Updates

Our progress towards raising our 2m target

George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
With so much talk of Christmas and what it'll potentially look like this year this week's news has been full of speculation of possible festive covid restriction scenarios in the UK and around the world. Tonight we watched the BBC News with keen interest and intent and saw more of much the same. To be fair we're happy to stay home and sit tight this Christmas if needs be as we've got the four of us to keep ourselves company and we're in a comfortable position with a roof firmly above our heads.

We fully appreciate not everyone is in the same boat but for us it's no big sacrifice to stay put for one year as the safety of others has to come first even if it will be horrible not to spend time with our friends and family. Even when George was going through his cancer treatment, and was often so poorly with no immunity, we made every effort to see family not knowing what the future held for us so we certainly appreciate the potential heartbreak and hardships.

Taking this day in 2017 as an example we were with Nana and Grandad in the day then saw Nana Sue in the evening but this Christmas, with my parents both isolating, there's no hope of achieving the same let alone seeing the boys cousins and my sisters over the festive period 😔 Then again we still count our lucky stars we're no longer navigating childhood cancer on top of covid at this unbelievably challenging time.

Each year we support our friends at the Childrens Hospital Pyjamas charity. A group that look to ensure every child in hospital over Christmas gets to see in the big day wearing a new pair of PJ's. We've already started our collection and if you'd like to get involved or buy a few pairs off their Amazon wish list then check them out here, https://www.facebook.com/Childrenshospitalpyjamas.

As for the rest of our day, yep you guessed it, we were still on our local wreath making event mission! All four of us were making up the dried sundries packs meaning Woody was able to start delivering them ahead of our virtual event later this week even if the boy's interest quickly waned! Thanks again to The Girl Who Gardens and Holborn's for their ongoing support as it's only with their help that this event raises funds to help beat childhood cancer as well as making doors look fab with people's beautiful wreath efforts!

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2020 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
I couldn't have had a better start to the day with an hour and a half long conversation with my very best friend 🥰 I don't know about you but I'm terrible at taking the time to pick up the phone outside of work even if it's to talk to my absolute favourite people. Well this morning we caught up and put the world to rights and it really set my day up in the best way possible 👌

Not long after that we started on our local wreath making mission! Normally this is one of our favourite annual fundraising events at Hartsfield Manor, but with lockdown meaning they're closed we're going virtual for a number of the slots at least! (Fingers crossed the session at their beautiful hotel on Saturday the 5th of December will still go ahead if the national lockdown actually gets lifted by then!) 🤞As always we're working with the fab Holborn's Flowers and brilliant The Girl Who Gardens even if we're only doing them with the boys schools, one with George's year group and the other with Alex's PTA for the moment.

Today we sat outside the front of our house making up each of the virtual wreath making packs. With people making orders online and the kits being delivered 72 hours before the event to give them quarantine time we're so happy we can still pull off this event, not only to help lift the lockdown lows, raise funds to help beat childhood cancer but also to get all of us in the Christmas spirit! ...our house literally smells like Christmas at the minute as we've been taken over by pine as well as cinnamon sticks and orange segments making things feel very festive!

In other news a reminder came up on Facebook today of when we won 'Fundraisers of the Year' at the JustGiving awards on this day in 2017! I had a watch of this interview we did and it blew me away as well as made me chuckle, https://fb.watch/1VnN6ZluOM/. I say that as we'd only come out from hospital from George's 13th of 14 rounds of chemo that day and moved heaven and earth to get him looked after by a friend that's a nurse and make it to London for the evening. What makes it even more surreal is that the very next year we were back, only this time we were on stage giving out an award and announcing a winner...!

It really is nuts to think of everything that's happened ever since finding the lump on George's back, the anniversary of which is just around the corner next week. We're so lucky he's doing so well and are so grateful to you all for sticking with us. The Giant Pledge wouldn't be anything if it wasn't for all of you and the collective of parents affected by childhood cancer working to help other parents and children in the future ❤️

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2020 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 rounded off the week with a hospital visit to The Royal Marsden - Sutton. We've talked a lot before about how, even once a child's cancer treatment has finished, a huge percentage of them have long term issues or lifelong challenges as a direct result to deal with. For George his biggest leftover is his scoliosis which he has as a direct result of his cancer resection surgery where they removed several muscles and part of his spine. But that's not all as his heart and his kidneys are also on longterm watch thanks to all the highly toxic drugs he had to rid him of #EwingsSarcoma

Doxorubicin, first discovered in the 1960's, is an old but effective chemotherapy drug that's used to treat many types of cancer but it's also known to decrease the ability of the heart to pump blood around...! This can lead to heart failure which is a pretty grim side effect even if it's superpower is slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells 😳 You can certainly see why we hope that our collective Giant Pledge fundraising efforts will help fund research into equally effective but much kinder drugs (George will have these regular heart scans for 20 years post treatment just to give you some perspective).

With today's echocardiogram being one of the simplest / least intrusive check ups George has, we were in and out with no fuss and he was back in school before we knew it! He even made it back in time to have his nasal spray flu vaccine at school as they had a team in doing the rounds today! Later tonight we then had a James Bond themed PTA virtual quiz with Alex's school. Even though Woody and I were both shattered we still made an effort to dress up, although comically I had my jumper and jeans on under my dress and Woody had a DJ top half but was wearing jeans just out of shot of the screen! ...haha, now I've gone and let our secret out 😂

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2020 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
This morning started with the fastest walk around a chilly park with a coffee for me and Woody having his first run following his positive covid test now we've all finished our quarantine. (And no I don't walk as fast as he runs 😂 we simply had a wander together to clear our heads then I drove back to start my working day!)

On last night's post I talked about everything being 'easy breezy' vs the backdrop of the equivalent day when George had cancer in 2017. Naturally we always feel so incredibly lucky to be in the position we're in now but the honest truth is I still have to work at keeping my mental health on track as that time in our lives has definitely left me with a much more nervous and anxious disposition among other leftovers.

At the moment work is crazy busy, I woke up at 5am and laid there thinking about a million and one things as I'm sure many of you are too at the moment thanks to covid. Yes the baseline for our family has most definitely moved on but as I always say our thoughts and feelings are all relative which means anxieties can still flare up even if it's in a very different context.

Let's just say my day went from over thinking everything to getting so much positive energy from so many people I had virtual meetings with over the course of the day ... pretty much represented by the faces George was pulling while he laid on my lap this evening! A reminder to be kind and honest with ourselves and that it's not always helpful to make comparisons.

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2020 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 was easy breezy compared to this day back in 2017. This morning Woody and I grabbed a takeaway coffee after dropping the boys at school, he then went on to do some gardening while I cracked on with working from home. This all being in stark contrast to us all rallying around George to help him recover from his suspected septic shock the day before this day during his cancer treatment.

Looking back at those pictures helps me explain my continued obsession with taking so many photos of Alex and George even to this day. As you can see he was seriously pale and poorly and we didn't have a clue what the future might hold for him ...cue me trying to capture every moment in time just in case that would be the last chance we ever had to take any of him.

As daft as it may sound, for me it's still about exactly that - not wanting to miss anything after the trauma we lived showed us how life can change in an instant. Part of it is also now driven by superstition if I'm being honest ...I realise I sound like a loon but what if I were to stop and something were to happen?! Everything from Alex staring at George in horror and disbelief of just how poorly his little brother was. To him climbing up on the hospital bed to hug and lay peacefully with George, all the way through to the two of them playing after school this evening!

Yes the volume of pictures may be off the scale but as pointed out in yesterday's post comments, the difference in our boys from back then to now is almost unrecognisable so why not capture all of it!

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2020 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
Someone was stupidly tired after school again today. It's amazing how a couple of weeks out of routine knocks him for six each and every time. Let's just say he wasn't very keen on doing his homework tonight so you can imagine George's joy when he realised he also had his creative writing Explore Learning virtual group session this evening!

We signed him up to these extra lessons a good while ago now in an attempt to help him catch up having missed so much school in his foundation years as a direct result of his cancer treatment. As we explained to him today, these extra lessons might challenge him but ultimately they're there to help him and build his confidence! In the end he simply sat and listened which was more than enough considering how tired he was so well done George 💪

To be honest if that's the only sort of thing that's bothering him it's well within the realms of what's normal for a child unlike this day in 2017. This was the dreaded day we thought we were losing George. He went into what was suspected septic shock and caused an emergency team to fly in around him and crack into action which was as horrible as you'd imagine to watch.

That day we met a newly diagnosed family in the opposite bay. They saw all of this happen as with the number of people we had rush in it was hard to get the curtain to fully close. And yet how the tables turned as this Christmas will be the first without their little girl as on the 5th of January 2020 she left this world. An inspirational ray of sunshine we'll always hold in our thoughts on a day that'll be etched in our minds forever.

Between us we've got this.

#thebigpush
#aimhighstaypositive
#giantpledge

Donate or join the Giant Pledge team with your own fundraising event in 2020 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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