Tom Alloway and his colleagues have taken on an epic Movember in support of Candlelighters. This is their story:
The Exams Team at the University of York is made up of myself Tom, Dan, Jacob and Adam as well as Jo our manager. We had the idea about doing Movember as a bit of fun really after a coincidental chat about how brilliant moustaches are. We really wanted to get into the spirit of supporting the causes that the Movember charity seeks to highlight, such as male related cancers and mental health issues. It was actually Jo our manager who planted the idea of raising money ourselves and instantly I thought of Candlelighters after the help that we have received whilst Agnes is on her journey to beat neuroblastoma.
With a few weeks to go until November, the team really committed to it and started planning for a world where each one of us was afraid of looking like a fancy dress cowboy (minus the hat). We have varying levels of facial hair growing capability, but agreed the chance to raise money should be taken and we are hoping that this also shows how inclusive it can be to be part of something, whether we end up looking silly, handsome or anything in between!
Our colleagues at the University have been very supportive and have been keen to see how our progress has been going during our weekly meetings!
Agnes is our beautiful, sweet and loving two year old who was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma in a whirlwind week from 28 February 2019. As each test came back, the diagnosis seemed to get worse and I remember it feeling like the longest week of my life.
The treatment for Neuroblastoma is particularly intense, involving 8 quick rounds of chemotherapy only ten days apart as well as major surgery, high dose chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, stem cell harvest and transplant.
These treatments being so harsh also invariably cause a lot of side effects and carry terrifying risks, particularly the high dose chemotherapy where Agnes developed a particularly frightening condition of her liver. She has been through some days that I will never forget, and thankfully being so young, she hopefully will. It has been brutal and tiring on her little body, but she has come through it all so far with a little smile on her face and a heart of gold. Her treatment is scheduled to last until April and we couldn’t be more thankful for the incredible work done by the Children’s Oncology Ward at the LGI and the support offered by Candlelighters.
If you wish to show your support please follow the below link: