Last Friday I attended a fundraising evening at Selhurst Railway Club to lend my support to fundraiser Rich Castle who is taking part in this year's London Bikeathon and wanted to do something to help raise a little extra money for the event.
Rich is a fellow leukaemia survivor and genuinely one of the nicest guys that I have ever had the fortune of meeting. He lives and breathes Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and his enthusiasm and determination to help beat blood cancer is so infectious that when he told me about the fundraiser I jumped at the chance to get involved.
Unsurprisingly, the evening was a huge success raising an incredible £321.67 with the promise of more to come as I foolishly made Rich the promise that I would donate an additional £100 to the cause if he finished the Bikeathon before me. This is a nigh on certainty given that Rich has been training hard in preparation for the Bikeathon while I've been out a handful of times.
Attendees, who were mainly friends and family of Rich wanting to come out to show their support for him as much as the charity itself, were treated to a quiz, buffet meal, some outstanding live music and Rich's own unforgettable (and not unsubstantial) skills as both DJ, quiz master and host.
The highlight of the evening for me was Rich's rousing speech which brought him to the brink of tears and had an impact upon all of us in the room. So much so, that a stranger who wasn't an official part of the evening later came up to Rich and pledged a further £100 to the cause.
That's when it struck me just how brilliant and important people like Rich actually are to the cause. They are the living, breathing embodiment of what the charity wants for all blood cancer patients - people who are enjoying living life to the full again with a determination to help us beat blood cancer for the good.
I look forward to meeting up with Rich again this weekend as we line up as part of the Unstoppable Bikeathon team riding as one to beat blood cancer and would like to thank him for an unforgettable and highly successful fundraising evening. Together we will beat blood cancer!
Make a donation to Rich's fundraising page to help him give others the same second chance at life that he's been given.