Welcome to this very special Easter edition of the newsletter.
This newsletter is also dedicated to a very special young man called Alex Albiston who sadly passed away March 13th.
All the staff and volunteers at Young Heroes have been rocked by the loss of Alex, and are deeply saddened that cancer has taken the life of such a young person with everything to live for.
Alex was determined to live life to the full and in his 18 short years has achieved more than most of us will in a lifetime. You can read his remarkable story further down and read how Young Heroes are set to honour his memory.
In this Easter special you can also read our appeal for wanabee thrill-seekers in our skydiving event this summer, as you can see by the picture above I did it last year. There is also this month’s instalment from our good friend Katie Brooman in Katie’s Corner, Young Heroes Easter appeal, the latest cancer news, sponsored walks and fundraising concerts. Plus much much more.
On behalf of myself and Young Heroes we wish you a very Happy Easter.
Until next month,
Alexander James Albiston
April 5th 1991 – March 13th 2010
Alex Albiston, an exceptionally brave and inspirational young man, sadly lost his battle with cancer on Saturday 13th March 2010. He was just 18 years old.
Alex touched the lives of everyone, he came into contact with; which is evident by the hundreds of tributes that have been placed on Facebook since his death and also the amazing number of people at his funeral (standing room only).
He was a remarkable young man, who demonstrated such wisdom and courage during his illness and he never let the cancer affect his wicked sense of humour/ mask his winning smile. For those who knew Alex, they can pride themselves in knowing such an extraordinary young man and take comfort in his memory, his inspiration and the light he brought to the world.
Alex first featured in the newsletter back in September 2009 when he, along with mum Bev, and younger sister’s Charlotte and friend Megan enjoyed a respite break in Lanzarote. Alex was diagnosed with Osteocarcoma back in April 2008 following a visit to his GP with a knee injury through cricket. A full biopsy revealed the devastating news and yet in the days, weeks and months that followed Alex remained calm; yet determined to fight the cancer.
After eight months of chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumour, he was given the all-clear and began his summer looking forward to university life and the prospect of restarting his football career.
However the day before he was due to start university, doctors told him; that the cancer had spread. Alex spent the next months of his life receiving a further bout of chemotherapy and still passing on his love for Spanish by helping out in lessons at his old school, and raising money for cancer charities and Weston Park Hospital.
Just before his 19th birthday on the 13th March 2010 Alex peacefully passed away surrounded by his family.
Exceptional lad, exceptional talents
Alex displayed exceptional learning abilities from an early age along with a sporting talent which captivated scouts at Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, who offered Alex a place on the Academy team.
However; keen to concentrate on his studies, he turned down the placement and went on to achieve 11 A*s and four As at GCSE at Wickersley School and Sports College.
Alex’s academic achievements also hit national head lines last year when he juggled intensive chemotherapy and surgery whilst sitting his A-level exams in hospital. Like the true genius that Alex was, he gained five A grades and an unconditional place to study Russian and Spanish at St John’s College, Cambridge.
Despite his achievements both prior to and during his illness, Alex refused to believe he was special; however to those who knew him not only was Alex a genius, he was a humble genius which was all the more endearing.
Alexander James Albiston will live on the hearts of many.
Impact to name building in Alex’s memory
Impact Young Heroes are set to honour Alex Albiston by naming Sheffield’s Wilfred Drive after him.
Alex, who lived just a few miles away from the property, had recently visited Wilfred Drive and had expressed a keen interest in volunteering there, once he was well enough.
He was excited by prospect of helping others and shared our vision to make a big difference; to the lives of young people with cancer.
His determination and bravery inspired Impacts’ management team, in such a way that they wanted to name the project after Alex.
The property, which is near completion, has already welcomed its first service users but is currently only known as Wilfred Drive.
The building and indeed the services provided by Impact Living and Young Heroes are dedicated to supporting the lives of vulnerable young people especially those living with or affected by cancer.
Wilfred Drive is not just bricks and mortar, its a vision, an inspirational place to live, it is a place where young people can achieve their full potential and strive for better and most importantly it’s message is to grab life with both hands. Naming the building after Alex not only seems fitting but a great way to honour his memory.
The official name will be announced after further discussions with Alex’s family.
Calling all adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers!
Imagine standing at the edge of an open doorway in an aircraft flying at 15,000 feet – the noise of the engines and the wind ringing in your ears with only the outline of distant fields below………Now imagine leaning forward out of that doorway and letting go – falling forward into the clouds, diving down through the air as you start freefalling at over 120mph!
Imagine being able to do this whilst harnessed to a professional skydive instructor and at the same time being able to help young people living with cancer.
Stop imagining, it’s real and you can be part of it……
Young Heroes is looking for adventurous volunteers up and down the country to take on the challenge and make a big difference through one mighty big jump!
We are currently organising an event in June and have teamed up with Target Skysports, a Leeds based company and affiliated member of BPA, British Parachute Association.
To take part in this thrill of a lifetime, all we ask is that you raise at least £600. This amount includes equipment, training costs and the cost of the jump*.
Remember: Four ‘thrill seeking skydivers’ can potentially fundraise £2,220; which will support one Young Hero.
For further details about skydiving for Young Heroes please contact Kim or Sharon on 01142 43 18 50 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*excludes £75 deposit for Target Skysports payable by the individual at time of booking
Katie’s Easter Corner!
On the 5th February 2007 at 9am my life changed forever. For a few years now I had been working as a care assistant, more recently caring for clients in their own homes, which I loved and I was living independently.
I had been having pain in my knee for four to five years and after visiting various GP’s and Physiotherapists I had been led to believe that this pain was ‘normal’, nothing to worry about and to go home and do my knee exercises. Getting diagnosed with Bone Cancer at 21 was a massive shock for me and my family, but also in a strange way a relief to finally know why I was in pain and hopefully eventually a way to eliminate the pain.
We knew that the treatment would leave me very tired and debilitated and would have a severe impact on my mobility, I was lucky to be able to move back to live with my parents again and receive the support and looking after that I needed. I had no choice but to leave my job as a home care assistant for the foreseeable future. My treatment plan was 40 weeks of chemotherapy and limb salvage surgery, I was to have the chemotherapy at Leeds, St James, about an hour’s drive away, and surgery was in Birmingham, nearly three hour’s drive, luckily I had my Dad to rely on for transport.
It is now three years since I got diagnosed and two years since I finished treatment, my hair has grown back, thinner than what it was but nearly as long as it was before. My leg is getting stronger as time goes on and thankfully the pain I had is now a distant nightmare! A big leap towards independence again was when I passed my driving test two months ago, it gave me a massive confidence boost as well as the option to get out and about without relying on my parents.
My next aim is to live independently again, then hopefully look at getting back to work!
Lyndon Ashley’s Half Marathon
The Leeds Half Marathon has been one of the UK’s most popular runs for years but 2010 is set to be bigger and better than ever. Over 5,000 people of all ages are expected to take part in the city run which starts and finishes at the Millennium Square on May 9th.
Running this years’ 13.1 mile marathon is Lyndon Ashley, who has chosen Young Heroes as his nominated charity. Lyndon was introduced to the charity by Charlie Massey aka Miss Whiplash who last year completed a 26 mile sponsored walk.
We wish Lyndon the very best of luck and urge people to show their support to Lyndon and Young Heroes, by digging deep in those pockets. To sponsor Lyndon please visit his Just Giving page where you can make your donation today.
The North East Guitar Fundraiser
On Saturday 27th March, a fundraising concert was held by the North East Guitar Club, in aid of Young Heroes.
Headlining the concert was The Klassix, who performed a wide range of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s rock and roll and country classics. Supporting the band was Shiloh, who rocked the crowd with 50’s to 90’s rock and roll, country and folk tunes and timeless heavy metal classics. Paul Mullen, lead singer for Shiloh, has a special connection with the charity as daughter Nicola has worked for Impact for over 11 years.
The concert was held at Vane Tempest Social Club in Seaham and raised over £150.00 bringing the total raised by The North East Guitar club to £390.00.
This is the second fundraising event organised by the North East Guitar Club who were formally known as Fender Club UK. The club adopted Young Heroes as their chosen charity last year.
There is still time to sponsor Trudie Newlove before the Brighton Marathon on the 18th April.
Trudie from Kilham, Driffield will be running the 26.2 mile course around the coastal city of Brighton and Hove and is hoping to raise £500 for Young Heroes.
Please support Trudie and help her reach her target by visiting her Just Giving page
Impact Young Heroes would like to thank the following people for their kind donations.
Lyn and Brian Brooman and daughter Sarah for their Smartie tube donations totalling a fantastic £37.80
Katie Brooman for her amazing donation of £77.50, through her homemade card sales at a cross stitching weekend in Grange over Sands.
Katie also donated a further £17.00 to Young Heroes from card sales over the last couple of months.
Mr and Mrs Rhodes from Leeds for their wonderful donation of £1,500 towards a respite break this season.
Cancer patients miss out on more than £90m in benefits
Over one-third of people with terminal cancer are not getting the benefits to which they are entitled, a study by Macmillan Cancer Support has found.
Terminally ill cancer patients should automatically qualify for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – which helps people meet the extra costs incurred because of disability – and Attendance Allowance (AA) if they are aged 65 or over.
But the Macmillan study found that 36 per cent of patients die without receiving these benefits, meaning that more than £90 million is going unclaimed.
Furthermore, many people whose cancer is not terminal are entitled to benefits, while linked benefits such as the Carers Allowance are also commonly not claimed.
The charity found that many patients simply do not know they are eligible, while other barriers include the perceived stigma of claiming benefits and the confusing claims process.
To address the issue, Macmillan has launched a new interactive guide called ‘Benefits made clear’, which can be found at www.macmillan.org.uk/benefitsmadeclear
Sourced from http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/news/
Forest of Galtres Benefice Sponsored Walk
our PDF sponsor form
Fundraising Idea Of the Month
Lose those locks
Charity head shaves have long been a popular way of raising money for charities. They are easy to organise and guaranteed to attract publicity, sponsors and support.
If organised well, a sponsored head shave can bring those pounds rolling in.
You’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to donate money to see you without hair!
A group of friends “getting the chop” together is very common, often as a way of supporting friends with cancer (as did the friends of Alex Albiston last year).
Whoever decides to step into the barber’s chair should get themselves out and about as much as possible in advance, galvanizing support and advertising the big event through the press and local TV and Radio. You are making a big commitment for something you believe in – let everyone know.
If you make the head shave public, you’ll get an even better response. Better yet, let the biggest donors help with the head shaving!
You can also use head shaving as a reward in itself, for example, if your school reaches it’s fundraising goal, the head teacher has to get their head shaved or if you reach your work fundraiser’s goal, it’s the CEO that has to get their head shaved.
You can make extra money too after the head shave by posting the video on the web – YouTube, Facebook, My Space etc with simple donation instructions.