I CAN’T start this column without thanking everyone who participated in Macmillan's World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event.
There were so many across the town and the buzz around the whole event is just wonderful.
A special thank you to Pam Sanders from Wath who had held four coffee mornings and raised a fantastic £3,324 in total.
I’ve recently had the privilege of meeting Ali Casey from North Anston.
Ali was a military chef in the army for almost 12 years.
He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in August last year.
He told me about his experience:
“I heard the word cancer and everything went dark, I literally ran out of the door in the hospital. I couldn't hear or understand what I was being told.
“I was in total shock. I thought I had prostate cancer, then on the second appointment I came out thinking I had bowel cancer.
“It was only when I spoke to my Macmillan nurse did I fully understand that I had bladder cancer, I’d never even heard of bladder cancer before.
“The nurse was able to break it down for me in really simple terms - that’s what I needed.”
Ali had even started to organise his own funeral,
He said: “The staff at the Rotherham Macmillan Information and Support Centre pulled me back - they told me I was jumping the gun.
“I needed information, in a way that I could understand.
“First of all, I spoke to the Macmillan team at Rotherham Macmillan Information and Support Centre, they were fantastic.”
The Macmillan team talked to Ali about his specific needs and what help they could provide.
Ali needed extra support because of the side effects of his diagnosis and treatment — he received a Macmillan grant which helped him start to put the pieces of his life back together.
Ali is now organising a fancy-dress event at Gordon Bennett Memorial Hall in Thurcroft on November 2 to raise funds for Macmillan and the Dinnington and District branch of the Royal British Legion as he wanted to give something back to Macmillan.
“I’d be dead without Macmillan support,” she said.
“My mental wellbeing was so low — I know I was at the end of the line.
“It’s great to know that whatever cancer you have there's a massive support network going on behind the scenes.”
If you would like tickets for the event, please call me on 07710 307050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to hold an event for Macmillan please do get in touch or visit macmillan.org.uk.
We have four brand new packs available for Your Big Do, (balls, parties etc), Sports and Games (quizzes, race nights, football tournaments etc), for the adventures, Only You Could (for world record attempts, wacky challenges and 'something-athons'!) and a wedding pack for those special days.
We rely on 98 per cent of voluntary donations so without people like Ali fundraising for us, we wouldn’t be here to help those when they need us.
Amy Hebdon is the fundraising manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Rotherham.