In fundraising, I often am asked the question of why Macmillan? It’s a difficult thing, identifying only one charity to focus fundraising support on. There are dozens of cancers charities, each equally deserving of much needed donations.
So for me it came down to two important factors;
- I wanted to help a charity that supported the actual people affected by cancer as opposed to a research charity; and
- I wanted to identify a charity that encompassed the entirety of the disease and not limited to one specific type of cancer.
As I mentioned, my story is not unique. It doesn’t matter whether you have breast cancer, prostate, blood, ovarian, lung or stomach cancer; the journey and impact it has on your life is very similar. Macmillan is unbiased in it’s offering of support and states it’s MO as: “Macmillan’s ambition is to reach and improve the lives of everyone living with cancer and to inspire millions of others to do the same.” What people may not realise is just the sheer breadth of support that this covers, from information booklets to support lines, it goes to the very core of provision of resources to help individuals through their difficult cancer journeys. Their services are accessible to both cancer patients and their family & friends and include;
- Funding nurses who support cancer wards in hospital up and down the country (services which would not exist on the NHS)
- Funding a range of other healthcare professionals, advisors, counsellors, therapists and social workers to support with the specific impacts of some cancers and it’s treatment
- Provide financial support an relief for those debilitated by this disease and find themselves unable to work for a living or in need of a carer
- Provide legal advice in dealing with work, housing and social care impacts caused by a cancer diagnosis
- Campaign for better treatment, care and guidelines up and down the country
- Fund clinics and welfare programmes; from beauty clinics to help with the physical symptoms of treatment to running rehabilitation classes such as yoga, aerobics and dance and making exercise accessible
The list goes on and I would recommend visiting their site for better information than I could ever articulate. It comes down to that for me, all this was is crucially important because at the point of diagnosis, you feel very alone. You face what seems like an impossible journey and don’t know where to turn for actual support. You sit alone in the dark with a sense of helplessness. Whereas research charities are trying to ensure you don’t ever have to sit on that chair in the dark, Macmillan comes and sits down in the dark with you. They don’t expect anything, but are there to help you gather the strength to move to the light as and when you need.