Trust grows in the fight against cancer

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Callum’s Trust held its first Big Cycle which was well-attended with 50 taking part and raising more than £3,000.

This year we hope to double it. The Borders Abbeys walks in September grew this year with a great bunch of inspiring participants taking part, including one man who had lost his sight earlier in the year who could outwalk all of us. There was also the Pennielheugh Zipslide – not for the faint-hearted. The nude male calendar made over £1,000 and a number of people smile.

SELKIRK, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 04: 'Road Fuel Prices hike overnight with VAT changes''''(Photo by  Rob Gray)

SELKIRK, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 04: 'Road Fuel Prices hike overnight with VAT changes''''(Photo by Rob Gray)

There were also the superfit folk – Ryan Mack running the Athens Marathon, Saurabh Khurana taking part in his first Jedburgh Half-marathon, and Brian Nicol and the some of the Borders Triathletes ran St Cuthbert’s Way in 14 hours on one of the hottest days of the year – that’s more than 60 miles. Not forgetting, of course, the cyclists and walkers. Joanna Dean and myself cycled almost 700km across Vietnam, raising £3,500.

There have also been the quiet fundraisers – Jackie Adams from Chirnside organised a Knit-A-Beanie competition, and we now have over 70 beanies for sale. We have also battled the elements while taking part in car boot sales and collections. We recycle inkjet, laser and toner cartridges, mobile phones, bottle tops and CDs – but what does it all mean? How have we helped?

We have provided storage units for the six-bedded wards in Borders General Hospital’s Ward 6, improving efficiency and time spent with patients.

We have provided netbooks so that patients in protective isolation can keep in touch with friends and family, wigs for patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, dog walking for patients who are no longer able to walk their pets, but who don’t want to lose their companions, gardening so that patients can sit out in their garden again while recovering from treatment and clothing vouchers among many other things.

Importantly, we opened our Hospice Fund in May and now have a balance of more than £10,000 which will go towards the development of a hospice/palliative care unit within our region. Our priority will be ensuring it is provided with equipment and resources that will create an environment to improve patients’ time and experience within the unit.

So what is there to look forward to in 2011?

Well, we will be staging The Big Cycle again on June 18 and we challenge all those who took part last year to cycle further and bring a friend – let’s get 100 people cycling.

We are also really excited about Unplug for Callum’s Trust which will be happening early in the year – do you think you could survive a day without technology?

We will be walking the beautiful Borders Abbeys Way again – let’s have more hikers this year. It’s a great social event and starts on the last Sunday in August for five Sundays.

We are really thrilled at having the Callum’s Trust Baking Book – cakes on sale.

We are proud of what we have achieved so far and with your support will continue to meet our aims:

z To raise funds to provide equipment and resources to patients who are receiving treatment for lymphoma, leukaemia or myeloma within the Borders or receiving end-of-life cancer care at home within this region;

z To provide resources for the siderooms in Ward 6 of the BGH.

z To provide funds to any charity involved in the development of a hospice within the Borders.

It’s a lot of hard work. We are a small group of 13 friends who run Callum’s Trust and also have full-time jobs, so naturally we are always on the lookout for motivated individuals with a bit of time to spare.

If you would like to join us please get in touch with me at Callum’s Trust. Go to www.callumstrust.org for contact details or call 01896 757887.