Bandanas for Brain Tumours Day 2015

Yesterday, I did something that I’ve never done before – I organised a charity ‘event’.

IMG_0055Friday 6th March was ‘Bandanas for Brain Tumours’ day – in aid of my favourite charity ‘The Brain Tumour Charity‘. It’s primarily an awareness day to try and get the charity’s name out, especially in a ‘crowded’ charity market, dominated by the large Cancer machines, who, for various reasons, I am not particularly supportive of. Simply, you buy a bandana from the Charity and #WearItOut to show your support.

Bit of background on me – Grade 4 Medullablastoma – robbed me of most of last year – more personal stories elsewhere on my site – current status is ‘No Residual Signs of Disease’ 🙂

Initially it started out with me asking my line manager if I could wear my bandana at work without breaking dress code policy, the next thing I knew, I was organising an ‘all office’ event – my target participation rose overnight from me to 300 people! Francesca Towson, a fundraising manager from The Brain Tumour Charity, was kind enough to lend her support and travelled from York to Manchester to be with us and speak at the event.

Personally, I learnt a lot – not just about how to put on an event, but also about myself and my relationship with my amazing colleagues – I have SO much support from my employer, and additionally from people who joined during my absence, who I’ve not met before (both across the office and within my own fantastic team!). Genuinely, forget the money, the support is everything to me.

My partner, Max, bless him, was up until 1am baking not one, but FOUR cakes. for example, and scores of others contributed their time and ingredients. A special shout out must go to those people, people who bought a bandana and those who helped me put on the day – all superstars!

We held a very well represented cake sale (everything was an easy sale, bar the healthy items – infer what you will, ha!), we also held a ‘Guess The Number of Jelly Beans In A Jar”, and a “Name The Bear” stall. Francesca and I manned a well stocked and attended information stand, selling many charity branded items, taking donations, and providing literature/experience.

IMG_0053At 1pm, the whole office came together to hear Francesca speak about the work the The Brain Tumour Charity does, and how it impacts the local healthcare system. Simply, the NHS just do what they need to, to get you on your feet, you really do need a charity like The Brain Tumour Charity to help provide support, information and pick up the pieces of what genuinely is the worst moment in anyone’s life. I introduced Francesca to the office – incredibly nerve-wracking and I fluffed it a bit, but it was amazing to actually put faces to the ‘support’.

In terms on money raised (and I ask you to remember that this was an awareness day and not a fundraising day), and we’re an office of less than 300, we raised a staggering £680 + Unknown money for bandana sales (put in to context, we raised just under £200 for MacMillan Coffee Morning – an ‘engineered’ fund raising day) – and that total is still rising through

My ‘story’ also came out on the Company Intranet in tandem with this fundraising day which helped colleagues in other offices get involved with what we were doing.

What is so humbling – this was a genuine act of charity from our office – nothing contrived to make the Company look good – just a genuine outburst of support from my colleagues, and I cannot recommend this bunch of people enough to be associated with.

I ended the day feeling exhausted, humbled, proud and, above all, supported!

It’s not too late to donate,, and a massive thank you to everyone who has, or will do – you’re honestly a friend for life! 🙂


About Gari

Northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

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