I can’t quite believe the third Wendy’s Thymic Fundraiser was held this year at Colchester GC with the goal of funding the first ever research analysis into Thymic Tumours worldwide.
The fundraising all started with a meeting and visit to Guys Cancer centre in London 2018 where I met the “Prof” this is how Wendy addressed her first consultant. He was joined by a top Italian thoracic surgeon Dr Bille and Japanese pathologist Nonaka Daisuke. I was showed around the research lab with an explanation of how they would be using any funding to investigate any DNA abnormalities within the cells. I could never have envisaged the extent as to how the project which has been self lead with my Treasurer Helen Muir could have developed.
We are currently close to the £35,000 mark which has not involved “sponsorship” or external promotional activities which makes the project even more exciting to show what can be done, I know Wendy would be speechless when I reflect on the enormity of what has been achieved from a blank canvas it is really exciting.
The exact words from the inspirational Wendy prior to her passing “Please don’t use the money for tables and chairs” very poignant words which certainly has been adhered.
Each year we hold our Golf day more people are aware Thymic cancer does exist, the specialists knowledge was minimal a few years ago but this is growing daily with confirmed diagnosis generally by chance by x ray which ironically can be for another condition. The expectation of the research is to publish the findings which will assist specialists, surgeons and oncologists feeding into local GP’s who can become further educated about the two strains of cancer. The two main types Thymoma and Thymic Carcinoma which is the very aggressive and rare one in a million strain which sadly Wendy was diagnosed.
This year I started running which was the only form of exercise we were permitted for daily exercise which I wanted to participate, I ended up running the half marathon which I will be honest took me by surprise. I thought why not run for “Thymic Cancer” so with the support from my amazing friends raised in excess of £1,798 so this was an additional bonus for our long term goal.
Our 2021 Event was held at Colchester Golf Club this year for a number of reasons and Wendy’s association with her good friend Paul Smith. This really was another milestone in the development of the awareness as Paul opted to raise funds during his year as Captain which has never been done before. Wendy really made a special impact on many people during her short busy life.
It was a pleasure to welcome Alexandra Smith a Thoracic surgeon at Guys who upon finishing his clinic arrived in yes a purple shirt to spend the evening with the golfers to answer any questions they had regarding the research and disease.
I am constantly bowled over by the huge support from Major Golf Companies who supply prizes and courses who supply Fourballs which are auctioned off raising a large percentage of the charitable donations. The attendees who buy numerous raffle tickets and squares which are a major attraction are superbly generous. The atmosphere is obviously a mix of emotions but with everyone wearing the customary purple shirt the smiles and giggles soon start to appear as our dear friend Wendy would have wanted. The wonderful volunteers this year Cara who was simply brilliant selling the raffle tickets and helping me set up at 6am.. Edna and Lesley who are our permanent cake and refreshment volunteers.
To my amazing friend Jan and her husband who donated the wonderful banner it made the day, we did have fun attaching it! you were brilliant your help was huge on the day, a real diamond.
To our registration volunteers in Helen and Suzy who have all the handicaps down to a tee to ensure the prizes are correctly distributed. It is always advisable to look out for Bob who kindly takes the photographs of the day so beware next year everyone.
The day was a mega success with £6,000 raised which was staggering with the format of best two scores counting and the individual Wendy’s Thymic Fundraiser trophy winner won by Andrew Crayston from the home club with 41 points.
I can keep Thanking everyone but thought it would be easier if I posted a letter written by Wendy after her first day which thereafter she passed 3 months later. She knew exactly the legacy she wanted to leave behind but she could never understand why she had so much support, it is something we often spoke about.
I know next year she will be delighted at the one off project I have arranged in the pipeline ..news to follow!
However, we will continue to work together as a team to constantly increase knowledge and awareness within the medical world which will ultimately assist those diagnosed with Thymic Cancer.
Thank you to everyone for your support