Thursday, 1 May 2014

A guest post by Sarah Stewart - 40 BEFORE 40

The inspiring work of Deb Gascoyne

Deb Gascoyne is looking for 40 people to sign up to the Myeloma UK Retail Therapy Walk on Saturday,11th May (2014) in London, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. There is no cure, but many effective treatments exist to slow down its progress and improve quality of life. I work for Myeloma UK, the only organisation in the UK working exclusively for myeloma patients. Our broad and innovative range of services cover every aspect of myeloma from providing information and support, to improving standards of treatment and care through research, education, campaigning and raising awareness. We receive no government funding and rely almost entirely on voluntary donations and fundraising activities.  Our fundraisers mainly consist of patients, family members and their friends.  I think they are amazing people who go above and beyond to ensure that we can continue our vital work (thumbs up thumbs upthumbs upto every one of those incredible people). They say its to give something back, but, in my opinion, the privilege is all ours.

One such fundraiser to whom I would like to give a resounding thumbs up thumbs up is Deb Gascoyne, from West Wycombe, Buckinhamshire. Hard-working mum of two, Deb was diagnosed with myeloma at 34. Since then, she has become one of our most successful and devoted fundraisers. By the end of last year, she, along with husband Nick and friends, had already raised over a staggering £70,000 for Myeloma UK (a huge thumbs up thumbs up for such a tremendous effort).  
I am continually impressed by Debs perseverance and positivity. You often hear people bemoan the big four-0, but, five years on from her diagnosis, Deb cant wait to turn 40 - an age she didnt know if she would ever reach. True to form, Deb is celebrating by taking on 40 challenges before 40 to raise awareness and funds for Myeloma UK. //

Her list of challenges is ambitious, but one of the things that I really admire about Deb is that she motivates people to get involved, including many she has never even met before. She managed to get over 40 people to donate to Myeloma UK rather than sending Christmas cards last year (thumbs up to all thumbs upthumbs up); and a big thumbs up thumbs up to the over 40 fundraisers from Team #40challengesb440 who have just finished a Lent challenge, their fundraising collectively totalling over £4,500 //debsjourneywithmyeloma/challange-no-8-achieved. As well as Deb, I am amazed and humbled at the generosity of all the people and businesses that continue to donate and fundraise with her (thumbs up thumbs up to all who continue to contribute).

If you’d like to help Deb with any of her challenges, you have plenty to choose from. A great one that is coming up in May is the Myeloma UK Retail Therapy Walk, a sponsored walk through London’s iconic fashion streets in aid of myeloma research. While Deb can’t make it to the walk herself, she is recruiting – you guessed it! – 40 people to participate. You can sign up here and remember to let Deb know; you can find her on Twitter (@debgascoyne) and Facebook , or email and we’ll pass on the message.

Sarah Stewart is the Digital and Social Media Officer for Myeloma UK 
She is an Edinburgh-based kiwi who loves difficult books and large dogs.

From us, we'd like to give both Deb and Sarah a thumbs up each thumbs upthumbs up for their work on behalf of others.   If you want do donate, (and we really hope you do!!), another easy way is via our own justgiving page for the Myeloma UK Retail Therapy Walk #RetailTherapyWalk 

Don't forget, if you want to say thank you to anyone, just send us your post and we'll get it up in the future.

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