“My wife’s illness inspired me to become a fundraiser myself, it is not something I have ever done before, but I would definitely do it again.”
My wife Annette was diagnosed with Polycythaemia Vera, more than fifteen years ago so I was keen to support the charity and the work they do to make a real difference to the lives of those living with an MPN like she is. It was a new opportunity for me to make a difference, show my support for my wife and the MPN community and raise funds to help with further research into the disease.
I’ve donated throughout the years to charities and good causes but never actually organised a fundraising event myself. My initial target was £5,000, but I ended up raising more than £6,000.
How did you fundraise?
As I was Captain at Cumberwell Park Golf Club, I focused my efforts on the club and the events in my Captain’s year to raise funds and awareness. It started with a raffle to get the grid number closest to my drive off the first tee, which is the season opener and and just snowballed from there. I organised raffles, a bottle at the bar for £1 donation if you went into specific bunkers, annual match fees were donated to my efforts and I also secured hole sponsorship from two local companies at the Charity Golf Day. It was amazing how supportive the members and other players were to my efforts.
But I didn’t stop there as alongside the golf, I decided to take on a personal challenge to run 67k – my age – during May, but I actually completed 101k. I did my own road runs and parkruns which were recorded on Strava and then linked to my fundraising page.
Were you nervous about the running challenge you set yourself?
It was more about the uncertainty of achieving my challenge as I had never run any more than 7k before, but once I had a goal set, it spurred me on to raise as much money as I could and I achieved two PBs in the process (running 5k in under 30mins).
How did you feel when you hit £6000?
My target was £5000 so it felt an immense personal achievement to reach £6000, but also that it was going to MPN Voice to support research into the condition. I was overwhelmed at the support from my family, friends & fellow golfers at Cumberwell Park Golf Club, who were all so generous with their donations.
What would you say to anyone unsure about taking up a fundraising challenge?
Just do it, it’s surprising what can be achieved when you take it on, the fundraising pack was very useful. Debbie Street helped me set up my fundraising page, she was extremely helpful & even attended my charity day.