Thom on giving back

During his treatment for colon cancer, 27 year-old Thom found that  Macmillan’s Mustard Tree Centre and the people he met there were his ‘little bit of heaven’. 

Thom’s treatment proved successful, and he decided he wanted to give back straight away.

Thom's story

I decided I wanted to give back immediately after finding out there was a good chance I was going to be okay.

I'm absolutely nuts on cricket. My dad grew up with cricket – it was where all the families would go and we were always at the side of the pitch. 

The idea for the cricket match started out quite small – just family and friends getting together to raise a few hundred pounds. It became quite an event, and my friends and family put more effort into this event with me than I could ever have imagined.

We got all these different people to sponsor our cricket match. Pimms sponsored it; we got it filmed for an episode of River Cottage; we had banners all round just our local pitch that we sold; we made a programme that we sold, we sold the advertising space in it as well. We had cake clubs coming down donating and selling their cakes. We had a barbecue and a bar. And it was genuinely the best day. We had over 2,000 people turn up from our little town. Throughout the day we raised over £20,000 for the whole event.

It was the best day, because we raised loads of money, but it was also the best day because the family environment was there and the sun was shining and everyone was happy to give money.

It's great to give exposure to Macmillan too. When I told my Dad about all the support I was getting from Macmillan and the Mustard Tree [Centre], he was really surprised as he only knew Macmillan for the nurses and the care they give to terminally-ill patients. 

You don't feel like you're just doing something to raise money; you genuinely feel like you're part of a family. You're all there for one reason and the one reason isn't cancer. The one reason is actually life.

Watch: all about Thom's experiences

Watch: all about Thom's experiences