Sunday, 15 October 2017

New Model Army On Board Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I have been after Justin Sullivan & New Model Army for the last year or so for the new bowel cancer charity book, and I've had to wait for a convenient gig to crop up. The band are playing in London in December, and although, understandably, they will be far too busy for me to meet them on the night, they have kindly given me a photo pass, and allowed me to ask Justin a few questions. I'm looking forward to this one, and wonder if they will play their debut single 'Bittersweet', which I bought way back in 1983, and still have in my collection.

All proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and died in August 2016 just a few days after 80th birthday. The cancer had spread from her bowel to her lungs, and then finally to her brain. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year. However, if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Much more needs to be done in raising awareness about this awful disease, and improving early diagnosis rates.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

A Legend Joins The Bowel Cancer Charity Book


Legends don't come much bigger than Basil Brush, and I am thrilled that he has agreed to be part of the forthcoming bowel cancer fundraising book. I'll be meeting up with Basil during panto season,  so lord knows what will happen! On a more poignant note there is a bowel cancer connection, as Ivan Owen who was the original creator, voice and operator of Basil sadly passed away from bowel cancer in 2000. 

My mother passed away in 2016. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and although the operation to remove the tumour in her bowel was successful, the cancer spread, and it was secondary bowel cancer that eventually took her. If detected early bowel cancer can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases, so raising awareness about this awful disease is so important.All proceeds raised from sales of the book will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Meeting Lauren Backler for bowel cancer fundraising book

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Lauren Backler has turned the devastation of losing her Mum to bowel cancer in 2015, into an amazing campaign to get the bowel cancer screening age in England, Wales and Northern Ireland reduced form 60 to 50. In Scotland the screening age is already at 50. She very kindly agreed to meet me in London back in August to take part in the new book. In this photo she happily posed with the bowel cancer tie to help raise awareness, and I had a specific idea in mind of the photo I wanted to take for the book with Lauren, as we were able to use Buckingham Palace as the backdrop. It's one of those photos that I can't wait for everyone to see, as it came out just as I hoped it would.

The chapter will go into detail about Lauren's story, and how her campaign and petition have taken off in such a massive way, leading her to be featured across the national media, and even speaking at Westminster. If the screening age was to be reduced from 60 to 50, over 4,000 people could have their bowel cancer detected at a much earlier stage, giving them a much greater chance of survival. Lauren's mother would have been screened a number of times if this had been the case, and most likely still be here today. Unfortunately by the time she was diagnosed her condition was terminal, and she lived for just a few months. Lauren's online petition has, to date, got over 340,000 signatures, and its about time the Government put this right! It's ever so easy to do, and takes just a minute or two of your time, so please support the petition here.

I've met so many amazing people on my book writing adventures, and Lauren was another one of those, a true inspiration. She is a very kind, giving and generous person, but also with a steely determination to achieve a successful outcome to her campaign. Although the reasons why I come into contact with so many people for the book are based on a common loss and sadness due to bowel cancer, the wonderful thing is how new friendships are being made with some very special people.

It's just over a year since my Mum lost her battle with with bowel cancer, after a 4 year brave and dignified journey. All proceeds raised from sales of this book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. 41,000 people are diagnosed each year with 16,000 losing their lives to it every year, making it the second highest cancer killer in the UK. If detected early is is very treatable in over 90% of cases, so raising awareness about it is so very important...

Please don't forget to sign Lauren's petiton! She is also running the London Marathon raising funds for Beating Bowel Cancer in 2018 and and you can sponsor her on her justgiving page.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Deborah James "Bowel Babe" Joins The Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


I spent a really nice evening with Deborah James in Richmond last night. She happily agreed to be in the new book, and it was a fascinating and enlightening experience listening to her story and talking at length about bowel cancer. Deborah, married with two young children, has an aggressive form of stage 4 bowel cancer. Since her diagnosis she has played a major role in raising awareness about bowel cancer as well as raising a considerable amount of money for the Bowel Cancer UK charity. She uses the "Bowel Babe" name on social media, and I would highly recommend following her.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year. However if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. It was exactly a year ago today that we had my mother's funeral. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and passed away peacefully last August. All funds raised from sales of this book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Please visit my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website, which has so far raised over £3250 for the charity.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Meeting Beating Bowel Cancer Ambassador & Television Presenter Sean Fletcher


I met television presenter Sean Fletcher, who is also an Ambassador for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, close to Holborn Station, so we walked to the picturesque Lincoln's Inn Field to take the photograph, and have a chat. Sean, like me, has lost his mother to bowel cancer, although as the chapter will describe our stories are very different. There was so much to ask Sean in a short period of time, and I found him to be a genuinely nice man, really interesting to talk to, and his support for the book is greatly appreciated. All proceeds raised will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.

41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year, and it claims 16,000 lives making it the second biggest cancer killer in the UK. However, if detected early it can be treated in over 90% of cases. Much more work needs to be done in raising awareness about this awful disease to help bring down the numbers of lives lost.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Classic FM's Bill Turnbull Photographed for Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


Today I met Bill Turnbull for the new fundraising book in Leicester Square. He is currently a DJ on Classic FM following a long career in journalism, including 16 years with BBC Breakfast News. So why is Bill holding my copy of 'The Stand' by The Alarm? I am sure all will become clear when you read the chapter in the book, but when he interviewed Mike Peters from the band on BBC Breakfast there was a bit of love for The Alarm going on. Bill was a great sport today, not just with stuff about The Alarm, but also with the bowel cancer tie. We then sat down and chatted about his life and career, so it's going to be yet another great chapter in the book.

The reason why Bill and everyone in the book is taking part is to help raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer, and to help raise awareness about this awful disease. My Mum passed away in August 2016 having been first been diagnosed with cancer back in 2012. Bowel cancer claims 16,000 lives each year, making it the second highest cancer killer in the UK. Yet if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Meeting Steve Clark at The Herb Farm


I spent a fascinating hour and a half in the company of Steve Clark today. Steve is the latest addition to the new fundraising book. We both live in Reading, so arranging a meeting was easy, and Steve suggested The Herb Farm at Sonning Common. This was the first time I had been there, and as well as the plants it has a lovely cafe and shop, as well as the the Saxon Maze where we did the photography. Steve was diagnosed with  stage 4 bowel cancer in May 2013, and is doing some amazing work with his Strive For Five campaign, which as well as raising funds for Beating Bowel Cancer is also marking his 5-year survival from this awful disease. The chapter will not just talk about Steve's illness, but also of his life before bowel cancer, Strive For Five, and his bowel cancer diagnosis and journey. He was such a nice man, and yet another inspirational figure I have met on this journey. 

All proceeds raised from sales of the book will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. My Mum passed away in August 2016, four and half years after her diagnosis, and the new book is being done in her memory. Steve kindly bought a copy of my last fundraising book, Lives & Times, which has so far raised over £3250 for Beating Bowel Cancer.