Post 11 – Challenge No 8 Achieved

Well I wasn’t planning on writing one post solely on a ‘Challenge Achieved’, but I felt that this deserved it. As do all of my wonderful friends and family (and their friends!) who have made it happen.

Challenge No.8 was to get 40 friends to get sponsored to give up something for lent…..46 whole days. And everyone did it. There were three things that amazed me though;

1. People decided to do this challenge for my 40 Challenges B440 despite not knowing me! 

Friends of friends took on the challenge (and the fundraising!), as did myeloma patients and their families that I haven’t had any contact with before.

2. People chose things to give up that they knew would be really hard

It would have been very easy for people to give up easy things, but no-one did. People chose things that they really believed would be hard to do…..and that led to the third thing for me…

3. People raised more money than I could ever have imagined.

My aim for this challenge was for everyone to raise about £40 each so that we raised a minimum of £1,600. Now, me being me, of course I had hoped for a little bit more than that….maybe £2,000 or £3,000 at an absolute push….but to date, we have raised over £4,500. And I have every confidence that once all the ‘offline’ donations come in, that we will smash this, and maybe reach £5,000. (By the way, for any of you who have donations to put in, please feel free to either donate via my just giving page or by passing me a cheque payable to Myeloma UK. I’m hoping to send all of those in by the 20th May!)

This is just amazing. This challenge alone has meant that I have demolished my original target of £4,000 as if I reach the £5,000, we will be on nearly £7,500. So, of course, I have changed my target. I would now like to raise £10,000. I would actually like to crush that target too, but I don’t want to seem greedy! But I still don’t have the 40 businesses signed up for £40 (another 27 to go at £40 each would raise another £1080), have people doing the Myeloma UK Retail Walk (please let me know if you fancy signing up for a fun and easy sponsored event!), a cake sale to do (keep the 8th June free!), conga’s to collect on and the hope that people will sponsor me for achieving these 40 challenges (Donation page)! So £10,000 does feel totally doable now!

So I owe a huge thank you (in order of signing up!) to Sara Vince-Bundy, Clare McCaffrey, Kelly Hurst, Belinda Slade, Sue Tunstall, Catherine Collett, Debbie Flore, Kirsten Dourish, Elaine Rose, Tracy Corcoran, Kate Cheshire, Claire O’Hehir, Heidi Yorke, Karen Monnington, Lisa Squire, Justine Holliday, Dawn Fraser, Nick Gascoyne, Sue Dickinson, Jude Smart, Dave Smart, Lisa Cook, Helen Foster , Jo Harris, Christine Pugh, Karen Britton, Alison Powell, Sarah Bickers, Amy Bickers, Joan Smyth, Vicky Reed, Rav Sidat, Natalie Edney, Archie Reed, Hawa Sidat, Rebecca Gascoyne, Helen Colechin, Anna Smith, Fi, Wendy, Helen Woods, Paul Harwood-Laye, Isobel Taylor, Louise Adams (Roddy!), Sarah McKenzie, Preeti Fatania, Nick Healey, Katie Armel, Alison Mason, Henry Mason, Natalie Ellis and Ruth Wheeler. A total of 52 (not including me giving up as an ‘early lent’) people who gave something up to raise money and awareness for Myeloma UK. Absolutely amazing. Massive appreciation from this house to all of you, and to all the people who sponsored you. I am now just slightly nervous that I have forgotten to list someone really important!!

And I hope people will believe me when I say that whilst the money is MASSIVELY important, the awareness that a challenge like this has achieved is even more important. Part of why I am doing these challenges is to ensure that people learn about what Myeloma is, what the symptoms are and that there is nothing wrong with getting checked properly at the GP. And by having 50 people fundraising for Myeloma UK, I would imagine that we have probably all told at least 10 people who didn’t previously know what myeloma was that is a cancer of the blood plasma in the bone marrow. That’s a minimum of 500 people that we may have spread the message to! I think that is fab and I’m really proud of each and every one of you (although I have to say, that I’m especially proud of my 9 year old, Rebecca and her best friend Hawa who both gave up chocolate and sweets for lent and have raised over £800 between them! Not easy at that age!) You’re all amazing and I hope that you know it!

 

Challenge 9: Tell 40 people who don’t know what myeloma is, what it is.

So this is the next challenge to tell you all about (Challenge 7 is to eat 40 brussel sprouts in 4 minutes…fairly self-explanatory!). So, as I have said above, awareness is absolutely key to ‘Making Myeloma History‘ , the vision of Myeloma UK. A large number of my challenges are aimed at doing this, but none more so than Challenge 9.

I would like the opportunity to tell 40 people about what Myeloma is, how it can be diagnosed earlier, and how we, as everyday people, can make a difference. I’m not talking about a long speech or anything like that….I absolutely HATE public speaking and I’m not a natural at all! But I would like to do this to spread knowledge about myeloma. And if possible, maybe even to raise money as I do it. I am thinking something between a few minutes to 10/15 minutes….certainly no longer!

I have approached the High Wycombe Round table and Rotary but to no avail sadly so if anyone has any contacts in the area, that would be fantastic. It absolutely does NOT need to include money, but obviously if any of the people that I talk to are able to help with any of my challenges, that would be brilliant. When I did the Glitz and Glamour Ball in 2012, I went to a couple of Breakfast meetings, so that is a definite possibility but while I am still working, it is difficult to fit that in. But if anyone has contacts that they think would help in the Wycombe area, let me know and maybe we can make it work. Alternatively, any businesses that might like to do something local with CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) or any other ideas that people have, just let me know. If I can make it work, I will do.

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If you would like to sponsor me with my #40ChallengesB440, please either

go to http://www.justgiving.com/Deb-Gascoyne

or

text ‘DEBG99 £X’ to 70070 e.g ‘DEBG99 £40′ if you want to donate £40

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