I AM Nick Whitehead
AND I WILL host a charity night to help others going through lung cancer.
“I was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017. After surgery, I underwent chemotherapy. Before I started chemo, I talked to a friend who had been through it. I remember him telling me that nothing would prepare me for that moment when I started losing my hair.
So, I decided to be proactive in that department and got sponsored for a head shave for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. During diagnosis and treatment, I had a lot of questions and the charity was there for both me and my wife, Paula, so supporting them was a no brainer!
Chemo was tough, there’s no denying that. Around three quarters of the way through the treatment, I developed lung embolisms (blood clots on my lungs) and suffered from shortness of breath. But I got through it and I know how lucky I am; I’m still very much in the minority.
Anyone who has been following the recent story line in Cold Feet will understand that support does not stop as soon as treatment stops. Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation has been there for me, and continues to be there for me, when I need them – as both a patient and a fundraiser.Nick is thankful for the support he received, and continues to receive
Once I had come through treatment, I wanted to continue to give back and so held a charity auction night. The event was so successful, raising £3755, I’ve decided to make it an annual event with the aim to make each one bigger and better!
The event takes a lot of organising and, to be honest, it’s difficult to enjoy anything leading up to it! You’re just so desperate for it to be a success. However, when I found out we sold out and businesses started agreeing to donate raffle prizes, I was able to relax a little bit and I don’t have to do it alone. I get so much support from Paula as well as friends and the venue itself.
It’s really important to try and have a good relationship with the venue. They took away a lot of the stress by displaying posters, selling tickets and raffle tickets as well as decorating the venue.
In my experience, the key to a successful event like this is planning. Plan the location, the costs, what type of entertainment and food you want. Plan the pricing, so know how much it’s going to cost and then work out your ticket prices and other ways to increase the amount you raise, such as raffles and auctions and then plan how you’re going to get the prizes.
Make sure you tell everyone it is for charity – the venue, printers, caterers, entertainers – as quite often you’ll be able to get a discount. Every penny saved on costs can go back to Roy Castle.
And, most importantly, accept offers of help. You can’t have enough volunteers and helpers. I’ve also had loads of support and advice from the fundraising team. If I ever have a question, or am a little unsure about something, I know I can just pick up the phone or drop them an email and they’ll be there, sharing their experience and making my time more productive.
Anyone who has been following the recent storyline in Cold Feet will understand that support does not stop as soon as treatment stops. Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation has been there for me, and continues to be there for me, when I need them – as both a patient and a fundraiser.
When I was first diagnosed, I was given a 50% chance of surviving for five years. I’m now 100% cured of lung cancer and in the fortunate position to be able to give back.”
Nick will be hosting a Charity Auction and Raffle Night at Woodham Golf and Country Club on Saturday 25th April. For tickets, email Nick on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick shared his story as part of our #IAmAndIWill campaign for World Cancer Day 2020.