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charity details

Dave Wellman Cancer Trust
Fundraising Target: Self fund! Raise as much as you can.
Contact: Tina Wellman-Hawke
Telephone: 07802 711219
http://www.dwct.net/

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My story starts way back in 1997, when my late husband Dave was diagnosed with non-small cell cancer. It was at that time he was taken under the wing of Professor Peter Johnson and his team.
Dave endured over 2 years of intense chemotherapy and radiotherapy and during that time he also had a heart attack – Dave had really been through the mill. However, behind the scenes we both knew that important research was going on every day with great breakthroughs being achieved. Sadly, Dave lost his battle in 1999, but throughout that time the support and care we both had is the reason I continue to raise much needed funds.

Dave told Peter on our last visit that I would be organising something to raise money for the research that may help others. A thank you really for all the wonderful care and support both Dave and I had. Dave knew he did not have long and it was he who instigated the first ball; he even chose the date, April fool’s day 2000. With venue booked, we spent Dave’s last few weeks, talking, reminiscing and just being together. Sadly Dave died on the 3rd of August 1999. Dave knew the ball would occupy my mind, and it did. I organised everything in a matter of weeks with 400 guests willing to put hand in pocket and raising an amazing £21,000, all for Professor Johnson and his work. A further 7 balls took place over the coming years, with the majority of the money raised donated to the research programme. I am delighted to say, the future Centre for Cancer Immunology in Southampton benefits from the majority of the funds we raise.

At the Somers Cancer Sciences Building, we have been able to pay towards much needed equipment and we even have a lab bearing Dave’s name. In total my fundraising has now sailed through the quarter of a million stage, and climbing. The money we have raised also supports other local cancer charities, families and individuals.

As a family we were invited to the opening of the new Somer Cancer Centre, and in 2006, the research team invited me and some of my supporters to visit the labs, so that we could see what great things were being achieved. It was explained in depth about the research being carried out, and in particular the news of how taking just one tablet a day, like you would with heart disease or diabetes, could make a difference to a life, by giving it quality.

I know first-hand, how truly amazing this drug is, and all the research that took place to bring it to fruition. None of us envisaged that 4 years on, MY sister would be diagnosed with the same cancer as my late husband. She was from the beginning, and till her passing being treated by the same marvellous team as Dave was.

In spring 2011, my sister was very poorly and spent a long spell in hospital. When she went home she needed oxygen and we as a family were devastated and quite honestly feared the worse. However, the magic tablet, as she called it, turned out to be suitable for her and within days she could feel the benefits. Well Terri looked wonderful and was defying all odds. Her courage and positive attitude to fight the disease our researchers are working hard to eradicate, was inspirational. Terri’s quality of life was only interrupted by 4 weeks of radiotherapy in November 2012. Although she had many ups and downs, she enjoyed each day as much as she could and was always smiling. So although when Dave was first diagnosed 19 years ago, this amazing breakthrough was not available for him. I feel proud to say that my fundraising had gone some way in helping my sister to live a good quality of life; enabling her to do all the things she wanted to do. Sadly, Terri passed away on the 23rd October 2015 after 4 weeks in hospital, nearly 5 years after her diagnosis. It was a terrible time for her and all of her family. But Terri’s passing was not in vein, her fight, inspiration and sheer determination was a learning curve for the many scientist and doctors who every day try to help so many living with cancer, and they can learn from those we have loved and lost. It has been an emotional rollercoaster but I continue to raise money with Terri in mind and most recently my little cousin Abby, only 11 who passed away this year, a brave and beautiful life so sadly cut short, just heart-breaking for her family.
I have followed and supported the research element and I can see that every penny put into research is making a huge impact and improving the lives of cancer patients. I have spent the last 16 years helping to educate with my fundraising and raise awareness of the breakthroughs being made here in Southampton. I have forged a good relationship with the research team and this spurs me on to help in any way I can. Over the years I have seen the progress and how only a few years ago chemotherapy and radiotherapy were the only options. Then the tablet, and now we look forward to the Cancer Immunology Centre and to be here is the Southampton makes me very proud, as this centre will change the future of cancer science. Working with one’s own immune system to eradicate this horrendous disease is quite honestly amazing. For me, having my family living on the doorstep of what will be a centre of the future in cancer research, will enable future patients the most advanced care and the next stage in cancer treatment.

For my late husband who died 1999, he had the best care and options available at that time, and for my sister Terri, she had a journey where her treatment enabled a good quality of life. There are people I know like John and Julie who have been part of local trials, who years on are testament to the breakthroughs being made here, in Southampton, and Terri was one of them.

Most recently a dear friend of ours was diagnosed with lung cancer.  In May 2016, he was very poorly, but 8 weeks on, the immunology treatment has shown amazing results, he looks better than ever, his x-ray results show hardly any cancer and when you see the before and after, unless I had seen it  for myself, I would never have believed it.  So it proves immunology is the way forward. 

I hope this explains the importance of this campaign, and I hope that you can see that my experience has made me understand that without research we will never see the way forward in the fight against cancer. With Southampton as one of the leading Centres of Excellence in cancer research, the proposed centre for cancer immunology will contribute to the future of cancer treatment.

I am very proud to announce that the Dave Wellman Cancer Trusts supporters have enabled us to be the 5th largest donor for the £25million campaign and this makes us a platinum member. We will continue to raise money for the future Cancer Immunology Centre. Thank you to all of you I couldn’t do it without you!

www.southampton.ac.uk/supportus/Cancer_Immunology

1. SELECT A CHARITY

A list of charities that we are partnered with are here for you to select. Some of the charities that we work with have fundraising targets and others are self-funded by yourself, each charity we work with will state if they will contribute to some of your jump cost or if you need to self-fund your own place.

2. BOOK YOUR SKYDIVE

You can book individually or as a group with just a £50 deposit per person on any operational day. Some of the charities we work with have reserved spaces on pre-selected days that you are more than welcome to join.

3. START FUNDRAISING

OK you’re all set – This is now the time to start fundraising for your selected charity, we recommend to set up an online fundraising page as all funds you raise will automatically go to the charity of your choice. Please remember you are unable to use any money raised to pay for your skydive and if you have a target set by the charity you have to hit this 3 weeks before the date of your jump to ensure these funds are online for the charity to see!

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