre,
50 ladies, Carla & I completed the 3-hour Zumbathon® Charity event and raised a magnificent £4,507.25 for 'Rebecca's Wishes'. The charity and I are overwhelmed by the support we received and to all the amazing ladies who helped to raise so much money - 'THANK YOU'. You made the day very special (and somewhat emotional).
Rebecca Fairhead was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 7 and after a long and determined battle, she died at the age of 12 at a children’s hospice in Quidenham, Norfolk.
Rebecca faced her illness with enormous courage and when her parents told her that they would be setting up a charity in her memory in order to help other children with cancer and their families, she insisted that the fund was started with her own savings of £250 after she had died. The charity helps children with any form of cancer by providing holidays, special outings, parties, equipment etc., which they may not normally be able or allowed to have. They also help families towards funeral costs and cost of headstones. No other charity provides this help and many families have to compromise on their children’s funeral. This is the last thing they can do for their child; once it’s done you cannot do it again.
So, the Zumbathon® in October was for Rebecca’s charity and consisted of 3 hours of Zumba® Fitness.
There was a raffle & tombola on the day and we also had a cake stall. Sponsorship was also raised by the particpants.
The Zumbathon® Charity Event was lots of fun and to say 'thank you', goody bags were provided for all people who completed the challenge.
The first prize in the raffle was a signed Norwich City Football Club shirt, so a BIG thank you to Aviva UK for donating this wonderful prize.
We also want to say a thank you to all of the national & local companies, listed below, who have donated money, supplied raffle & tombola prizes, or supplied goods to put in the Zumbathon participants goody bags, and to everyone from all the classes who have donated prizes.
Osokozi Gallery, Holt
Morrisey Builders Ltd of Fakenham