Thursday, 29 September 2016

Welcome Aboard Janet Ellis

Terrific news as I can confirm that Janet Ellis has agreed to be in the new fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Perhaps best known for her time as a presenter on Blue Peter, she has been a regular face on our television screen for almost 40 years. This year she has published her first novel, The Butcher's Hook, and she is also the mother of Sophie Ellis-Bextor. This should all add up to making another fascinating chapter for the book.

The new book, which will follow on from Beating Bowel Cancer published in 2012 and Lives & Times published in 2015, will be in memory to my Mum. She fought a long battle with bowel cancer, but sadly passed away on August 29th. All proceeds raised from sales of the new book will be donated to Beating Bowel Bowel. As well as hopefully raising a decent amount of money for the charity, the other aim of the book will be to help raise awareness about bowel cancer. It is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, and yet if detected early is one of most treatable with a 90% survival rate.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

David Grant Will Be In The New Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book

David Grant is another celebrity who has agreed to be part of the new bowel cancer fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. There are so many things he has been associated with, that it will be interesting to see how many of them I will get to talk to him about. His music career going back to the 1980s with Linx and his duet with Jackie Graham. His time on Fame Academy and his work as a vocal coach. Children's TV shows and he is now a regular presenter of Songs of Praise. I wonder what the first record David bought will be?

Since making the decision to do another book following losing Mum to bowel cancer on August 29th, I had a really good response so far. There are a few more names I will be revealing over the coming days and a few more who hove expressed an interest without yet confirming.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Beating Bowel Cancer CEO Mark Flannagan Joins The New Book

Having spent the last four years fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer, I thought it was about time that the charity should be represented in one of the books. And who better than the man at the top of the tree, the CEO Mark Flannagan. He has been the Chief Executive since 2010. Throughout my association with the charity he has always been incredibly supportive and given me lots of encouragement. He always asked how Mum was doing and when I finally met him in person at the charity's Patient Day earlier this year he was incredibly welcoming.

Mark readily agreed to be part of the new book, so it will be an interesting chapter to do, as it will be interesting to learn a little more about Mark and perhaps his life both inside and outside of his work with the charity. I wonder what the first song he bought was?

Friday, 23 September 2016

Gina Shergold Will Feature In The New Bowel Cancer Book

Through the wonders of social media I have known Gina Shergold ever since I started fundraising for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Gina's partner Steve was fighting bowel cancer, and she was writing the most informative and very personal blog about their journey. They later got married and went on to have little Esmee. However very sadly Steve passed away in November 2015 aged just 33. Bowel cancer is still very much perceived as an older person's illness, but more and more young people are being diagnosed. A lot more work needs to be done. Gina does fundraising work for cancer charities and also helps bowel cancer charities in raising awareness about this awful disease. 

I am really happy that Gina is going to take part in the new book. She has become an inspiration to so many people associated with bowel cancer, and it will lovely to find out a little more about her story. It is a chapter that will hopefully touch people, but it will also be a warm, inspiring piece too. I am also looking forward to finding out about the first record she bought..

This week has been a pretty emotional week as we laid our Mum to rest. She lost her long 4 year battle with bowel cancer on August 29th. All proceeds raised from sales of the new book, when published, will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. Please take a look at my website to see the items I am already selling to raise funds for the charity. 

I am still without a title for the new book, so any suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Smiley Joins The New Bowel Cancer Book

The third person, and the first musical artist, to be revealed for the new book is drummer Steve 'Smiley' Barnard. Among the many artists he has banged the drums for include Robbie Williams, Joe Strummer, The Mock Turtles, and From The Jam. He currently is drumming for Archive and The Alarm, and it is through my love of The Alarm that I have got know more about him.

He is also a record producer and has a recording studio in Fleet, which is where I hope we will meet up. He has released three solo albums, so he really is a busy working musician. Not forgetting he is family man too! It's going to be fascinating to get an insight into his world.

I took the photo of Smiley and bassist Craig Adams at the famous Abbey Road recording studios for The Scriptures project. To find out more about that amazing experience and will need to buy the Lives & Times book published in 2015.

My mother recently passed away after a four year battle with bowel cancer, and all proceeds raised from the new book and everything else I do are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Laura Boyd Comes On Board New Bowel Cancer Book

Laura Boyd is the second name that I can reveal who has come on board the new fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer. I am really pleased that she agreed to be in this one as I almost managed to get her for the Lives & Times book. Laura works on STV as an entertainment reporter and also works as a showbiz producer. She also sings in a band! She has been living with leukemia since 2009 and she has just celebrated her 7 year cancerversary still being alive.

So at some point I shall be making a trip up to Scotland to meet Laura and find out a lot more about her story and of course what the first record she bought was?

Today, sadly, we lay Mum to rest after she lost her long 4 year fight with bowel cancer 3 weeks ago. Her funeral is being held at Littlewick Green near Maidenhead where her many friends from all walks of her life will join us to celebrate her wonderful life.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Time to Reveal the First Name

It's time to reveal the first name on board the new fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Sean Fletcher reads the sports news on ITV's Good Morning Britain. Sadly he lost his mother to bowel cancer in 2006 and he is now an ambassador for Beating Bowel Cancer. I am looking forward to meeting Sean as he has also worked for the BBC and SKY and speaks fluent Welsh, being married to a Welsh girl. Getting to know a little more about his story will make for a fascinating chapter, and he has already revealed to me the first record he bought. That will be something you will have to buy the book to find out...

I shall be revealing more names over the coming days. The initial response from people has been very encouraging, and it's very early days of course.

Tomorrow we lay our dear Mum to rest. She fought bowel cancer for over four years before losing the battle on August 29th. The new book will be dedicated to her memory.

Monday, 19 September 2016

The New Fundraising Book

My Mum was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in 2012, and she had a successful operation to remove a section of her bowel. The cancer spread to her lungs as a secondary cancer, now becoming stage 4. She had four further operations on her lungs to remove cancerous nodules. Finally, the cancer also spread to her brain and she had Cyberknife treatment on the two lesions. Sadly one of lesions didn't respond and her health deteriorated. She peacefully passed away in August 2016 at the St, Marks Nursing Home in Maidenhead.

During those four years I published two fundraising books, Beating Bowel Cancer & Lives & Times to raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, both of which are available on my website. Alongside a walk up Mount Snowdon in 2014 the fundraising has raised around £6000 for the charity so far.

I have been thinking about doing a third book for some time, and I think it would fitting to do a book dedicated to Mum's memory raising more funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. Another important aspect of what these book do is helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. This cannot be underestimated! Bowel cancer is the 2nd biggest cancer killer in the UK, and yet can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases if detected early. Too many are lost to this disease.. The idea for the book is that I go and meet and photograph people and write up about the experience in anecdotal form. This is the way I did Lives & Times. The difference this time is that there will be a constant theme running through it, where I will ask everyone I meet, "What was the first record you bought?" The book will feature people from all walks of life, and I am hoping to attract some high profile names to boost interest in the book.

So this blog will follow the progress of the book right through to publication and beyond. I am always happy to receive offers of help, especially for ideas on who to contact and especially if anyone can help set up an interesting photo. And I also need a suitable title for this book, which hasn't yet popped up into my mind.