Two friends from Bothel – who have both had close family affected by cancer – will bake, brew and have a head shave to help raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Jenny Wren and Philippa Greggan will host their joint fundraiser at Bothel Village Hall, near Wigton, on Friday, September 24, from 10am to noon, to help support other people living with cancer.
Jenny, who used to run a local tearoom, started hosting coffee mornings for Macmillan in 1992 after her dad, William Wood, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Over the last 29 years she has raised more than £31,000 from her annual fundraiser, with the help of her 95-year-old mum Edna.
She said: “Our GP put us in touch with Macmillan when dad was diagnosed and they were brilliant.
“They were so good with us we decided to give the coffee morning a go to give something back, and we’ve carried on ever since. I get lots of help and the local community are just so generous and the event has just snowballed.”
While Philippa, whose husband David was diagnosed with terminal angiosarcoma last year, a rare and aggressive cancer of the lining of the blood vessels, will also Brave the Shave on the day. The couple have received help from Macmillan leaflets and from its support line – 0800 808 00 00.
Philippa, who also has MS, set out to make around £300 but has already smashed that target to raise a whopping £6,000 and counting!
She said: “I am taking part in support of my beloved husband, who has a rare and aggressive cancer. We saw the TV advert for Brave the Shave and my husband said ‘you could do that’ and I said ‘why would I want to!’
“But after thinking about it, and knowing how ill he is, I thought it was the least I could do – especially as he’s done it twice before, because that’s the kind of guy he is. He will do anything for anyone.
“However, I’m really not looking forward to it, as it won’t be a good look on me! This is the bravest thing I’ve done, but he is being immensely brave, and it’s for a great cause. I’ve got lots of hats and scarves to wear afterwards, and to have so far raised more than £6,000 is a lot of money, which will make such a difference to other people affected by cancer.”
Since 2015 brave the shavers have raised over £22.7 million, which could pay for up to 140 Macmillan nurses for three years. The money they raise allows Macmillan to continue to help everyone with cancer live life as fully as they can, by providing physical, financial and emotional support.
Sue McDonald, Macmillan’s Fundraising Manager for Cumbria, added: “Macmillan is working tirelessly to do whatever it takes for people with cancer at a time when disruption caused by Covid-19 means demand for the charity’s services is high, while its income is down.
“Nearly all (98 per cent) of Macmillan’s funding comes directly from donations, so it’s never been more important to host a Coffee Morning, or Brave the Shave, like Jenny and Philippa and raise vital funds to ensure Macmillan can continue to deliver the services that people living with cancer desperately need, now and in the future.”
To support Philippa’s fundraising efforts, go to: https://bravetheshave.macmillan.org.uk/shavers/philippa-greggan