Bike Ride around Rutland Water Park In aid of Cancer Treatment Funds

Thousands of people diagnosed with cancer in the UK are turning to Crowdfunding or setting up donation pages on Facebook to pay for potentially life-saving medical treatments that are not available on the National Health Service (NHS). It’s a practical way for friends, family and the community to come together and help as well as providing a lifeline for people by giving them access to pioneering treatments when they’ve been given a cancer diagnosis.

Friends and family members are taking part in various fundraising events to help raise much-needed funds for a much-loved family member who last year had Breast Cancer, sadly this year spread into her brain, kidney bone and stomach.

Heidi is doing a half marathon on the 24th Feb
Danielle is walking from Gibraltar to Estepona a 12 hour walk on 14th April including the bike ride around Ruthland Water Park in April. Set in 4200 acres of open countryside, Rutland Water Park is the central rural attraction in England’s smallest county of Rutland and offers activities for all the family.

Gail Mansfield who set up Raising Money For a Family Member Facebook Donation Page says:

At some point in your life you can be touched by cancer, it is the most heartbreaking news you will ever hear. As a family we are raising money for a family member who has won one fight but now faces another with the cost of treatments going into thousands of pounds.

We are doing a bike ride around Rutland Water in April. Your support would be greatly appreciated any amount will help our cause and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts – Together we can beat this.

A Cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Find out about coping with the emotional, practical and physical effects from Cancer Research UK Charity

You can make a Donation to help the family treatment funds with this link > Receiving donations on behalf of a family member




Everyday Hero walks across Europe in aid of Charity

Phil Crane will be walking across Europe starting February 2018 in aid of charity. Phil will be heading off on a non-stop trek across 8 countries in all – Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

Phil will be taking this trek in the footsteps of Patrick Leigh Fermore, who in 1933, aged 18, bought an ex-army greatcoat and a pair of hobnail boots and crossed the continent. He wrote three books about his journey and arguably became the best travel writer of his generation.

Paolo Marvasi said:

I think more should know about my very good Friend Phil and his strong personal committment for a 69 old person, the peaceful and low impact intention, the historical and narrative inspiration, the charity and fundraising aim for a Childs Hospital in UK.

During The Second World War Patrick Leigh Fermore fought with Greek partisans in Crete and achieved legendary status in a daring kidnap of a German general. In 2011 a young journalist, Nick Hunt – did the same journey and also wrote an excellent book. He took seven months and estimated the distance at 2,500 miles.

Phil’s challenge is to be in Istanbul in under seven moths but also do it entirely on foot. His two predecessors occasionally took lifts, rode a bicycle and even borrowed a horse!! The idea has been in his head since 2011, on reading of Leigh Fermore’s life in his obituary.

Phil said:

So why now? – Because I can. And sometimes belief alone simply makes things happen. I guess there’s also something about proving as Ranulph Fiennes has on many occasions, that being a OAP doesn’t naturally bar a person from the odd adventure. I will be leaving on my 69th Birthday.

Originally the trek was to be a very low-key affair but my lovely daughter who has had a chronic kidney problem since aged five, convinced me to take the less selfish route of raising money for charity. The Edinburgh Children’s’ Hospital Charity. All my kids and grandkids have had copious visits (broken legs at Hill End, falling out of supermarket trolley) to what used to be called “Sick Kids”.

It’s a great cause and every single penny you donate will go 100% to the charity. Please visit to donate > Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity

If you would like to join Phil for some or all of this adventure which includes a bit of wild camping and about 100 miles per week walking for 25 weeks. You can contact him direct at So far it’s an EXPEDITION OF ONE and aiming for a 12th February 2018 kick-off

A man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK

A man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK, with the disease overtaking breast cancer to become the third biggest cancer killer in the UK, new research shows.

According to Prostate Cancer UK, the number of men dying from the disease has overtaken the number of women dying from breast cancer, with 11,819 men now killed by prostate cancer in the UK every year, compared with 11,442 women from breast cancer. However, lung cancer and then bowel cancer are the two most common cancers to die from in Britain.

While the number of women dying from breast cancer has steadily been decreasing since 1999, the same is not true for prostate cancer. Despite prostate cancer overtaking breast cancer to become the third biggest cancer killer, the shift does not represent a worsening situation for those with the disease. Men diagnosed today are two-and-a-half times more likely to live for 10 years or more than if they were diagnosed in 1990.

An enlarged prostate is the most common cause of urinary problems in men as they get older. Possible symptoms include:

  • a weak flow when you urinate
  • a feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly
  • difficulty starting to urinate
  • dribbling urine after you finish urinating
  • needing to urinate more often, especially at night
  • needing to rush to the toilet – you may sometimes leak urine before you get there.

You may not get all of these symptoms, and some men don’t have any symptoms at all. These symptoms can be caused by other things such as cold weather, anxiety, other health problems, lifestyle factors and some medicines. Blood in your urine is rarely a symptom of an enlarged prostate and is usually caused by something else.

If you have any of the symptoms above, you should visit your GP to find out what is causing them.

You can read about how symptoms might affect your life in there booklet, Enlarged prostate: A guide to diagnosis and treatment.

20 Things to do every month to be happy!


Invisible illness sufferer is often labeled as lazy

Unfortunately, people often judge others by what they see, concluding that they are either capable or incapable based on the way they look. It may, therefore, be difficult to understand someone who “looks” fine, but acts incapable. All too often judgments are made that the patient cannot be ill, because they do not look sick. The life of an invisible illness sufferer is riddled with what may feel like a barrage of insensitive encounters and whisperings.

Comments are often made as to why they are often absent from the job or even tardy, why they no longer call or are available for social activities with friends, why they often seems short-tempered, withdrawn or depressed, or why they lay in bed or the couch so often.

The invisible illness sufferer is often labeled as lazy while disease wreaks havoc inside their body. When trying to explain their disability, sufferers are frequently met with the response, “but you look so good.” This is, perhaps, one of the most frustrating things to hear for those who suffer with these invisible illnesses. Unsolicited advice on how to get better only adds to the exasperation.

Here is a great graphic on what not to say to someone with a chronic illness and gives insight to the ways in which they feel misjudged. Please feel free to copy this image, and share them with your social media networks also please leave a comment below if your also a ‘spoonie’ or have an invisible/chronic illness.

Survival rates for skin cancer patients could be improved with a blood test

Survival rates for skin cancer patients could be significantly improved thanks to an “early warning” blood test which provides a simple way of detecting if the disease is about to return.

Cancer Research UK have found a way to test blood for circulating tumour DNA by looking at two genes associated with malignant melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer. Harmful mutations in the genes, BRAF and NRAS, occur in 70 per cent of malignant melanoma cases and the study found patients whose blood tested positive for these genes were much more likely to see the cancer return within a year of surgery. Five years after surgery, a third of patients who had the faults were alive compared with 65 per cent of those who did not, the research, published in Annals of Oncology, found.

Each year around 15,400 people in the UK are diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Despite survival doubling in the last 40 years, around 2,500 Britons die from the disease every year.

Professor Richard Marais, director of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, who led the research, said:

“For some patients with advanced melanoma, their cancer will eventually return. We have no accurate tests to predict who these patients will be, so our findings are really encouraging. If we can use this tumour DNA test to accurately predict if cancer is going to come back, then it could help doctors decide which patients could benefit from new immunotherapies.

“These treatments can then reduce the risk of the cancer spreading. The next step is to run a trial where patients have regular blood tests after their initial treatment has finished in order to test this approach.”

Being able to develop an early warning system that will predict if a cancer will return could make a real difference to patients. Research like this shows that for some cancers, there may be ingenious solutions – such as a blood test.


Donate Shoebox to Operation Christmas Child Samaritan’s Charity

Get an empty medium sized shoebox, and wrap the box and lid separately in colourful wrapping paper or order pre-printed shoeboxes online. Attach the appropriate boy/girl label, marking if your gift is for a boy or a girl. Select an age category 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14 and attach the label to the top of your shoebox.

Fill your shoebox with a selection of fun toys, hygiene items and school supplies. If possible, include one or two special items you know a child will love such as a doll, cuddly toy or deflated football with pump. See Gift Suggestions below for more ideas.

A suggested donation of £5 is essential to cover project costs, including shipping, to enable a local church or group overseas to lead a safe, well-organised childrenís event where your shoebox will be given to a child in need. More detail on what your donation covers here.

Give online at Follow Your Box and you can print out a barcode and place it inside your shoebox on top of the contents. This will enable us to tell you which country your shoebox gets sent to.

Or you can enclose cash or cheque (to Samaritanís Purse) and place it in an envelope inside your shoebox on top of the contents. If you are packing multiple shoeboxes you can write a cheque for one combined donation. Note: Follow your Box is only available when you pay online

Personalise your shoebox by including a hand written note and a photograph of yourself, your group or your family. You may also like to pray for the child that will receive your gift.

Place a rubber band around each closed shoebox and take it to a local drop-off location Your nearest drop off point will be listed on the website  (find my nearest drop off point), or call 01993 770620.

Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls or stuffed toys (with CE label), toy trucks, harmonica, yo-yo, skipping rope, ball, small puzzles etc.  Pens, pencils & sharpeners, crayons or felt pens, stamps & ink pad sets, writing pads or notebooks & paper, solar calculators, colouring & picture books etc. Toothbrush and toothpaste, bars of wrapped soap, comb or hairbrush, flannel. Hat, cap, gloves or scarf, sunglasses, hair accessories, jewellery set, wind up torch, wrapped sweets (best-before-date must be at least March of the following year).

DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items, war related items such as toy guns, play soldiers or knives; chocolate or other food items; liquids or lotions of any type including bubbles; medicines; hand-made or knitted stuffed toys; anything of a political, racial or religious nature; sharp objects; glass containers, mirrors or fragile items; playing cards of the 4-suit variety; clothing other than as listed above.


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