Updates

Our progress towards raising our 2m target

George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
This morning we dropped Woody at work before going on to take Alex for his Sunday training session at the Old Reigatians Rugby Club. With the sun shining George and I didn't bother going home heading straight on to one of our favourite places, Reigate Priory Park, even heading back there once we'd picked Alex up!

George and I kicked a ball about and at one point popped into the highstreet to nip to see the Boots pharmacist. Over the last few days George has developed strange little blisters on his right ear that aren't anything major but are starting to bother him ...with the amount of time we still spend in Hospitals and at the Doctors we thought we'd try the pharmacist as an easier route to manage something that seems pretty trivial. We thought, having looked it up, it's what some refer to as 'juvenile spring eruption' aka. a rash triggered by exposure to sunlight that seems to have resulted in these mini blisters on his ear which are oddly nowhere else to be seen.

The pharmacist didn't know what it was but said they looked like some sort of allergic reaction. I talked through George's cancer and chemo as stranger things can happen after subjecting your body to all of that toxic / invasive treatment but we're still none the wiser (Just to be clear we don't think it's treatment related as that finished a good while ago but equally he's never had it before. As I said, it's only minor so we're not worried about it we simply went because we were there).

Whilst on the highstreet you could visibly see the effort that's gone into the shops being reopened tomorrow! Flags are flying high and shop windows are looking spick and span ready for the easing of the third national lockdown tomorrow! You may or may not know that the Reigate Business Guild have coordinated a treasure hunt that people can start tomorrow with clues being released on their website as of Monday morning with others hidden throughout the town in the shop windows so if you're local be sure to look out for them! (More details on the hunt and the prizes that can be won can be found here, https://www.reigatebusinessguild.co.uk/treasure-hunt/)

The Redhilll and Reigate community have not only continued to support our Giant Pledge to Help Beat Childhood Cancer, but also wrapped us in their arms as a family when we were living our own nightmare childhood cancer experience. We can't wait to see their doors open and hopefully businesses and the town centre start to flourish again as of tomorrow!

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2021 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 for help with any event you may be thinking of email Lydia.Clark2@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge is with Pop Up Arcade and Reigate FC.
This morning George was super excited as being a Saturday it meant playing football with his Reigate FC team! He couldn't get his body brace off fast enough for what turned out to be a well fought match that ended in a draw. Being that it was a cup game this lead to a nail biting penalty shoot out, something I'm not sure they've experienced before, or at least not at any games I've been to with him as I'm sure I'd remember it 🤯

It was only by fluke we were all there to see things unfold as Alex and I joined Woody not wanting to miss out even if we spent the whole time sat in the car! (Only one parent is allowed to spectate due to the coronavirus). We got so lucky parking in a prime spot directly behind the goal which also meant we were able to stay lovely and warm! 👌 Anyone watching us might have thought we were complete and utter lunatics seeing just how animated we were. That and you should have heard the noises coming from us 😬...let's just say it's a good job George's team couldn't as we'd have only gone and put them all off!

As it happens they didn't win, and with George being the goalie for the penalties, he couldn't hide his disappointment. Alex didn't hesitate and swiftly ran to his side to hug and reassure him ❤️ Don't get me wrong moments aren't always idyllic like this, they argue and bicker like any other kids, but as it happens today I got a reminder that it's #NationalSiblingDay with a Facebook memory popping up where we'd commented on the boys special relationship back in 2018 not long after the end of George's cancer treatment. (You can see the 5 pictures we posted on that day on the top left here)

As we said at the time, they've seen and experienced more than some adults do in their lifetime. They've both been truly tested like so many other childhood cancer siblings. Whilst they're lucky to still have each other we can't help but think of all the brothers and sisters whose lives have been turned upside down with a sibling lost to cancer 💔

Thankfully today's football sadness was short lived with George having a Pop Up Arcade gaming party for one of his little friends who's waited 5 months for their rescheduled birthday party to take place. Yes we're talking a completely incomparable scale but from everything we've seen even with the coronavirus, children really can be so adaptable and resilient. (Although I'd rather we now stick to situations that can be resolved with cake vs anything medical or serious!)

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2021 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 for help with any event you may be thinking of email Lydia.Clark2@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
It caught us by surprise when around midday today the music that was playing on the radio was interrupted by what I can only think to describe as a national broadcast. The BBC delivered a written statement from the Queen issued from Windsor Palace about the passing of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, her husband of a whopping 73 years, who died this morning at an incredible 99 years old.

Having recently got into watching the Netflix series The Crown, I have to admit I've loved watching all the history each episode covered. Even if only loosely based on facts, with the conversations being more fiction vs fact, it stirred up an interest in the Royals in me so today's coverage of his life, that's been on the BBC ever since long into this evening, has indulged that even more. The Royals may not be for you but 70 years of national service means he lived a life that was truly remarkable.

When at school I, like millions of others, signed up for The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award even if I only managed to get the bronze level it was still something I was really proud of. It led me to volunteering in an old people's home feeding those that could no longer feed themselves, as well as somehow navigating our expedition group over a gigantic mound of cow dung thinking that there was no other route 💩 ...imagine if I'd have gone so far as to doing the gold as you could be guaranteed if I'd have met him that story would have been retold! 😂 Either way I certainly learnt some important life lessons, the most important of all being not to trust myself with a compass!

Meanwhile George had his second day at a holiday camp and Alex played another marathon of tennis with Woody. I think today's news almost went over their heads but they still wanted to watch at least some of it even if it was just to get them out of going to bed! One thing that really stood out for me was throughout his lifetime of service he and the Queen stuck together through thick and thin so it really is sad to think of her no longer being with him 😞 What an incredible life and what an astonishing amount of things he must have seen. Rest in peace HRH Prince Philip (1921 - 2021).

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2021 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 for help with any event you may be thinking of email Lydia.Clark2@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
George went to his first club of the Easter holidays today. A group of his friends were joining the ESE Football Coaching camp at a local school which we knew George would also love to go to. We've been hesitant to mix him in groups outside of his school bubble but with covid numbers significantly lower in our local area and this camp having so many of his friends going they proved to be the ones he mostly played with so it was a win win all round with one VERY tired but happy boy picked up earlier this afternoon.

I was the only one not to do any form of exercise today with Alex going for a bike ride while Woody ran alongside him followed by Rugby training this evening! Although it would probably do me and my head the world of good, waking up every two hours last night put pay to energy I'd have for sports or exercise today. George even came home with the 'Player of the Day' trophy which he's not let out of his sight ever since 🥰 Such a different boy to the one you can see here on this very day during his cancer treatment.

Meanwhile the parents of little 8 month old Azaylia we recently told you about shared some truly tragic news earlier today. Having been diagnosed with AML, a particularly aggressive and unrelenting form of Leukemia at just 8 weeks old, tonight has her last night in hospital before heading home with no further options available. Recent scans showed she now has tumours in her brain, her kidneys, her liver, her lungs and her spleen plus, with her cancer being so aggressive, the groundbreaking work they managed to get funding for in Singapore couldn't even help them 💔

Not only does this rock the world of fellow AML patients and their parents but it hits the whole childhood cancer community when such tragic news is shared of the stark reality far too many families live. These guys may well be in the media spotlight but sadly so many tragedies are happening that go completely unnoticed the world over. At the end of the day it doesn't matter who you are, it's not just a story, they're living the life of something that's so tragic it's just unthinkable. Hats off to them for pledging to use the funds raised for Azaylia's treatment for others in the same god awful predicament without the same media profile as them ❤️ But for now their only focus can be on the matter of days they have left with their truly beautiful little champ. Sending all our love for the unfeasibly difficult days they now have before them.

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2021 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 for help with any event you may be thinking of email Lydia.Clark2@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
Today we opted for a blast of fresh air heading to Brighton to take in some sea air. It's something we've been itching to do for a while as a place that's always been our bolt hole when we've faced challenges, wanted to clear our heads or simply to go and enjoy ourselves but recently we obviously couldn't due to lockdown restrictions. With measures now eased, plus with the weather not being so good (at some points today it was absolutely freezing) we figured it wouldn't be too busy so headed down there first thing this morning.

To be sure we kept ourselves to ourselves we pretty much stuck to the quieter end up in Hove after we'd finished our game at the Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf & Cafe Brighton. I don't know what it is about being by the sea but it really is quite liberating, we could just throw stones and stare at the waves coming in lost in thought for ages. We had thought we'd eat our takeaway milkshakes and dirty great burgers on the beach but opted for the warmth of the car instead!

It was then a quick walk along the Hove beach front (when I say walk that was just me as the other three brought their skateboards and scooters with them). We didn't stay late but loved every minute while we were there....the boys falling asleep on the way home in the car and me nodding off once we got back thanks to all the refreshing sea air. A beautiful day making memories and the most of the kid's Easter holidays ❤️

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2021 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 for help with any event you may be thinking of email Lydia.Clark2@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
Today we ventured somewhere new. Not far away but to some castle remains that we never knew existed in our local area until a friend had been and made us aware of them. Set tucked away, almost hidden by a golf course around 5 / 6 miles away, there was nothing much there but who needs more than a new setting, some sticks and an imagination! In some respects it was a non event, but just the peace and tranquility, plus stepping back and watching the kids enjoy themselves, was enough to keep us all happy.

Before that we'd had a phone appointment with George's gastro consultant. George is still on their books as he remains on daily medication so is under the care of the team based up at St George's. The gut can be hit hard by chemo and is often one of the last things to recover following people's cancer treatment.

George also had spinal surgery in the mix which can impact things leaving issues like long standing constipation and the potential of nerves being affected. Then there's the impact of opiates, with many people being prescribed morphine to help with intense pain relief, which can also affect the gut. George hasn't had medication like this for a good few years but is left with issues we need to manage with meds after the combination of all of the above...not least forgetting the slowing of his bowels and stomach movements wearing a restrictive body brace for around 23 hours a day making it hard to work out which of the multiple variables are at play.

The good news being these sorts of longer term leftovers, for him at least, are relatively easily managed so long as we keep on top of them. I'm not sure if you can see in the picture from this day during his cancer treatment just how distended his tummy was back then vs today where he's more long and lean (one of the things the consultant is going to look at is where George now tracks when it comes to his growth and weight gain). Gut recovery may take a long time but we'd take this any day vs the more shocking and unthinkably awful possible alternatives ...I mean just look at that hair blowing in the wind when we came back via the park for a hot chocolate and a kick about 🥰 Here's to getting more kids to this point with our collective Giant Pledge efforts to help beat childhood cancer.

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2021 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 for help with any event you may be thinking of email Lydia.Clark2@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
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