A Northumberland couple who launched a year-long fundraiser in support of a local childhood cancer research charity have more than trebled their original target of £11,000.
Over the past year Amy and Alex Fawcett, both 35 from Stannington, whose son, Joseph, was diagnosed with an Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT) in July of 2013, have raised over £35,000 for the North of England Children’s Cancer Research fund (NECCR)
The self-confessed ‘un-sporty’ couple, along with family and friends took part in a series of grueling sporting challenges that included two marathons, the Great North Run, a triathlon in Abu Dhabi and walking Hadrian’s Wall throughout the course of 2016 to raise money for the NECCR.
Within the first three months of 2016 they had smashed their target of raising over £11,000, £1000 for each round of chemotherapy endured by Joseph, a task which was originally scheduled to take all year.
Joseph’s mum, Amy, said: “We want to say a huge thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to everyone who has been involved in the fundraising efforts over the past year.
“When we initially learned of Joseph’s diagnosis back in 2013, as a family, we felt so helpless. By setting up Joseph’s Appeal and raising this incredible amount of money in support of research we now feel as though we’ve been able to make a difference.
“For myself and Alex, participating in the Great North Run alongside an amazing team of friends and family was a particular highlight. The event was a real team effort and although so many of us were out of our comfort zone it was an experience like no other.
“The final event of the year was the Kielder marathon which took place in October. This was a massive personal challenge for myself and Alex and required a lot of mental and physical endurance to see us through the tough 26 miles.”
At the time of diagnosis Joseph had just a 10 per cent chance of survival. Over the course of seven months his treatment included 11 bouts of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. During that time he spent only a handful of nights at home with his mum and dad, spending most of his time in hospital.
Amy added: “Although this year will mark Joseph’s three-year anniversary of being cancer free, the aggressive nature of his treatment caused him loss of hearing and damage to his immune system. Despite this Joseph, now four, began preschool in January and continues to defy all of our expectations.”
Janet Price, fundraising manager for the NECCR, said: “The NECCR want to say a special thank you to Amy and Alex for their fantastic dedication to raising funds; they really are an inspiration. The way their local community have rallied in support of the family and their appeal is a testament to the generosity of people in the North East.
“The funds raised through Joseph’s Appeal will support research into new therapies, less aggressive treatments and clinical trials taking place at the Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre.”
To learn more about Joseph’s Appeal, visit: http://www.neccr.org.uk/about/supporter-stories/
If you’d like to find out more about the NECCR, please visit http://www.neccr.org.uk/, or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChildrensCancerResearch and Twitter page at https://twitter.com/NECCR.