Updates

Our progress towards raising our 2m target

George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
How lovely was it to have the sun out again today 😍 Here's hoping it also poked it's nose out where you all live too! I fear the recent change in weather and notable drop in temperatures, together with the clocks going back soon so the nights getting darker earlier, is all going to affect how many of us feel about working from home...albeit thanks to Covid we won't have much choice in the matter! 😳

With us fast approaching #WorldMentalHealthDay on Saturday the 10th of October, today at work I was part of the team that launched 'Google Get Active' to help Googlers across the UK work on their physical and mental health raising funds to help others in the process through Mind, our UK Charity of the year πŸ’ͺ

It may not be a core part of my role but, having been signed off work for three years for my own mental health following George's cancer diagnosis, and having met some brilliant companies that can help make these types of virtual events happen, working on wellbeing and helping fundraise for better mental health in the UK full stop is something very close to my heart it goes without saying ❀️

If nothing else, for me it might help me shift that Covid stone I've put on! Hopefully mean I sleep better than 4 hours a night and start achieving more than a measly 2,000 steps a day for starters as you can see from my Fitbit results here today! (I probably had more than 838 calories in just one of the gazilion chocolate truffles I ate yesterday!) ...anyone else found their healthy / good habits have gone out the window during all things lockdown?!

Yes we're so lucky for all that we have, the photos of the boys and everything we've been through being testament to that! But we have to look after ourselves and work on our own mental health too! Needless today I signed myself up and now I've said it out loud here I'll actually have to dig out that lycra and actually do something about it 😬

In other news, with just 3 days left of #ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth don't forget to follow and share posts from Make September Gold - Childhood Cancer Awareness and remember that if you make a purchase from The Brown bear butterfly Etsy Card shop 10% of the sales will go to our latest family addition to the Giant Pledge in little Elea's name, read more at https://www.etsy.com/shop/brownbearbutterfly/

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 Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
Today has been quite an emotional and heartwarming day to see two communities pull together, both sadly for tragic reasons. It started off with Alex and Woody down at the Old Reigatian Rugby Club where everyone stopped ahead of any training / play for 2 minutes clapping in memory of Police Officer, Sgt Mark Ratana, who was shot at Croydon Police station earlier this weekend. As an avid Rugby player himself it was lovely for his sporting community to also pay their respects, especially on #NationalPoliceMemorialDay and being that his club is just up the road from us.

The other community that pulled together today was our Marsden Childhood Cancer community which we invited to a virtual event to mark it fast coming to the end of September's #ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth. Last year we held a big party, as you can see here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWGYRG4_mps&t=2s, but clearly we needed to change our plans for 2020 to make it something that would be Covid safe! (Many of these children are some of the most vulnerable in the UK 😒)

We invited those currently on treatment, those on watch for relapse as well as families that have sadly lost a child to cancer...quite literally anyone affected by childhood cancer as once you've joined the club it's something you never really ever get to leave. We worked with My Chocolate UK and were even joined by two of the BBC Radio 5 live You Me and the Big C crew, Bowelbabe and @Steve Bland who helped share what we were up to raising awareness of The Giant Pledge and childhood cancer full stop.

I have to say I've never seen so many sticky, chocolatey fingers and laughed out loud when someone on the video call said they had chocolate all over their floor...! But that was matched with huge smiles and children that haven't been out for months all having a brilliant time despite them facing some of the biggest challenges of their little lives 😞

I for one couldn't resist and have to admit I ate faaaaaaar too much chocolate, but what can I say, the truffles all tasted amazing! Now we're wondering about working with My Chocolate to do a Giant Pledge virtual truffle making fundraising event...shout below if this is something you might well be interested in!

Here's to all of today's chocolatey fun, remembering Sgt Ratana and all the childhood cancer heroes that were taken too young.

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 Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
After Vicki had a super busy week with work it was nice to be able to give her a bit of a lie-in this morning. I took Alex off to his school's Saturday rugby training and then took the advantage of this early (and freezing) start to complete the last of #MyMarsdenMarathon miles, you can see how I got on here, https://marsdenmarathon.blackbaud-sites.com/fundraising/my-giant-pledge-marsden-marathon

After a quick dash home we were straight back out to George's Reigate FC match later this morning! I volunteered myself to be a referee and have to say it was incredible to watch George play up close and personal ...as well as keep the game in check of course! Funnily enough all of us wanted to spend this afternoon watching movies and chilling out on the sofa after such a busy morning!

Later today I then joined Joe Ogunmokun on The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity Insta page live takeover. He's been doing this while running his Marsden Marathon miles on a treadmill (having started on Thursday he's set to finish this Sunday) Joe and his NRG crew are normally known for their cycling exploits and recently nailed the equivalent distance from Wimbledon to St Tropez during lockdown for their friend Ben who was also treated at The Marsden and raised over Β£150,000 in the process!

I think that's one of the most incredible things about the cancer world in that, whilst this disease can be unrelenting, the people touched by it are even more determined and relentless. Meeting characters like Joe, who also fundraise with such gumption and energy, really fills me with hope that we'll still be able to continue to raise money for such vital childhood cancer research projects despite there being no end to Covid and it's huge economic impact in sight!

In fact fundraising is exactly what we were up to three years ago today! Not only was it the day George finished his FloridaProton radiation, marking the occasion by ringing their enormous end of treatment chimes / bell, but shortly afterwards Alex shaved his surfer-style hair off raising over Β£3,500 for The Giant Pledge to Help Beat Childhood Cancer at the Hair & Body Mechanix Inc. salon!

I always think it's truly incredible that he suggested to do a head shave while he had so much going on in his little young mind at the same time. It's something we're still super proud of him doing to this day alongside all our other truly impressive young fundraisers!

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 Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
On this day in 2017 we were looking ahead to the end of George's time with the FloridaProton team being that it was the penultimate day of his Jacksonville based cancer treatment. This being vs today where all we were looking towards was the fact we were heading into the weekend! 😍 My commute may now only be a few steps from room to room but closing the door on our study today...let's just say some of you may have heard me shout whoop whooooop!

With next week seeing in the start of October it's almost impossible to think where this year has gone?! One thing's for sure, tonight we most definitely put the heating on! ...never mind the unwritten rule that the heating is not to go on until after September! (My favourite comment on last night's post being the 'first hot water bottle of the season', I'm so with you there haha πŸ˜‚)

This recent change in the weather reminded me how grim our house is in the winter 😬 We paused in doing any sort of renovation following George's cancer diagnosis leaving some rooms, where we were thinking of knocking through, without radiators! This year I'm tempted to fully tape up all our windows and doors to try and at least manage the crazy draft situation we've got!

For a moment there was me thinking I'd had a crazy busy week / day but then I saw it was #worldpharmacistday2020 ...now there's a group of people that really will have been busy, alongside other NHS staff and key workers, from March straight through to today and more than likely well beyond Christmas 😳 Yet another team that looked after us so well during George's cancer treatment and beyond, patiently asking us so many questions and helping manage George's pain relief among his many other medications (I can still picture the face of one of the Marsden team for all the daft names we gave each of his many drugs to help us remember them all!) #ForeverGrateful

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 Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
Tonight I'm sat here wrapped up in a blanket together with a hot water bottle and what can only be described as some sort of jacket on! Meanwhile Woody's in shorts and a hoodie disagreeing with me that we should be putting the heating on! πŸ₯Ά To be fair the weather has been all over the place with us sitting outside in the warm sun eating our lunch earlier today! That said, who's with me in wanting to put their heating on this evening?!

Talking of changeable things here's hoping today's announcement of continued financial support by Rishi Sunak, now that the furlough scheme is soon ending, will help as many people as possible🀞 Honestly, watching the news is so important right now but equally really quite scary and in so many ways overwhelming! For those of you that missed the finer detail you can read more about it on the BBC here, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54285950

A difference we were more acutely aware of closer to home today was the comparison of George's back with his scoliosis on this day during his cancer treatment vs him wearing his body brace into school this morning...the only thing sending it out of whack being the bag he's carrying but that's all within perfectly normal realms so is nothing to worry about!

As we've explained before his brace is never going to fix things in the short or longer term but it'll help him grow as straight as possible and also help stop his spine from twisting and his organs from moving, all of which have numerous associated problems of their own. He'll then have spinal fusion surgery around the age of 16, all of which is particularly top of mind today as we finally got his appointment for his new body brace fitting at the RNOH Stanmore next week!

Aside from that tonight we met some of Alex's new year group of parents as well as a couple of his teachers on a Zoom call after work this evening. You could really see how lovely the teachers were and how thorough they are at making sure the children are all settled in despite a million Covid complications ❀️ Life really is so unusual and very difficult for so many at the moment but it's all too often the little things like people being thoughtful and kind that can really help make such a difference!

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 Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
George and the Giant Pledge
George and the Giant Pledge
Tonight we got the chance to kickback and relax having been treated to a truly lovely meal at our friend's restaurant, Cullenders Parkside. Thanks to the brilliant Joelle and Marc we feasted on a beautiful steak and crispy belly of pork as part of our three course meal 🀀 ...I even had a glass or two meaning I was feeling very merry shall we say from the start of the evening! After Woody's good news about his job yesterday we certainly had something to celebrate! (Thanks for your lovely comments on that too...we really are so lucky and it's such a relief!)

Having had their big restaurant opening plans scuppered by Covid19 (yes they were set to open their new venture just as we were going into lockdown 😒) it's lovely to see people thoroughly enjoying their food tonight! (Their evening service started up on Thursday last week!) Check out their mouth watering menu here, https://www.facebook.com/cullenders/photos/a.669142239763831/3637961996215159/

We did the very same on this day in 2017 only back then we gave ourselves a weekend treat heading to Amelia Island near Jacksonville, Florida as we were coming to the end of George's FloridaProton treatment. We went there for an overnight stay and just to enjoy time together as a family! You have to laugh at the fact that for the boys their biggest excitement in our house today was the arrival of a scientific calculator in our shop late last night from Sainsbury's! Oh how things change πŸ˜‚

Aside from that George had his weekly swimming lesson tonight which also meant I got to have a socially distanced catch up outside the pool with one of my local friends while her daughter was in the lesson too...although as we get further into winter I can soon see that novelty wearing off and me sitting with a hot water bottle in the car! Woody also took a picture of the Childhood Cancer ribbons we got from the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group - CCLG that are now taking pride of place at Pistachios in the Park - Priory Park, Reigate so be sure to remember a cash donation to pick up yours when you're next in there! (Or order yours directly from them here, https://www.cclg.org.uk/gold-ribbon) πŸ‘Œ

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 Mari-Louise.White@rmh.nhs.uk and cc us at GeorgeandtheGiantPledge@gmail.com
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