April 2012 Impact Young Heroes Newsletter

Hi there and welcome to the April edition of the makeabigdifference newsletter; your one stop shop for all the latest charity and fundraising news.

You may remember last year I wrote an article about a young lady from Blackpool who’s wish it was to meet the players from her home town football club.  Young Heroes are delighted to announce that her dream became reality recently by not only meeting the team but being a mascot at one of the matches!  It didn’t just stop there for our young hero, read on to find out why.

In this months newsletter you can also read about Bev and Rob’s visit to the Ripon Rotary club where they were warmly welcomed by all of the members.  We are also delighted to share with you details of Robert’s JustGiving page for his summer fundraising event ‘On the Buses’ where you can donate securely online at the click of a button.

We also bring you the latest ‘Beat cancer with nutrition’ where this month we take a look at parsley and its natural ability to strengthen the immune system, eliminate toxins and protect us from cancer.  You can read about this and much, much more only in this months makeabigdifference newsletter.


Young Heroes visit Ripon Rotary

In March this year, Robert and I were invited to make a presentation of the charity to Ripon Rotary. We had a lovely time meeting the various club members and sharing lunch with them. The club said they are very keen to support a Young Hero in their area. We always say during our talks that the Young Heroes want us to raise awareness about the impact of the disease on their lives at a time when they should be going onto further study, living the young adult life dancing, and going out with friends, and becoming independent individuals.

During the presentation, we highlight the difficulties the Young Heroes face, not only through treatments, but following treatments, as they are left with unpleasant side effects which continue to impact on their daily lives even if they are in remission. Other difficulties they face may include fertility problems, getting insurance and employment.

Our next mission is to ensure that if there is a young person in the Ripon area that would benefit from something special, that they are aware that Ripon Rotary would love to ‘makeabigdifference’ to them.

Latest Cancer News

Adding chemo to radiotherapy halves risk of deadly bladder cancer returning 

Bladder cancer patients given low doses of chemotherapy combined with radiotherapy were nearly 50 per cent less likely to relapse with the most lethal form of the disease compared to those given radiotherapy alone, a major trial funded by Cancer Research UK shows.

The success of the trial – led by The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the University of Birmingham – could mean fewer patients need their bladder removed and provides a viable alternative for frailer patients who are too weak for surgery.

The results are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Study co-leader Professor Nick James from the University of Birmingham, said: “Bladder cancer is largely a disease of older people and is also linked to smoking, meaning patients are often in relatively poor general health when diagnosed.

“Removing the bladder is still one of the most effective ways of treating invasive cancer that has spread to the muscle of the bladder. But this can be very distressing and we know patients are often too frail for such radical surgery.

“The alternative is to give radiotherapy, but around a third of these patients will go on to relapse with invasive disease and will need their bladder removed anyway. So these results really provide a lifeline for those too old or weak for surgery and mean that, in future, fewer patients will need their bladder removed.”

Three hundred and sixty patients from around the UK were included in the study. Around half were given two commonly used chemotherapy drugs – fluorouracil and mitomycin C – in addition to the radiotherapy treatment.

Thirty three per cent of patients receiving chemotherapy in addition to radiotherapy (known as chemoradiotherapy) had a relapse within their bladder or surrounding tissues within two years, compared to 46 per cent of those who had radiotherapy alone.

Of those who received chemoradiotherapy, around one in five developed invasive cancer – the most serious form of the disease – compared to around one in three among those who had radiotherapy alone.

Early results also showed that combining radiotherapy with chemotherapy may improve survival, with 48 per cent of patients still alive after five years, compared to 35 per cent of those who had radiotherapy alone, although larger studies are needed to confirm this.

Study co-leader Dr Robert Huddart from the ICR and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Removing the bladder is a major operation with implications for the rest of the patient’s life. We found that adding chemotherapy to radiotherapy successfully lowered the risk of relapse sufficiently to make it a real option for patients who don’t wish to have radical surgery and lose their bladder. Importantly, these improvements have been achieved with drugs that are cheap and widely available, and carry few additional side-effects over radiotherapy alone.”

Wendy Powell is 49-years-old and lives in Birmingham. She agreed to take part in an earlier pilot study after tests revealed a tumour in her bladder “the size of a lemon”.

She said: “When I was told I had bladder cancer it was a shock at first. They went through all the options for treatment and when they mentioned the trial I decided to give it a try. I did have side-effects and it has all been a hard journey, but in the end it’s been worth it because here I am thirteen years later. I’m back to normal now and it’s thanks to clinical trials that more people are surviving like me. I’m all for trials. It’s really good they’re coming up with new ways of treating the disease.”

Each year in the UK around 10,400 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer. It is responsible for around 5,000 deaths per year. Bladder cancer is most common in older people, and is the seventh most common cancer in the UK.

Kate Law, director of clinical research at Cancer Research UK, said: “These findings provide a new ‘gold standard’ of treatment that will be particularly important for elderly patients, because surgery to remove the bladder in this age group can have a severe impact on quality of life.

“Survival rates for bladder cancer have been increasing in recent years, with around half of patients now surviving 10 years or more, compared to around a third in the 1970s. But bladder cancer is largely a disease of older people and, with an ever ageing population, it’s essential that there are alternative treatments suitable for this age group.”

Less intense chemo ‘better for some Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients’

Giving patients fewer doses of a type of chemotherapy increases the effectiveness of a Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment, and reduces side effects, according to German researchers.

A study looked at the effectiveness of different doses of a chemotherapy drug combination called BEACOPP.

It found that survival rates for people with the disease were higher after six cycles of chemotherapy treatment, when compared with the eight cycles.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymph tissue. Around 1,700 people are diagnosedwith the condition every year in the UK. Some – but not all – are treated with BEACOPP.

A total of 2,182 patients with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma took part in the research, led by Dr Andreas Engert of the University Hospital of Cologne and colleagues, and published in The Lancet.

In the study, some patients were given eight doses of BEACOPP every three weeks and others were given six doses every three weeks. The authors concluded that the six-cycle treatment “should be the treatment of choice for advanced stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma”.

An imaging technique called a PET scan was also used to spot patients who could benefit from radiotherapy after chemotherapy.

The researchers added: “PET [scans] done after chemotherapy can guide the need for additional radiotherapy.”

Debbie Coats, clinical information manager at Cancer Research UK, welcomed the study, saying: “This combination of treatments isn’t the only option for people with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But for those patients for whom it is appropriate, it’s encouraging to see that reducing the number of chemotherapy doses made it work better and reduced the side effects of treatment.

“Such a treatment could be less disruptive to people’s lives.”

Both articles sourced from http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/news

Text Donation Service

Don’t forget you can donate to Impact Young Heroes via our text service. For those unfamiliar with the service, here’s how works;

It really is as simple as 1, 2, 3. 

How it works

1)Write one of the following text codes into the main body of your text

MABD01 £1 (use this code will donate £1 to Young Heroes)

MABD01 £2 (use this code will donate £2 to Young Heroes)

MABD01 £3 (use this code will donate £3 to Young Heroes)

MABD01 £4 (use this code will donate £4 to Young Heroes)

MABD01 £5 (use this code will donate £4 to Young Heroes)

MABD01 £10 (use this code to donate £10 to Young Heroes)

Our charity’s code and the amount you wish to donate.

2) Send a text to 70070
Include your charity’s code and an amount (for example CHAR17 £10)

3) You’ll receive a text with a link
to a Gift Aid form.
If you’re a UK tax payer, your charity benefits from a 25% boost to your donation

Why use TextGiving?

1)  The charity gets every penny

This is a free service so no admin fees are taken

2) It’s free to take part

All text messages are free on all networks (except for the cost of the donation sent)

3) Easy and quick

Simply send a text and give up to £10 using your Impact Young Heroes unique six-digit code.

Please support us By using our text donation service.

Young Heroes and Trailblazers

Impact Young Heroes are partnering up with Rock UK Trailblazers to offer you the opportunity to take the trip of a lifetime, whilst raising sponsorship funds for our charity.

Trailblazers are a UK based non-profit company that have extensive experience in organising charity challenges, and will organise and oversee your trip from start to finish.

Rock UK are committed to using adventure to provide you with endless and exhilarating worldwide fundraising opportunities including climbing Ben Nevis, Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp, trekking the Inca Trail and the Great Wall of China or sailing offshore.

A trip will offer you a real sense of fulfillment, not just in undertaking this exhilarating challenge, but also in impacting the lives of young people with cancer.  It will leave you with new friends, amazing memories and a definite appetite for adventure!

For further information about the adventures available through Trailblazers please visit their website at http://adventures.rockuk.org/trailblazers.

Sports Challenge 2012/13

As part of our fundraising drive we are asking supporters up and down the country to take part in a range of events and activities to help us raise precious funds for young people affected by cancer.  

Each month we will hand pick a selection of sporting events; so whether you are a beginner, seasoned athlete or general thrill-seeker there is an event for you.  



What? Cheddar to Glastonbury Trekathon

Heading south from our start point near the village of Cheddar we walk the edge of the Mendip Hills to Cheddar Gorge and on to the small cathedral city of Wells, we continue on flatter farmland, finally turning west towards Glastonbury, famous for its ancient history, mythical connections and music festival! We finish our challenge with a final effort to the top of Glastonbury Tor.

This is a tough event over the hills, farmland and wetlands of rural Somerset. At 26 miles it forms an enormous challenge for walkers. There will be full support throughout the challenge with marshals and water stops along the route.

When? 28th July 2012

Where? Cheddar, UK.

Closing date? Asap to avoid disappointment 

For further information:  http://www.discoveradventure.com/challenge 


What? Lakes and Dales Cycle

Our challenge is to cycle the breadth of the UK across some of the most spectacular and wild countryside that England has to offer. Leaving the West Coast we head inland, carving our way over the Cumbrian Mountains and southwards through the Lake District National Park. From Kendal we head east, crossing into Yorkshire, through the heart of the famous Dales and onto our destination: the East Coast and the historic town of Whitby.

Our route takes us ‘up pass and down dale’ as we traverse the country: gruelling climbs, magnificent descents and stunning scenery await us!

When? 31st August 2012

Where? West Coast, UK

Closing date? Asap to avoid disappointment 

For further information:  http://www.discoveradventure.com/challenge



What? Ben Nevis Weekend Trek

The Scottish Highlands are full of enchantment with the ancient past all around. You will be overwhelmed by the increasing remoteness and the unspoilt environment as you leave the lowlands.

Ben Nevis (Gaelic translation ‘Mountain of Heaven’) itself is the highest point in the British Isles and stands at the lofty height of 1343m above sea level or about 4000ft in old money! Fort William, on the southern edge of the Great Glen, is the nearest town and is located on a sea loch, we set up base here.

Our Challenge takes us into the heart of the Nevis Range, a breathtaking mountainous land; our only goal is to reach the summit of Ben Nevis.

When? 17th August 2012

Where? Ben Nevis, UK

Closing date? Asap to avoid disappointment 

For further information:  http://www.discoveradventure.com/challenge

‘On the buses’ update

In February we shared with you details of Robert Law’s fundraising bid which would see our favourite volunteer bus hopping to as many towns as possible in a single day.

I am delighted to announce that Robert now has a JustGiving page so you can begin supporting Robert and Young Heroes at the click of a button.  Please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Bevandrob and show your support today.


We love fundraising. We also love Facebook.

Which is why Young Heroes are delighted that JustGiving have launched a brand new service combining the two.

As a charity this exciting new application will allow supporters of our charity to make one-off donations or set up a monthly direct debit scheme.

As one of our fundraisers the new service will allow you to;

  • Share your JustGiving page on Facebook.
  • Friends can sponsor you without leaving Facebook.
  • Make it easier for your friends to tell their friends about your fundraising.
  • Allow you and your friends to start conversations about your fundraising by leaving comments on your page which also appear in their friends’ newsfeeds.

Start using the app now at http://apps.facebook.com/jgdonation

Fundraising idea of the month

Tuck Shop

Everyone loves a sweet treat or savoury snack, and doesn’t everything taste better when you haven’t had to make it yourself?

Setting up a tuck shop is quick and easy.  Ask some of your friends or family to make some delicious snacks, buy some in bulk at your local cash-and-carry or ask for baked good donations from colleagues (or even your local bakery) and start selling.

For students, ask your head teacher if you can use a classroom during break time, or at work ask your boss if you can utilise the tea room.  You’ll have fun watching the food disappear as the donations rise!

Young Hero meets her heroes!

Last year we wrote an article for the August 2011 newsletter about Jenny Aitchison a Young Hero who supports Blackpool Football Team.  Jenny who has suffered with tumours of the spine since she was 12 years old and has undergone many operations resulting in her being wheelchair bound, was presented with vouchers for Topshop, which were a gift from the Lanzarote Mother’s Union.

We asked Jenny if there was anything else we could do to help make a difference to her. She said that she had a wish to meet the Blackpool Football Team players. Robert and I set off on our mission to make this happen.

We contacted the Disability officer, Chris Beveridge who is also wheelchair bound. He was most interested in her request, especially as she has a season ticket for the club demonstrating her genuine support for the team. Chris was very excited to help and went on to arrange a series of very special events for Jenny to attend.

Jenny was not only invited to meet with the team players, but also to be a mascot at one of their matches. He also arranged for her to attend a dinner with the players and their wives during December. Jenny said it was an amazing experience and one which she will never forget, especially as Chris rolled the surprises out of the bag!

Jenny has the photos to add to her memories, and continues to support her favourite team. It was difficult to decide which picture to share with our readers as they are all so fabulous and shows the inspirational smile that Jenny is well known for.

Bev and Rob Law

Beat Cancer with Nutrition


Parsley has a variety of nutrients that may protect us against developing cancer. It is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene and quercetin, but also contains less well known flavonoids like apigenin, luteolin and chrysoeroil.

Apigenin research studies have associated it with a decreased risk of pancreatic cancer, leukemia, cervical and ovarian cancer. Apigenin has also been shown to interfere with cancer cell proliferation, exhibiting strong anti-tumor properties.

The flavonoid luteolin found in parsley has a chemopreventive (anti-cancer) action by reducing the effects of carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found in foods like cooked meat. Research has also shown luteolin to have an anti-proliferative effect against hormonal cancers such as prostate, thyroid and breast cancer.

A third flavonoid, chrysoeroil, has also been studied for its potential anti-cancer benefits, particularly with regards to preventing breast cancer.

Parsley has been shown to contain high levels of polyacetylenes such as falcorinol, which is believed to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and be strongly cytotoxic (cancer killing).

Chlorophyll in parsley may also help deactivate harmful carcinogens that promote cancer. Additionally, vitamin K, one of the real standouts in parsley nutrition, may also have a role to play in cancer prevention.

Certain volatile oils in parsley are considered chemopreventive. Myristicin in particular, which has been found to be a high percentage of the volatile oil in parsley, has been studied for its ability to increase the activity of our body’s major detoxifer glutathione. 

Patients with cancer and many other serious diseases are usually found to have reduced glutathione levels. Glutathione is our bodies premiere antioxidant. If the myristicin found in parsley can actually increase its action, it may prove beneficial not just for preventing cancer, but for a wide variety of other diseases as well.

Sourced from superfoodprofiles.com

Parsnip Soup with Leeks and Parsley

(serves 6)

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced lengthwise, cleaned, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 strips lemon zest, 1 x 2 inches each
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley (reserve a little for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pepper to taste


1 Heat butter in a 4 to 6 quart pot on medium heat. Add the chopped leeks, toss to coat with the butter. When the leeks are heated enough so they begin to sizzle in the pan, lower the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until soft, but don’t let the leeks brown.

2 Add the parsnips and olive oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle on the salt. Add the stock and water. Add the strips of lemon zest. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook until the parsnips are completely tender, at least 30 minutes.

3 Remove and discard the lemon zest. Add the parsley. Purée the soup until smooth, either by using an immersion blender or by working in batches with a stand-up blender. If using a standing blender, fill the bowl no more than halfway, hold the cover on the blender bowl, and start blending at the lowest speed. Return the puréed soup to the pot.

4 Stir in lemon juice and add more salt to taste, if needed.

5 Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, a little olive oil, and chopped parsley or chives.


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