27 Mar 2014

Rock on! Cancer patient Leah 'gives back' with beach ball fundraiser for CRUK

Beach BallCancer patient Leah Boundy is throwing the mother of all parties for her friends and family to celebrate life and raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Taking place at Whitsand Bay Holiday Park, Devon at the end of March, the ‘Beach Ball’ fundraiser will feature an exciting line-up of music entertainment, accompanied by tempting treats, laser tag and face painting, with the stunning backdrop of golden sands and sparkling waters of Whitsand Bay to complete.

Headlined by a local six-piece band, Land of the Giants, the line-up features a whole host of bands and artists including celtic harpist Fionnuala Perry and jazz artist, Marie Sutherland.

Behind the high jinks and fun of the festival, is an inspiring story of a young lady battling cancer.

Leah’s journey

Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32, Leah’s story is particularly unusual. There is no breast cancer, or similar, in her family, and she doesn’t fit into any of the ‘high-risk’ groups regularly mentioned.

Looking back, Leah said: “At the beginning of March last year, I’d discovered a lump in my breast so I went to my GP who referred me to my local hospital for tests. When the results of those tests confirmed I had cancer, I’d prepared myself for it and didn’t feel too shocked.”

Leah underwent surgery to remove the tumour, which was successful, and followed this with a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Although it seems a lifetime ago, Leah is still slowly recovering her energy. Her battle is far from over however. Leah is still undergoing treatment and will need follow-up appointments for at least five years.

Leah reveals: “Although my cancer was put down to no particular cause aside from “bad luck”, I feel incredibly lucky and grateful – that I caught it early, that the treatments seem to be working well, and that I’ve got through the last year with the love and support of so many incredible people.”

‘Let’s beat cancer sooner’

The beach ball fundraiser will raise money for Cancer Research UK. Leah explains: “I’m still having treatment now but the worst of it is over, and I wanted to throw a party to say thanks to the people who’ve helped me through the first year, as well as raise money for a good cause.”

Cancer Research UK estimates there are more than 200 different types of cancer. More sobering statistics from CRUK reveal that every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer, and more than 1 in 3 people in the UK will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.

As a result, the role of the charity is three-fold: to raise money to support the fight against cancer, to find doctors, scientists and nurses to support their quest for cures, and, to lobby the government on issues relating to cancer and research.

Leah said: “The charity will use the money raised to help fund pioneering research into drugs and other treatments for more than 200 cancers. This won’t just extend the prognosis for sufferers – it will also refine and improve cancer treatments, making them less brutal and easier to bear.”

Zero commission

Explaining her choice of fundraising website, Leah said: “A friend told me that MyDonate doesn’t take any commission at all – the only tiny fee is the one charged by the credit card company, which will be far outweighed by Gift Aid in most cases. That’s all there was to the decision, and I signed up straight away.”

Leah has a few tips for fundraisers looking to organise an event of this type. She said: “Cut costs wherever you can, keep a running total of what you’ve spent, and ask around for sponsorship if you need to.”

She also recommends seeking sponsorship: “I asked two local businesses – Driver Hire Plymouth and Cornwall, and Q The Solution – to sponsor the headline and support bands, and they were extremely happy to help. When you’re raising money for such a worthwhile cause, decent people will fall over themselves to contribute.”

Support Leah’s fundraiser on her fundraising page

Find out more about Cancer Research UK and their commitment to beating cancer

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