Welcome to the www.makeabigdifference.org Easter newsletter!
At Easter time we usually think of new life, daffodils, fluffy bunnies and all things ‘egg’ related (particularly the chocolate variety). In this edition, Rob Law shares a few poignant thoughts with us about the reason for this season and also how he believes that Young Heroes really does make a big difference to young people and their families when they are walking through a cancer diagnosis. Bev and Rob also report on a very special wedding and Rob’s memorable part in it.
This month we are also looking to help a young man and his family to see an old family friend in Lanzarote and we desperately need your help!
Tom Cooper has recently had his 26th Birthday; he has a beautiful wife and 2 lovely daughters aged 2 and 5. He also has nasopharyngeal carcinoma – a rare form of cancer that is behind the nose. You can read more of Tom’s journey in this newsletter and hopefully it will inspire you and your friends/family to see if there is any way that you can help us to raise much needed funds to support Tom and his family. Impact Young Heroes has already covered the villa rental but we need your help to cover flights for Tom, medical/travel insurance and other travel costs/transfers etc.
Please could you seriously consider helping us to makeabigdifference to Tom and his family in whatever way you can? It can be £1, £5, £10 or more but please don’t think that a small donation of £1 or more doesn’t make much of a difference….every £1 helps! If 100 people donate £2 each, then we would have £200 and this would really help to achieve our goal. It’s the drop in the ocean theory; the more drops….the bigger the ocean. So please ‘dig deep’ and let’s see what we can do together.
Also In this edition, you can also read about our very own Nicola Mullen’s ‘love’ of the diet fizzy drink variety and how she is having a detox, to raise funds for Tom’s Lanzarote trip. Plus if you love to walk and want to meet new friends, we have the ideal fundraising idea for you…..read on!
Until next month!
This week we have been told that the universe is older than we first thought, and that we’re going to need to rethink some of our physics in the light of this new discovery.
I am also certain that I’m not the only person who would like a pound for every time that has happened in human history. Those who believed that the world was flat, and that Christopher Columbus would fall off the edge of the world, lived only a few centuries ago. The fact that the world is round brought new opportunities and hope to the world, as new trade routes were developed and the understanding of different cultures grew.
Easter, as understood in the Christian tradition, was also one of those momentous moments which changed history. Up and until the first Easter when Jesus resurrection took place, there was no real hope for anyone. Death was the bottomless void which all of life eventually came to. Easter gave the world a living hope that love was stronger than death.
This was explained to me by a Jewish scientist who said that even at the physical level it is possible. Like the universe we are all made up of atoms which at death disintegrate. It’s within the realm of mathematical possibility that in Jesus they reintegrated. We have a resurrection.
The significance of this for us is as big as the theories surrounding the big bang. That tells us how we got here. The resurrection explains why we are here – because we are worth it!
We are loved whatever we get up to, and that love never ceases.
Whatever happens to us we are held in that love like a flower in the palm of our hand. Life goes on. It changes, new relationship develop, different ways of understanding are suggested, but the glue which holds us all together is love which cannot be broken.
It’s a mystery which can’t be solved since mysteries can only be celebrated.
At Young Heroes we do that by walking with those needing our support through their Good Friday. Often unable to say anything, but waiting for the opportunity to take the grieving into our hearts and home, as Mary was taken into the home of John our Lord’s disciple. For us, living now, we do it in the knowledge that Easter is only three days away and love is not broken. Life has changed but goes on.
God bless you all and have a very blessed Easter,
Katie and Matt’s Wedding 29th December 2012
Katie and Matt decided to make everybody’s Christmas by getting married during the Christmas holiday, and what a special present it was too!!
Five years ago, while beginning her training to be a nurse, Katie was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease and had to stop her training. After extensive chemotherapy she was told that she was in remission, but a year later a lump appeared in her neck and so back to her consultant she went. He told her, “Katie every time a lump appears it doesn’t mean your cancer is back.” But it was!
At her wedding to Matt her father beamed with pride as he escorted her down the aisle, and in his speech, with tears in his eyes he told us all it was the proudest day of his life, and one, five years ago, he never dreamed would happen. As so often happens, the chemotherapy damaged Katie’s knee and hip joints causing her considerable pain, but you would never have guessed. The joy of being such a beautiful bride overcame all her discomfort.
The Christmas setting in Church added to the occasion with the choir stalls being illuminated with holly decorated candle stands and a large Tree in the sanctuary. Their reception was in the hotel next to York station and all the guests, with Katie and Mathew, were treated a ride on the big wheel giving us a panoramic view over the city and beyond.
Robert felt that it was a privilege to be asked to conduct their wedding, and we hope and pray that Katie goes from strength to strength and that they have a wonderful life together.
Help us make a big difference to Tom.
Tom Cooper who is 25 years old was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma [tumour behind the nose] in 2011. He is married to Tammy 24, and has two daughter Tienna 5, and Ziana 2. Here is their story, as told by Tammy.
Tom worked as a maintenance repairs technician for a housing company where he often came home feeling light headed, dizzy and very tired, but he had asthma and put it down to that. A work colleague had picked up on the fact that was always taking painkillers and noticed the neck swelling and said, that waiting around is ridiculous you NEED to be seen, so he took him to the hospital during working hours. After hours of waiting he was told again, “It’s nothing sinister, wait for your referral to come through the post.”
When we finally went to see the consultant he examined Tom and said, I’m sorry it is something serious and you will need to have a biopsy.” We were gutted, we didn’t know what to think and the waiting around, not knowing, was the worst feeling ever. We would just sit and Google the symptoms on the internet, which came up with all kinds of scary answers which worried us sick.
Biopsy day, the procedure was done on Tom’s neck, and the consultant told us on taking the node away that it was a white cancerous cell. At this point we didn’t know what to think or say, and then an appointment came through the post for a CT and MRI scan. We had to wait a couple of weeks for the biopsy and scan results.
The day came 15/10/11 when we went to see a new consultant who broke the devastating news to us that it was cancer – Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma [a tumour behind the nose] was the primary cancer which was in its advanced stages, and that it had already spread to his neck, collar bone, lymph nodes under both arms and in his lungs. They said that it is possible that he had had it for at least two years and it could not be cured.
November 2011 Tom started gruelling chemotherapy treatment, and he managed two three week cycles, but he caught a rare infection called PVL [staphylococcus] and I had to rush him to hospital with a temperature of 41C. He was nonstop vomiting, weak, could barely walk or open his eyes etc. It was the scariest time and hardest thing to see him go through. He had to have an emergency operation and it was touch and go, and I just prayed that he would come bouncing back from it all, and we would leave the hospital together. He was in hospital for Christmas 2011 and I had to take our girls and all their presents to hospital. The Christmas we had looked forward to after all the bad news wasn’t what we had expected. Although we were together it was ruined – it just wasn’t the same and we were all devastated by it.
Tom recovered from all of that and a few weeks later I started with symptoms the same as Tom…boil type spots on the body that were huge, red, inflamed and extremely sore. The girls then got it, we all caught it and had to be treated. A special bath was used for 5 days and a cream to go up our noses to be used 3 times a day. We were prescribed 5 days for us, and our bath towels and bedding had to be kept separate and washed daily. It was a nightmare! It was decided that Tom wouldn’t have any more treatment so that he could build up his immune system and get stronger. We were told to “go and enjoy quality family time together” and so we did just that.
April 4th 2012, finally some good news…the biggest, the best day of our lives, we got married!
It wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for friends, family and members of the public through Facebook pages and fundraisers, who raised the funds in order to give us our perfect wedding dream. We were overwhelmed by it all and just so so happy by all the time, effort, money donations and service donations that came flooding in to help give us our day, and what a beautiful, PERFECT, day it was. One we will cherish and remember forever!
August 2012, and Tom’s tumours had grown bigger and were causing pain again. He had new pains in his chest where he felt a new lump. Back to the consultant for another CT scan which showed the tumours had grown larger and spread further to his chest. It was that time again, when Tom needed to have more chemotherapy.
Tom started his treatment again on 17th September 2012 and the first week he found it very difficult to keep food and drink down. Times were difficult again. It is hard to see him so poorly and it’s hard to deal with it all especially with two young girls.
We know that Tom will never recover from his cancer, but we have put together a wish list which includes going to Lanzarote to see a very close friend. If anyone can help us raise the funds to make this come true I know that Tom will respond positively. It will also be an experience for the girls which they will never forget, just be with their daddy on holiday.
So far we have contacted the Lions Club in Tom’s home town, and we are hopeful that they will contribute towards Tom’s insurance. Robert and I have also been responsible for one donation of £100 and we know that another donation has been promised. The Burnley Rotarians are considering making a response.
If anyone can help us raise the £2,000 needed to make this come true please help us make a Big difference to Tom, Tammy, Tienna 5 and Ziana 2.
PLEASE RESPOND WITH HASTE IF YOU CAN HELP TO MAKE TOM’S WISH COME TRUE!
Nicola’s 30 Day Challenge
I’m giving up Diet Coke for Young Heroes because it’s really not good for me … and I’m addicted!!
Yes you’ve just read that right!!
I AM giving up diet coke (or at least I’ll try!!). Everyone keeps telling me how bad it is for me and it wasn’t until I worked out how much I spend on the stuff everyday I realised it myself. £2 per day might not seem a lot, but multiply that by 30 days!
There have been many reports that drinking diet sodas carry health risks. Here are a few of the risks that are commonly associated with drinking diet coke;
Here’s something you didn’t know about your diet soda: It might be bad for your kidneys. In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. Even more interesting: Since kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, researchers suspect that the diet sweeteners are responsible.
According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study of almost 10,000 adults, even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease. Whether that link is attributed to an ingredient in diet soda or the drinkers’ eating habits is unclear. But is that one can really worth it?
You read that right: Diet soda doesn’t help you lose weight after all. A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%. Why? Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar, and you crave more.
A Terrible Hangover
Your first bad decision was ordering that Vodka Diet—and you may make the next one sooner than you thought. Cocktails made with diet soda get you drunker, faster, according to a study out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. That’s because sugar-free mixers allow liquor to enter your bloodstream much quicker than those with sugar, leaving you with a bigger buzz.
Diet sodas contain something many regular sodas don’t: mold inhibitors. They go by the names sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate, and they’re in nearly all diet sodas. But many regular sodas, such as Coke and Pepsi, don’t contain this preservative.
That’s bad news for diet drinkers. “These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it – they knock it out altogether,” Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Sheffield in the U.K., told a British newspaper in 1999. The preservative has also been linked to hives, asthma, and other allergic conditions, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Since then, some companies have phased out sodium benzoate. Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have replaced it with another preservative, potassium benzoate. Both sodium and potassium benzoate were classified by the Food Commission in the UK as mild irritants to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.
With a pH of 3.2, diet soda is very acidic. (As a point of reference, the pH of battery acid is 1. Water is 7.) The acid is what readily dissolves enamel, and just because a soda is diet doesn’t make it acid-light. Adults who drink three or more sodas a day have worse dental health, says a University of Michigan analysis of dental checkup data. Soda drinkers had far greater decay, more missing teeth, and more fillings.
Sometimes, the vessel for your beverage is just as harmful. Diet or not, soft drink cans are coated with the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to everything from heart disease to obesity to reproductive problems. That’s a lot of risktaking for one can of pop.
However, there has been no proved scientific evidence that aspartame, found in the artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks, is actually harmful. I read an article in the guardian that I found very interesting and I have a lot in common with the journalist that wrote it; http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2002/oct/29/healthandwellbeing.health. I’m not advocating drinking the stuff at all, but its everything in moderation and the fact that I NEED diet coke everyday isn’t healthy. It is the caffeine that has me so addicted and that’s why I’ve decided to do the 30 day challenge (as well as it being for a good cause). I have to prove to myself (and others) that I can do this.
So as a start, for everyday I don’t drink Diet Coke, I’ll donate what I would’ve spent to my page. If I can get others to sponsor me too that’ll be great!! I’m not even going to replace it with another fizzy pop as that just defeats the object! I’m replacing it with sparkling water or juice.
The money that I raise will go towards a Lanzarote respite break for one of our Young Heroes. Tom Cooper has a bucket list he’d like to complete and number 7 on his list is to visit a good friend in Lanzarote. Impact Young Heroes would like to help with this.
Now I’m not saying that this will be the start of me giving it up for good (12 days in and it’s still the first drink I see when I go into a shop to buy one!), but it’s a start and I’m hoping that I can just have the occasional can instead of litres of the stuff everyday!
So, help me along the way to my challenge and donate via justgiving; http://www.justgiving.com/Nicola-Mullen3
Fundraising idea of the month – Welcome to TrekFest 2013
1. Do you love to walk?
2. Are you ready for the walk of your life?
3. Do you want to meet new people and develop new friendships?
4. Do you want a new challenge?
If the answer to any of the above questions is YES, then do we have a walk for you!!!
TrekFest is more than an endurance challenge…it’s an adventure; it’s a journey, its life-changing.
54 miles in 24 hours
27 miles in 12 hours
Choose your distance, choose Impact Young Heroes as your charity!
TrekFest invites you to tackle some of the best walking trails the UK has to offer – the challenge being for everyone to complete the route within the allotted time frame. The TrekFest routes are as breathtaking, as they are challenging.
TrekFest 2013 promises to be emotional, fun and life-changing. And what’s more, you can support a charity of your own choice (of course it will be Impact Young Heroes) and we will be promoting these events via the newsletter and Facebook. Whatever your reasons for taking on this challenge, whatever you motives, TrekFest will deliver and provide you with one of those of moments in life where anything is possible…if you put your mind to it.
For further information or to apply: call 0800 0461 297 or e-mail email@example.com
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.
FACEBOOK DONATION SERVICE
We love fundraising. We also love Facebook.
Which is why Young Heroes were delighted that JustGiving launched a service combining the two
As a charity this exciting application allows supporters of our charity to make one-off donations or set up a monthly direct debit scheme.
As one of our fundraisers this 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
Or alternatively go to: http://www.justgiving.com/iyh/