People care passionately about different charities and causes. The ability to support causes you care most about is at the very heart of the For Good Causes proposition. It’s what makes it unique and truly compelling.
Here, Wendy Martin CMO at For Good Causes tells her story about why she feels so passionately about three amazing causes.
“Like most people I have supported numerous charities, in different ways, over the years. Some, like Action Aid, I have supported long-term and, as a family, we have watched a little boy in Malawi flourish. But many donations I have made have been driven by my desire to support friends undertaking great challenges for charities they care about. I’ve lost count of the bike rides, marathons and treks I’ve supported!
However over the last few years a couple of events have fundamentally shaken my life and changed it forever. Whilst I will continue to support family and friends in their endeavours there are 3 charities that, for different reasons, I now feel very passionately about.
Breast Cancer Now
In late 2014 my elder sister Deb was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time of her diagnosis I really had no idea just how many of us it affects — one in eight of us will develop breast cancer at some point in our lives. Each year over 50,000 women (and men) are diagnosed. Breast Cancer Now’s Breast Cancer Now’s ambition is to ensure that by 2050 everyone who is diagnosed with this disease lives.
Watching someone you love have to deal with a life-threatening diagnosis is hard. Luckily my sister was diagnosed early and received fantastic treatment from the NHS.
My sister’s illness inspired me to sign up for the 2016 London Moonwalk together with a bunch of girlfriends. We trained hard for several months; it might just be a “walk” but its 26.2 miles across London throughout the night. Together with thousands of others women we set out around midnight and walked over the finish line about 9 hours later, tired, hungry and cold but with £7k to donate to breast cancer charities.
Little did I know that my Moonwalk would be a much harder challenge than I ever imagined when I signed up. As just four days before we set out, another event was set to change our lives forever.
British Heart Foundation
On 10th May 2016 my husband, with no history, ill health or symptoms, suddenly died of a cardiac arrest whilst on a business to Spain.
Telling 4 children, aged 27 to 9, that they had lost their father was, and I hope will always be, the worst thing I ever do.
Since Mike’s death I have learned that currently just 8% of patients survive a cardiac arrest in the UK. Survival rates in other parts of the world are much higher, prompting clinicians in NHS England NHS England, The British Heart Foundation and other leading health organisations to develop new guidance for patient care, from resuscitation to recovery.
I’m so proud of my children, just 4 days after losing their father, they encouraged me to push ahead with the Moonwalk that we had trained so hard for. And I’m so grateful to the team of women who walked with me that night and to my sister and niece who cuddled my girls all night whilst I walked, and to some amazing friends that supported me through such a difficult time. I appreciated it more than you will ever know.
In those first few months after my husband died I read a lot to help me understand how best to support the youngest children — who where just 12 and 9. One charity kept coming up, time and time again — Daisy’s Dream.
Daisy’s Dream are a Berkshire-based charity who support bereaved children and young adults who have, or are soon to lose, a close family member, typically a parent or sibling. My girls have benefited enormously from the bereavement counselling they have had every few weeks in their respective schools by a Daisy’s Dream counsellor.
“These sessions haven’t been easy for the girls, it’s often painful for them. But continuing to talk and process their loss is so important for their long-term health and happiness. I’m proud they talk about their dad every day. I will be eternally grateful for the support of this amazing charity”.
A book that I have found enormously helpful this year is “Option B” written by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg together with psychologist Adam Grant. It deals with loss and grief but it majors on resilience and how we build it in ourselves and our children.
“Sheryl Sandberg’s book isn’t just about grief, it’s a critical guide to reclaiming life. When Option A is no longer available to you, you just have to kick the hell out of Option B!”
Because tomorrow isn’t promised!
If there are charities you care passionately about here is a new way to support them.
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