From his diagnosis with bowel cancer in 2009, and throughout his illness, my brave husband Rich always resisted extra support. I suppose this was typical of a man who loved nothing more than helping others – being the person needing help was anathema to him. So he got involved with the Bobby Moore Fund and worked closely with Stephanie Moore on numerous fundraising initiatives – helping others, rather than himself. Initially he avoided the Primrose Unit, Bedford Hospital’s oncology unit, choosing instead to have his treatment at home, which in the early days was an alternative chemotherapy option. He eschewed offers of visits by or Macmillan nurses until very late in his illness and similarly he was reluctant to visit the local hospice to have a look round. The only reason he went to the school’s in-house counsellor was so that if either of our two sons felt they wanted to talk to him, he would know Rich and understand our family better. Always thinking of others.
What is Challenge 51?
Rich was a people magnet and was surrounded by a vast network of close friends, family and colleagues – the 750 + people who attended his thanksgiving service are testament to that – and it was this community that he built, nurtured, valued and relied on, rather than anything else.
In time, as the cancer progressed, Rich did need the support of The Primrose Unit and the fabulous team there. We also regularly met with a Micmillan nurse at our home and he frequently spoke with Stephanie Moore about possible trials and new treatments, as well as fundraising opportunities for the charity. The last 26 days of his life were spent in the St John’s Hospice at Moggerhanger, a truly remarkable place.
And so, it is not at all surprising that part of his legacy, and one of the ways we can all remember this incredible gentle giant of a man is through fundraising.
It is hard to believe that Rich was just 51 when he died after a 9 year battle against his cancer, as indeed was Bobby Moore. Challenge 51 grew from Rich’s wish for us to fundraise for the organisations that had so supported him and we came up with the idea of raising £51,000 in 51 different ways, the total ultimately being split between his chosen charities, namely The Bobby Moore Fund, The Research and Education Fund at Bedford Hospital and the Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice at Moggerhanger. Anyone raising money in Rich’s memory for any/all of these just lets us know what they have raised and we then add it to our totaliser – very Blue Peter – this currently stands at about £20,000 which is extraordinary. From marathon running to cake sales to 900km cycle rides to mufti days every little bit will help other cancer sufferers and their families.
Katy Knowles Turvey Ladies Luncheon Friday 15th November
Tess Garrett Starlight Hike, Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice
Jersey walk – £1,420
Harry Anderson Manchester Half Marathon (Primrose Unit) – £555
London Marathon Sarah Hardcastle (Primrose Unit) – £3515.88
Bedford School Shop Collection (Primrose Unit) – £96
Fashion Show with Moochi Moo (St John’s) – £1,559
Football Shirt Friday Bedford School (Bobby Moore) – £712
Bedford School mufti day (Bobby Moore) – £465.61
Bedford School mufti day – £776.51
Collection from funeral – £667
Black Tom Big Lunch Charity Raffle – £25
The Foundry – community breakfast charity collection 24th September
£3,817 – Tom Perry – Chillswim Coniston Water
£2,943.75 – Paul Goodenough Climbing Mont Blanc 13th June
Run Bedford 10km 2nd June (split Primrose/St John’s)
£2,003.49 – Simon Briggs Joberg2c 900km bike ride (Bobby Moore Fund)
£505 – Bedford School Rock Night (Primrose Unit)
£1626.77 – 28 March Charity Run Bedford School
£700 – Donald Andrews Bedford Blues 6 Nations Charity Dinner
£785 – Memorial Service Collection (St John’s)
£25,362 – JustGiving Page
£367 – Bedford School Paulo Pontine Coffee Morning