When it came to choosing its charity of the year for 2019, it was a ‘no brainer’ for Andrew and Simon Rigby, managing directors of family-run business, Rigby Financial, after their mum, Pam, was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in January.
“It was just before Christmas,” recalls Andrew. “I was in the supermarket getting some last minute bits when someone came charging in looking for the defibrillator. “Someone’s collapsed outside” they said. Being first aid trained, I went to see if I could help. When I saw who it was, I couldn’t believe it. It was my mum.
They initially thought it was her heart but a subsequent chest x-ray revealed a shadow on her lung. She was sent for a CT scan the next day and, by the time she arrived home, there was a call asking us to come back in for the results the day after. From the speed of the results, I knew it wasn’t going to be good news.
It wasn’t. A biopsy on New Year’s Eve of all days confirmed our fears. Mum had stage 4 small cell lung cancer.
January was a blur. I think I spent most of the month crying. Not mum though, she carried, and continues to carry, all of us. She has remained positive and upbeat, even during those rough days after chemo saying, “If I have to go through this for 3-4 months to get another 18, then it’s worth it.”
Now we’ve begun to adjust, we decided to turn our attention to fundraising. I set up a birthday fundraiser on Facebook and, every week, we do a dress down day in work where staff each pays a pound. Simon, with a number of staff and friends, is also planning to do the local 10k run in October.
We’ve also finalising our annual golf day. It’s always a great day and excellent fundraiser. This year, we’ve even got the opportunity for players to win an Audi in the hole-in-one challenge, courtesy of a friend of mine.
We just want to raise as much as we possibly can as well as help raise awareness about this disease. I think it’s really important for companies, if they can, to give a little bit extra.
After all, we now know firsthand how important this charity is in supporting those affected by lung cancer.”