22 April 2013
Sarah Cheney’s mother Madge passed away in March 1993 at just 50 years old when Sarah was only 15. She was diagnosed with lung cancer near the end of 1992 and given 12 months to live.
Madge was a brave lady, and in order to protect her very young daughter did not tell her about her diagnosis. One week before she passed, Sarah found out.
'My dear father, David was amazing throughout and has been there for me ever since’ Sarah said, ‘but Macmillan also played a massive role, they were very kind to me and my Dad in the last days of my dear Mum’s life and after that, keeping in touch with both me and my Dad to help cope with our unthinkable loss and grief. This helped my Dad, who was left a widower with a teenage girl to come to terms with his loss, and for me too, as a typical teenager I bottled my grief and feelings up.’
'That day changed our life forever as nothing was the same again, especially as my mum and I were so close. It was a very hard time for us indeed.'
'However, in the first few years of her passing on, Dad and I decided to fundraise for Macmillan as a focus and we started by selling little green badges at my school and work, we did a walk through Birmingham that ended at a pub with more fundraising by way of raffles and a fun day. This helped me and Dad to come together as a family and helped us through the grieving process.'
'I had this deep need to do something major when it came to my Mum’s 20th anniversary. So, I decided I would have a grand memorial party to celebrate her life and so was born ‘Madge’s Year’. I decided that from March of 2012 to 2013 I would do a year of fundraising for Macmillan. Madge’s year was set up on Facebook with help from a good friend and a Just giving account was created.'
'To start it off was an auction of a chocolate hamper generously donated by Cadbury’s for Easter, raising the first £50. Activities snowballed from there. A Jubilee party at my friend’s home where we dressed in Union Jack clothing with our children raising £350, a midnight pyjama walk through Sutton Coldfield where 20 ladies wore pyjamas with some male chaperones raised a whopping £1,000.'
'Then the grand finale arrived on the 9 March when all family, friends and well wishers gathered to celebrate Mum’s 20th anniversary with a live band and drinks. I not only managed to reach my goal of £2,500, but exceeded it by raising over £3000.'
Macmillan has a huge challenge of raising over £470,000 a year in the South Birmingham and Solihull area alone to help the current 2 million people living with cancer.
By 2030 this challenge will be even greater with statistics showing this figure will increase to 4 million.
Macmillan needs to you. Why not set yourself a challenge like Sarah did to make a real difference?
Whether it be a personal challenge, supporting Macmillan through your work or giving some spare time to help at events, Macmillan would like to hear from you.
Contact Cat Power Fundraising Manager in South Birmingham and Solihull on 07809 554 971 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for inspiration.