I was luckily enough to attend both the Newcastle and Leeds events, where it was lovely to see so many people coming together to discuss beating blood cancer.
In Leeds, along with supporters, fundraisers and volunteers, we were delighted to be joined by Emmerdale's Tony Audenshaw, some of the original Calendar Girls, Dr Peter Laslo, and Andrew and Julie Moffitt who all spoke at the event about their different connections to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Our Chief Executive Cathy Gilman welcomed guests and shared our aim to beat blood cancer together, also introducing Tony to guests, who spoke about his own experience with the charity including his wonderful sports fundraising. Tony then spoke with Dr Laslo about his LLR funded work, and spoke with Andrew and Julie Moffitt, who set up Wensleydale Fundraising Group following Andrew's diagnosis with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and have to date raised over £40,000. The talks finished with Tony chatting with the Calendar Girls, who through their alternative Calendar fundraising, have raised over £3million!
On the evening, we built a TOGETHER WE WILL BEAT BLOOD CANCER jigsaw. One of the special features of the 200 piece jigsaw is that on the back, everyone was able to write their own message, and the above photo shows Calendar Girl Tricia Stewart adding her piece to the jigsaw.
A personal highlight of the Leeds evening for me was seeing people coming and writing their messages on the jigsaw, and I wanted to share a selection of these with you:
We will beat blood cancer
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
Supporting my hubby Chris to beat blood cancer
Wensleydale Fundraising Group - WE WON'T STOP!
Walking with Sir Ian Botham to beat blood cancer - Lucas Sutheren
My son running the Great North Run for my Dad 2011 and 2012!
Thank you Calendar Girls - inspiration x
Stay fruity and full bodied always! Ms October x x
Inspirational! Wakefield Branch, Janet Kerr
York Group helping to raise funds to beat this terrible illness
For Mandy. Separated now but not forever. Alan x x x
Teconnex employees group. Mick will be missed. Keep donating!
Thank you for helping us as a family x
For Richard and his Mum Sheila x
Pendle Branch LLR - 24 years and counting!
Congratulations, great progress x
Tony Audenshaw - we're not going to stop x
Chris Clancy, Miss September. Keep up the good work xx
Fantastic charity. Brilliant work. Amazing people!
I'm really pleased to say that the jigsaw was successfully completed and here's a great photo below of Tony along with Lucas Sutheren with the final pieces of the puzzle. Lucas was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and was a Beefy Local Hero in 2012. Lucas is a fantastic supporter of the charity, raising funds and writing guest blogs for LLR, and he was one of the many people who made The Bigger Picture Leeds such a special event.
A big thank you to everyone who came along, for what was an extremely inspiring and motivational evening.