Earlier this month, I got creative in the kitchen and made some Bowel Cancer UK themed cakes to sell at work for Bowel Cancer Awareness month. £30 was raised for the charity, but most importantly helped to raise the awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer. Thanks to everyone that was brave enough to have one and to Amber who helped me make them.
Thankfully the sun came out and the walk in memory of Marty took place on Saturday 23 September, which raised a massive £661.91 for Bowel Cancer UK. My sponsorship for Jason Bragg (local lad, aged 26 who has been diagnosed with bowel cancer) has raised £275. Linda was a true star for this and without her help, I wouldn't have been able to raise as much as I did.
Thank you to everyone that donated money and came to do the walk with me. I know Marty was there with us in spirit. Also thanks to my friends Emma, Steve and Sienna who couldn't make it to Cornwall but did the London walk instead and raised £200 for Bowel Cancer UK.
Below are some photos from the walk and a couple of my favourite memories of Marty at Crantock.
Linda (Marty's mum) never seizes to amaze me. When she found out about the walk I was planning, she jumped straight in and wanted to help by putting up my posters and rally around to get some sponsorship to help and support Jason Bragg and his family, who are from St. Austell and at the age of 26 has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Jason works at my place of work and is an on-call firefighter. I've not met him myself but when I heard their news, it brought me to tears. Both me and Martyn were embraced by the support of friends and family when they rallied around to help raise some money to go towards Marty's surgery costs in Germany. I know how much that helped to ease the financial pressures and emotional roller-coaster we found ourselves on.
I don't know how much money yet has been raised from the sponsorship side of the walk for Jason, but I do know I have Linda to thank and all the people local to us for supporting the cause. Thank you to each and every one of you for your kindness and generosity.
If you would like to find out more about Jason, please visit the Just Giving web page that has been set up for him at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jason-bragg
There's less then a week to go before the 5 mile walk where proceeds from the registration fee to take part will be donated to my other chosen cause - Bowel Cancer UK.
Money raised for both causes will be updated on here shortly.
Yesterday I was interviewed by a lovely BBC Radio Cornwall reporter; Christine Stewart, about the charity walk in memory of Marty and in aid of Bowel Cancer UK. It couldn't have been a sunnier day for it and the Gannel was filled with dogs having fun in the water, kids crabbing on the bridge and people enjoying the beautiful scenery. The interview will be aired on BBC Cornwall Radio throughout Sunday 3 September and via their social media channels.
If you would like to join me on the walk, you can register via the Memories of Marty Just Giving web page or you are welcome to just turn up on the day at the cafe car park which is above the main National Trust Crantock beach parking.
I'd like to thank the lovely gentleman who is allowing us to use their cafe car park for the walk - it's really appreciated.
Registration will take place from 10.30am and we'll set off from 11am. You'll be provided with a map & directions and the route will be revealed on the day. It's 3 weeks today! Official poster is below:
Today Marty would have been 37 years young and there's not been a day that's passed when I haven't thought about him. Every now and then, I believe Marty gives me little signs when I need them the most. Yesterday I was late leaving work and on my way home, one of his favourite songs came on the radio - the JCB song, which is a rarity. Whenever I hear it, I can still see him and the smile it would bring to his face when it played and the funny singing voice he'd put on, and 'the looks' we'd give each other. I'll never forget why he loved it and how it reminded him of the time spent working with his dad; where I know it also gave him fond memories of his mum cooking bacon sarnies for them at the weekends or preparing their crib boxes for work. It even mentions transformers and all the childish things we both loved together. Little signs always appear when I need them the most and there's been many since he passed away. Whether these signs are coincidence or not, I'll always take comfort in believing it's him telling me to keep going, do what I'm doing and to never give up. He'll always be apart of me and I'll always remember and cherish the life we had together. I will always put sunflowers at his grave for as long as I live on his birthday (and yes, they have googly eyes on them), because of the memories we made when I would grow them from seed among other things in Summercourt. Maybe one day, a giant carrot might just sprout too - a memory for another time.
Walk Together is the Bowel Cancer UK charity's new five mile sponsored walk to bring people together so that they can show their support for those undergoing treatment, remember loved ones and help stop bowel cancer.
Walk Together events are taking place in London, Edinburgh and Belfast, which are all a bit too far for us Cornish folk to travel, so I thought I would plan my own one here in Newquay, with a little help from the charity along the way.
Walk Together UK details
Date: Saturday 23 September
Registration: from 10.30am
Price: £10 per adult, £3 per child (under 5's go free) or whatever you can afford to donate if walking as a family.
The walk I am planning in Cornwall is not only in memory of Marty but also to show my support to those that are undergoing treatment and to raise awareness of the symptoms - especially in younger people, whist raising money for the Bowel Cancer UK charity.
I have planned the walk along some of Martyn's favourite places in Newquay (route to be revealed on the day) and depending on whether you stop off at the pit stops I will be organising, the walk will take approximately 2 hours and will be dog friendly.
The charity do recommend you do some training over the summer so you find the walk enjoyable. View the training schedule to get yourself fit and prepared for the walk.
Those that join me on the day of the walk will be given a card to pin to your t-shirt so you can write a lovely message about why you are walking and if you are walking for anyone in particular. We would love to read them on the walk and I will be taking photos to share with the charity on the day.
To register for a place on the walk or to support the cause visit:
Anyone taking part in the walk in Cornwall that would like to get sponsorship are more than welcome to. My sponsorship will be donated towards helping on-call firefighter Jason Bragg (aged 26) and his family. You can find out more about this cause here: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jason-bragg
If you would like to find out more about the other Bowel Cancer UK walks, visit the Walk Together web page for details.
This year the charity focused on bowel cancer screening.
Bowel cancer screening saves lives but at the moment in some areas of the UK only a third of those who receive a test in the post complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the best way to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat and there is the greatest chance of survival.
How you can raise awareness of bowel cancer screening:
Today I was interviewed by BBC Spotlight reporter Jenny Walrond, to talk to her about Martyn and his fight with bowel cancer and my thoughts about how a new assessment tool will help GP's make a quicker diagnosis for younger people suffering with bowel cancer.
The University of Exeter; in partnership with the Bowel Cancer UK Never Too Young campaign, Durham University and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, have published new research and a risk assessment tool to support GPs to identify the symptoms of a serious bowel condition for patients aged under-50.
The assessment tool will calculate the risk of the patient’s bowel symptoms allowing the GP to decide whether they need further tests. This is the first of its kind for younger people and aims to speed up the diagnosis of patients under 50 who often experience significant delays.
You can read more on this story from the Bowel Cancer UK's website on real life stories.
Help STOP bowel cancer devastating families with Lynch syndrome.
Act now to STOP genetic condition devastating families with cancer by signing the petition.
Bowel Cancer UK worked with nine other charities to unite everyone in a simple but powerful life changing act – wearing a Unity Band®. By joining forces a bigger impact is made in transforming the lives of millions who are affected by cancer.
The Unity Band is made of two parts, knotted together, to represent strength in unity and the power of what can be achieved when people join forces.
Thanks to all those who brought one of the bowel Cancer UK Unity Bands this year and also joined in with the cake bake at my work. Proceeds raised from both the band sale and the cakes raised £210 for the charity.
(World Cancer Day took place on 4 February 2017)
Blog - Never too Young
This blog is to carry on Marty's fighting spirit and help raise awareness of bowel cancer to others. It is also a place for you to share any of the things you have done or are doing in memory of him.