Updates

Our progress towards raising our 2m target

George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
I felt like such a wally today driving the kids to school with the windows down and a mask on this morning but Woody is away so needs must. I know to many covid isn't so much of a thing anymore, in fact for me it's only been a snotty nose, having a sore throat and feeling overwhelmingly tired, but that doesn't mean it's not still worth doing some sensible things like trying to stop the kids and other people from getting it as you never know who might suffer seriously from it.

This also meant it was the first time I properly got up and dressed for the last couple of days which was good as I was starting to get feral. I pulled over and waited in the car while Alex walked George the last few steps into his school then later tonight Nana Sue helped and picked them both up. I still needed to walk Murray today but as it happens I found taking him out really helped blow the cobwebs off and I felt so much better afterwards (thankfully where we take him is super quiet and anyone that came near got a seriously wide berth).

Alex cooked pizzas for dinner then it was a movie night for them while I nodded off again. I really can't complain as I'm already starting to feel so much better a couple of days in, but as I said I know it's not the same for everybody and a news article I clocked today said UK numbers are massively on the up again. Needless to say it's going to be an incredibly quiet weekend.

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2022 at https://giantpledge.com/team

Buy one of our 'Tackle Childhood Cancer' tees or pick up your superhero cape in honour of the doctors, nurses and super brave cancer kids at http://giantpledge.com/shop

Sing along & share our charity 'Do a Big Poo' song, https://youtu.be/U3iOmhIIc_s or buy it here, https://giantpledge.com/buy

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgeandthegiantpledge
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/giantpledge
And on Instagram: https://instagram.com/giantpledge

Or to help with any event you may be thinking of email Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com Alternatively write to us at The Giant Pledge, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Fundraising Room, Downs Rd, Sutton, SM2 5PT.

Accessibility Visual Description: Tonight's photo shows the boys about to do the school run, me sat parked up in the car with a mask on, Alex walking George into his school, then the boys being dropped off by Nana Sue. There's a selfie of Murray and I as well as one of him dragging me along on his walk today, plus one of the boys on the sofa watching a movie this evening with Murray in his little chair next to them.
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
Every year we marvel in awe at all the creativity and fun had at our annual Giant Pledge wreath making events, this time kindly hosted with our Reigate Manor friends. Even if I wasn't there (thanks for yesterday's covid care 🥰) I still spent more time than I should admit looking through all the photos at different peoples' wreaths! 'No one wreath is the same' and 'each wreath shows a bit of your personality' as the brilliant Renee, aka The Girl Who Gardens, always says and she couldn't be any more right about it!

Woody came back and told me that tonight we had a date night couple, some big groups of friends as well as some seriously lovely nurses with so many new people as well as lots of very familiar faces! ❤️ You can see why it's one of our favourite events of the year! Meanwhile the boys' day was made with a simple chocolate advent calendar ...the one I bought for the dog cost more than theirs! 😂 One thing's for sure, there's no elf on a shelf this year as yes George still just about believes but after a seriously good innings I really just can't be doing with it.

So tonight we want to say a massive thank you to Renee and the fab team at Holborn's, all the hotel staff and everyone that came and joined us!

Happy first of December to each and every one of you!

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2022 at https://giantpledge.com/team

Buy one of our 'Tackle Childhood Cancer' tees or pick up your superhero cape in honour of the doctors, nurses and super brave cancer kids at http://giantpledge.com/shop

Sing along & share our charity 'Do a Big Poo' song, https://youtu.be/U3iOmhIIc_s or buy it here, https://giantpledge.com/buy

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgeandthegiantpledge
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/giantpledge
And on Instagram: https://instagram.com/giantpledge

Or to help with any event you may be thinking of email Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com Alternatively write to us at The Giant Pledge, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Fundraising Room, Downs Rd, Sutton, SM2 5PT.

Accessibility Visual Description: Tonight's photo shows the boys outside about to do the school run as well as opening Murray's advent calendar later this evening. George is pictured in a Santa hat at set up, as well as having received his Hot Wheels advent calendar on this day back when he had cancer. Renee is pictured in a selfie with Woody, as well as taking a good look at someone's wreath from all angles....captured here trying to look at the bottom of it. Finally there's a few wreaths shown so you can see the incredible quality and differences between even just a handful of them!
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
This morning I woke up full of cold and with a super sore throat, I did a covid test and it came back positive 😳 After all this time, having manage to swerve it the last two+ years, it's finally caught up with me and knocked me for six on one of my favourite nights of the year when we run our Giant Pledge Wreath Making event 😭 To be fair I can't believe I've managed to avoid it for so long, and these days it's considered more like flu and is played down massively vs when we were all in lockdown so I'm sure there'll be no major problems but we did the diligent thing and checked Woody and the boys who all came back negative.

This meant I stayed at home leaving Woody the mammoth task of doing everything...from dropping off the kids, to walking Murray, collecting all the greenery from Holborn's the florist, then ferrying it over to Reigate Manor where we're holding our event (which was several trips back and forth because there was a lot of it!). He then had to do all the after school clubs, set up the event room with me being an annoying backseat driver telling him what should go where 😝 (he was sending me photos and videos so I could feel a part of it). George even got roped in to help with tonight's set up then Woody called his Mum as we needed someone to take him to his swimming club while Woody collected Alex. Finally he then ran tonight's event with the brilliant Renee, aka The Girl Who Gardens, which sounded like an all round success ...ready to do it tomorrow all over again! 😍

Although saying all of that nothing compares to this day back in 2016 when George had woken crying with leg pain...a red flag that meant, even in the early stages of his cancer diagnosis, we had to rush him to hospital incase his tumour was compacting his spine. Alex had an operation to do with his ear grommets that day too meaning we split down the middle to get all of these things done. Roll on a year and George was heading towards the final of his 14 rounds of chemo ...then just look at him today!

Perspective is a wonderful thing but all of this being a reminder why we fundraise to help other kids as I don't think either of us will ever forget that first ever day walking into the children's ward at The Royal Marsden on the 30th of November in 2016 - the most harrowing yet heartwarming place on earth to be. So yes today was hectic as hell (for Woody at least as I was at home downing lemsips) but here's hoping everyone that came tonight had lots of fun whilst fundraising to help incredibly poorly children!

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2022 at https://giantpledge.com/team

Buy one of our 'Tackle Childhood Cancer' tees or pick up your superhero cape in honour of the doctors, nurses and super brave cancer kids at http://giantpledge.com/shop

Sing along & share our charity 'Do a Big Poo' song, https://youtu.be/U3iOmhIIc_s or buy it here, https://giantpledge.com/buy

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgeandthegiantpledge
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/giantpledge
And on Instagram: https://instagram.com/giantpledge

Or to help with any event you may be thinking of email Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com Alternatively write to us at The Giant Pledge, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Fundraising Room, Downs Rd, Sutton, SM2 5PT.

Accessibility Visual Description: Tonight's photo shows the boys doing covid tests, the stick with my positive result from this morning, plus a photo of them heading out on the school run. George can be seen placing some ivy on one of the tables after school this afternoon followed by multiple pictures of Renee doing her demonstration as well as walking around helping others wreath making. Woody is pictured giving a quick intro speech, plus there's a few snaps of a selection of wreaths. Finally there's a photo of our then four-year-old George with his toes curled up looking excruciatingly uncomfortable as the Dr was checking him over, trying to put him at ease. There's one of him on this day a year on in our kitchen baking something, looking very much like a cancer patient but far happier than he'd been in a long time.
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
Today I left the house in a cab first thing with all sorts of gubbins in the back for a work event we were holding. It was a day's takeover with so many interesting presentations I was properly geeking out as well as hosting / being the compere for all of it. We also brought a Christmas touch with us being that it's the 1st of December this week which involved cupcakes, mince pies and of course Christmas Wreath Making!

This left Woody with the boys and, because I was back late, it meant he missed going to the pub to watch the football with his mates. I came home and George had changed into his England shirt...something he did to wear at his football training this evening. I didn't even so much as watch the game against Wales as I crashed out at home absolutely shattered this evening.

With today being my last big fandango with these clients that I've worked with since my return to work and the start of covid / lockdown, it felt like a great way to start to round off what's been a brilliant relationship. As it happens it was in fact 6 years to the day yesterday that I disappeared in a puff of smoke from the clients I happen to be moving back onto as of the 1st of Jan, with the Tuesday of that week in 2016 seeing us take George to meet Father Christmas around a mounting number of medical appointments and me not seeing said clients again for all of these years.

I know it might sound daft but I've been getting a little wobbly about the switch as George's latest scan also falls around the same time as his biopsy also happened back then...my brain is starting to make all sorts of irrational connections as much as I know it's ridiculous to draw comparisons. Of course similarly timed scans and working back on the same business patch again doesn't obviously mean it's going to jinx things for what's supposed to be George's last ever cancer scans!

Something tells me I just need to go to bed, get a good night's sleep and all will be good in the morning.

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2022 at https://giantpledge.com/team

Buy one of our 'Tackle Childhood Cancer' tees or pick up your superhero cape in honour of the doctors, nurses and super brave cancer kids at http://giantpledge.com/shop

Sing along & share our charity 'Do a Big Poo' song, https://youtu.be/U3iOmhIIc_s or buy it here, https://giantpledge.com/buy

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgeandthegiantpledge
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/giantpledge
And on Instagram: https://instagram.com/giantpledge

Or to help with any event you may be thinking of email Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com Alternatively write to us at The Giant Pledge, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Fundraising Room, Downs Rd, Sutton, SM2 5PT.

Accessibility Visual Description: Tonight's photo shows the back of the taxi with Wreath Making bits in first thing this morning. Cupcakes at the event are shown as well as a series of tables set up for Wreath Making. The boys can be seen about to do the school run. I'm pictured on stage presenting at our event today. Alex and George can be seen making their way to George's football practice and later watching the England v Wales game. There's a shot of George in his England shirt tonight next to one of him meeting Father Christmas on this day in 2016. Plus one a year on with him making up a mini christmas tree in our fireplace that he'd been given by one of our friends.
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
There were some lovely messages on last night's post but the scary thing is George is just one of many other cancer kids that experience similar if not far worse. I guess our story is out there so at least it helps shine a light on some of the sorts of childhood cancer leftovers kids can experience. One thing's for sure, I think kids are far more resilient than we ever give them credit for - not to take anything away from George, or Alex for that matter, as both in their own right have processed so many unthinkable experiences, but the mind boggles when I sometimes hear what happens to other children as they go through all of this 😞

I wasn't sure how to react but just gave a care notification as we wanted to give a warm hug right back to those that had commented. Tomorrow is always another day so we just got up and carried on with the daily routine like lemmings. That was until tonight when we took stock of the 2016 flashback memory when George was so ill yet to everyone, including us, he looked perfectly well bar a lump we found on his back at the weekend. (The photo here being of us trying to entertain our then four-year-old son in our local hospital waiting room for some time!)

A year on and you can see him looking far more poorly after all the damage his treatment had done to his little body even if it was killing his cancer at the same time. Call me mad but these sorts of photo combo's make me smile as they show how far we've come in a relatively short space of time. It's also a reminder in a busy week why we put so much efort into fundraising so if you've not already, and assuming you're able to, why not sign up to our Christmas Wreath Making session this coming Wednesday the 30th or Thursday the 1st of Dec before we completely sell out of places! https://www.reigatemanor.co.uk/event/wreath-making-2022/

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2022 at https://giantpledge.com/team

Buy one of our 'Tackle Childhood Cancer' tees or pick up your superhero cape in honour of the doctors, nurses and super brave cancer kids at http://giantpledge.com/shop

Sing along & share our charity 'Do a Big Poo' song, https://youtu.be/U3iOmhIIc_s or buy it here, https://giantpledge.com/buy

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgeandthegiantpledge
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/giantpledge
And on Instagram: https://instagram.com/giantpledge

Or to help with any event you may be thinking of email Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com Alternatively write to us at The Giant Pledge, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Fundraising Room, Downs Rd, Sutton, SM2 5PT.

Accessibility Visual Description: Tonight's photo shows the boys about to do the school run this morning. There's an ad for our wreath making event on the 30th and 1st this week, a picture of the boys coming out of school in the dark and two look back pics. One when George was in the early throws of diagnosis in 2016 and the other of his dressing our 2017 Christmas Tree with no hair looking very pale and poorly.
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
This morning George woke up in our bed. The cheeky monkey still comes in on the odd occasion but we're OK with that. In fact, with the anniversary of first finding his lump six years ago yesterday it was really lovely to give him a big long hug even if these days we mostly end up hugging his body brace which he's supposed to wear 23 hours a day.

While Woody took Alex off to some seriously muddy Rugby practice I took George to grab a coffee and a hot chocolate. Here we talked about a trampoline party he's been invited to which he's bursting to go to, but today he got really sad as he knows he won't be able to join in as it'll just leave his back hurting.

We agreed it was brilliant to still be invited and go and spend time with his friends but it wasn't about the party or the invite in any way, he was more struggling with not being able to do things his friends can without consequences...I guess you could say we have days when the penny really drops for him. Out of the blue he also said how he'd love to be like Alex playing Rugby (which is also off of the cards for him) to the point I got an x-ray out of his spine and tried explaining to our 10-year-old how scoliosis can mean you get squashed discs and where he's missing so many muscles it puts that much extra pressure on his spine which is why he gets the pains he experiences.

I'm always astonished by his resilience, today him squeezing my hand in the coffee shop as he thought he was going to cry and he didn't want to do that in public 😞 We went on to focus on all the amazing things he can still do, followed by some Murray love and a visit tonight from Woody's Mum, Nana Sue. Throw in a Sunday roast and we've got a much happier boy that's gone to bed who's managed to turn things around in his head.

He really is so lucky to have such brilliant friends with them also trying to accommodate him. He's also just one example of so many cancer kids that have to rationalise and manage all the horrible things that have to happen to them, either in the short or longer term. This is another reason why we wear our Giant Pledge capes in their honour as they're absolute super heros each and every one of them! ❤️

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2022 at https://giantpledge.com/team

Buy one of our 'Tackle Childhood Cancer' tees or pick up your superhero cape in honour of the doctors, nurses and super brave cancer kids at http://giantpledge.com/shop

Sing along & share our charity 'Do a Big Poo' song, https://youtu.be/U3iOmhIIc_s or buy it here, https://giantpledge.com/buy

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgeandthegiantpledge
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/giantpledge
And on Instagram: https://instagram.com/giantpledge

Or to help with any event you may be thinking of email Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com Alternatively write to us at The Giant Pledge, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Fundraising Room, Downs Rd, Sutton, SM2 5PT.

Accessibility Visual Description: Tonight's photo shows George with a massive smile on his face getting out of our bed this morning. He can then be seen looking down at his drink in the coffee shop where we were having a bit more of a challenging conversation. There's also a photo of him on this day during his cancer treatment, again with a smile on his face. Alex is pictured covered in mud, as is Murray (who was having a quick wash down outside after his walk earlier today). There's a photo of the boys hugging Nana Sue back from her most recent holiday, and finally one of our Sunday roast this evening.
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