Our charity of the month for April was Target Ovarian Cancer, nominated by Hayley McAteer in memory of her friend Kerry Vincent wo died of the disease in March last year, aged just 27.
Kerry became engaged to her fiancé Adam in April 2015, three months before being given her cancer diagnosis after being rushed into hospital on return from a holiday in Malta.
She underwent a course of chemotherapy towards the end of the year, but were then given the devastating news that the cancer was back and more chemo would be needed.
Said Hayley: “They had decided on a wedding in Malta in June, but it became obvious that when the new course of treatment ended in May she would not be strong enough so they reluctantly cancelled their Malta plans and decided to get married in the UK instead.”
But it was not to be. Doctors warned Kerry and Adam that further treatment wouldn’t work and the cancer was terminal and that she didn’t have much time left.
Adam said: “We were told that if we really wanted to get married we shouldn’t wait. Initially I was not sure if I could go through with a wedding at her bedside. I did not want it to be doom and gloom.
“But I knew Kerry really wanted to get married. It was all she ever wanted. I thought if she can go through this then I can do this for her. It turned out completely different from what I was expecting. It was magical.”
Friends, family and the hospital all swung into action and within four hours the waiting room of Ward C20 was dressed up as a wedding venue and 30 family and friends watched as the devoted couple were married.
“Unfortunately, Kerry died four days later after a nine month battle,” said Hayley. “Adam has since done a sponsored parachute jump in her memory and raised almost £13,000 for the charity so I decided to nominate them as our charity of the month.
“They’re only a small charity and need all the help they can get to fight this dreadful disease.”
Target Ovarian Cancer may be small, but they are the leading UK charity fighting the disease.
They have a three pronged attack:
- Improving early diagnosis
- Funding life-saving research
- Providing much-needed support for women diagnosed with the disease
Lynne Cliffe, who received our £400 donation on behalf of the charity, said: “I got involved with the charity three years ago when I was diagnosed myself with ovarian cancer and I was reaching out for support and answers.
“The charity is doing great work in raising awareness of the signs and symptoms to look out for and the importance of early diagnosis.
“It is good at bringing people together with similar experience and making you feel you are not on your own with its Being Together days, which are invaluable, and lots more.
“All this is only possible with continued support and tireless fund raising. So thank you Gladstone Brookes for your fund raising efforts and choosing this charity to donate to. It is greatly appreciated and will help it to continue its great work.”