May 252017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Account Manager, Jasmine Ltd.

A leading north-east charity has introduced three new support groups for people in Aberdeen and the surrounding area.

The new support groups, introduced by CLAN Cancer Support at its CLAN House base in Aberdeen, offer tailored support for carers, men and those wishing to explore the benefits of gentle exercise.

With the aim of providing peer support for men affected by cancer, CLAN has introduced a film night for men, with the relaxed and informal group open to CLAN clients, family members, carers and friends.

Taking place on the first Tuesday of each month from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at CLAN House, it is held alongside the charity’s Carers and Supporters Wellbeing Group.

Aimed at those supporting someone who has cancer, the carers and supporters group offers help in partnership with the VSA Carers Resource Service.

Iona Mitchell, CLAN’S head of cancer support services, said:

“Each of our new groups offers friendship and peer group support in a welcoming and supportive environment.

“The response to each group has been very positive. Our Men’s Movie Night and Carers and Supporters Wellbeing group run alongside each-other and offer the opportunity for individuals, or couples, to come to CLAN House on the same night and access support appropriate for their needs in a group environment.

“The Movie Night has been introduced as an informal way for men to relax and enjoy a film, with the option of speaking to others who may be in a similar position to themselves.

“In addition, by linking up with VSA we can deliver a programme of talks and information sessions which are specific to people caring for, or supporting an individual with a cancer diagnosis, ensuring they are aware of the resources available to them and giving them the chance to speak to people who are also caring for a loved one.”

And for those wishing to find out more about the benefits of light exercise, the CLAN/Macmillan Move More walking group is a great way to enjoy some fresh air and take part in gentle exercise.

Led by a trained walker, the group meets at CLAN House weekly on a Friday at 10.30am for a one to two mile walk, returning to CLAN House for refreshments.

Iona added:

“We also now have our Move More walking group in association with Macmillan, which gives individuals the chance to speak to CLAN personnel in an easy going environment while also reinforcing the benefits that low level exercise can have on a person’s wellbeing.

“These walks are open to all CLAN clients as well as anyone affected by cancer and anybody who feels they would benefit some companionship and relaxed exercise is welcome to join us.

“We’ve found that gentle activity like this can be beneficial to those experiencing a cancer diagnosis and our group is also a great way to meet people who are perhaps dealing with similar thoughts, feelings and challenges.”

For more information about any of CLAN’s new groups, please contact Jill Sharp on 01224 647 000.

For more information on the Moving More walking group, please contact movemore@sportaberdeen.co.uk or 01224 047925.

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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May 052017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Account Manager, Jasmine Ltd.

CLAN Cancer Support has introduced a new monthly drop-in information and support session in Aberdeen.

The leading north-east cancer charity will provide the service on the first Saturday of each month, offering free support,
information and services to anyone affected by cancer.

Taking place on Saturday May 6 between 9.30am and 1pm at CLAN House on Westburn Road, no appointment is required, with anyone interested invited to ‘drop-in’ to the centre.

A full range of CLAN services will be available throughout the morning including complementary therapies, children, teens and family support and access to CLAN’s information library. Members of staff, along with trained support volunteers, will also be on hand to assist anyone visiting CLAN for the first time.

Visitors can also talk to representatives from CLAN’s Children and Families teams, who can provide specialist advice and support to individuals and families. The drop-in session replaces the charity’s monthly coffee morning, allowing for a greater focus on information support.

Iona Mitchell, CLAN’s head of cancer support services, said:

“CLAN is committed to making its services as accessible as possible and we’re encouraging those interested in hearing how CLAN may be able to help them and their loved ones to head along to our drop-in session on Saturday.

“This will be a change from our previous weekend opening, which included a coffee morning. By opening our doors on a Saturday morning, with the focus on service provision, we aim to ensure that people who may not be able to visit a CLAN centre during the week can also access our vital support services. The sessions are open to anyone affected by cancer and are relaxed and informal.”

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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Apr 282017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

Generous individuals from throughout the north-east have come together to raise more than £10,000 at a leading cancer support charity’s annual fundraising lunch.

CLAN Cancer Support welcomed 280 guests to Ardoe House Hotel and Spa last week for one of the charity’s biggest fundraising events of the year.

Star of Channel 4’s First Dates CiCi Coleman hosted the popular event, which included a prosecco reception, 2 course lunch, guest speaker, auction, raffle and a Michael Bublé tribute act.

Guests heard from Claire Fleming who spoke about her Christopher’s CLAN challenge fundraising effort in memory of her brother who died of cancer when Claire was a teenager.

Claire is bringing in funds for CLAN to help other families going through a similar experience, as she realised how much she would have valued the support of the organisation herself.

In advance of the lunch, table hosts were provided with a donation bag that they could fill with any unwanted clothes and items that could be handed over to CLAN on the day.

The donations gathered will be used to stock the charity’s busy shops on Rosemount Place and Chapel Street – with a fantastic 56 bags donated on the day.

The lunch was sponsored by BP for the eighth year, enabling every penny of the money raised to go directly to CLAN’s provision of free cancer support services across the north and north-east of Scotland.

Dr Colette Backwell, chief executive of CLAN, said:

“Year on year, our CLAN lunch continues to be generously supported by the people of the north-east and it was wonderful to see so many people there on the day.

“I took the opportunity to highlight how the funds raised from last year’s lunch have been spent on extending the geographical reach of CLAN’s service provision, development of our Children and Families Service which now supports over 350 children and their families, and CLAN Haven which, in 2016 provided accommodation on over 9250 occasions to cancer patients and their families from remote locations in the north-east attending Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for cancer treatment.

“CiCi was a fantastic host and we also appreciate Claire Fleming joining us and sharing her story with guests. We are delighted to have raised £10,000 and I would like to thank everyone who continues to back us. This support is hugely appreciated by our clients and everyone at the charity. I’d also like to extend my gratitude to BP for their continued commitment in supporting us through the event.”

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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Apr 072017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

Mark Milne, who will be taking part in Etape Loch Ness, to raise money for a trust set up for his son, Alfie. The youngster has a rare and incurable disease and the fund provides support to other patients with the condition.

The father of a young boy with a rare and incurable disease is saddling up and getting on his bike to
help parents around the world
whose children have also been struck down by the same debilitating condition.
Mark Milne, whose son, Alfie, is one of an estimated 250 people worldwide to have been diagnosed with lymphangiomatosis, will take on Etape Loch Ness to raise money for research into the disease and to fund patient support services.

The Alfie Milne Trust was launched by Mark and his wife, Tracy, after their son was diagnosed with lymphangiomatosis at less than a year old.

The condition leads to the formation of benign tumours of the lymphatic system which can grow anywhere in the body, and due to their massive expansion can cause severe and life-threatening complications.

Mark (48) will join thousands of other cyclists in completing a 66-mile route around the iconic loch on April 23 – and in doing so he hopes to spread the word about the condition and give patients better access to support services.

The couple from Aberdeen found it hard to get any information about the disease because it is so rare: it is thought that Alfie is one of only 250 estimated cases in the world and one of only 15 in the UK.

They want their fund-raising, which currently stands at over £200,000, will help other patients living with lymphangiomatosis by raising awareness of support services and by providing grants to medical bodies.

Mark says,

“Before we launched the Trust, I would be the one who would be standing at the finish line at sporting events, smoking a cigarette and watching everyone else do the hard work. But we’ve done lots of events to raise money since 2012 and although I am still no fitness freak, I’ve completed a couple of bike rides,10Ks and half marathons.

“I’m actually going to be doing a 10K the day before Etape Loch Ness, so I’m not sure how I will be feeling for the event. I’ve always fancied doing this one because it is so beautiful up there, and I think the fact that it is on closed roads will make it really special.”

Alfie, who is now aged nine, was a happy and healthy boy for the first eight months of his life. However, his parents noticed that one of his legs was swollen and after x-rays were carried out, doctors also identified a curve in his spine.

After an MRI scan, the family travelled to Great Ormand Street Hospital in London where the diagnosis of lymphangiomatosis was made. The disease was in Alfie’s right leg, pelvic area and in the marrow of some bones, and it was also preventing his blood from clotting.

His health rapidly deteriorated: while he was still in London he suffered internal bleeding, frequently high temperatures and had to undergo countless blood transfusions – he was so poorly that his parents and doctors feared the worst. However, he battled through and some weeks later was well enough to return to Aberdeen to undergo chemotherapy.

From there on, the family has had to watch as Alfie – who was five by the time he took his first steps – has endured numerous stays in hospital, blood transfusions, drug therapies and various treatment plans.

His leg has deteriorated and Alfie has not been able to walk unaided since 2012. However, the family hope there will be a drastic improvement in his mobility after undergoing specialist surgery at the start of the year.

Mark explains,

“Last year we learned about a procedure that could be performed on Alfie’s leg to try and straighten it, with the hope of allowing him to walk unaided.

“Surgery is always very difficult with Alfie’s condition because of the high risks of infection and lymphatic leakage, but after undergoing lots of physiotherapy to prepare him for the surgery, we went ahead with it.

“The surgery was carried out at Great Ormand Street and it went really, really well. It was a success but it’s down to Alfie now to work on the physiotherapy and battle through it to get up on his own feet. As with any condition like this, we have good days and we have bad days.

“When Alfie was diagnosed we really struggled to find out information about his condition because it is so rare. We hope that other families, regardless of where they are in the world, will be able to benefit from the work of the Alfie Milne Trust, so that getting the support they need becomes easier.”

Further details about Alfie’s Trust are available at www.alfiemilne.org.uk and donations to Mark’s fund-raising efforts can be made on uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MarkMilne  

Thousands of cyclists, many of them raising money for good causes including official charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support, are gearing up to take part in Etape Loch Ness on April 23.

Starting and finishing in Inverness, the 66-mile route follows the north side of the loch and then loops round at Fort Augustus to return via the south side. Once past Fort Augustus, cyclists face the toughest challenge of the course – a 4.8 mile climb rising to 380m in height at the Glendoe Summit.

Etape Loch Ness has grown to become one of the nation’s best loved cycling events and places this year sold out in a record 50 hours. Further information about the event is available at www.etapelochness.com and regular updates also appear on social media at facebook.com/etapelochness and @EtapeLochNess on Twitter.

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Apr 012017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

A north-east cancer support charity is appealing to runners to consider tackling some of the region’s most popular runs on its behalf.

CLAN Cancer Support has spaces available for this year’s Baker Hughes 10K, which will take place on Sunday May 14. The charity is also signing up participants for Run Balmoral on Saturday April 22 and Sunday April 23 and the inaugural Great Aberdeen Run on Sunday August 27.

Last year, runners came to the fore to raise money for CLAN and the charity is looking forward to being well represented at events throughout 2017.

Alastair Brookes, CLAN’s Head of Fundraising, said:

“These races are among the most popular in the north-east running calendar and we are thrilled to have places on offer for them.

“This year we will also see the first Great Aberdeen Run which is sure to be a fantastic spectacle which we are all very much looking forward to. We have spaces available for both the 10K and the half marathon for those who would like to be part of the inaugural event.

“We would appreciate the support of any member of the public who is considering taking part in either, or even all, of the events.

“The backing the charity has had from runners in the north-east has been incredible in previous years and we’re really looking to keep this momentum up this year. I’d encourage anyone interested in taking part in any of the races on behalf of CLAN to get in touch and find out more.”

For more information or to take up a place please contact CLAN’s fundraising team on 01224 647000 or email fundraising@clanhouse.org.

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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Mar 172017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

A TV celebrity will bring star power to a leading north-east charity’s annual lunch event in April.

Channel 4’s First Dates CiCi Coleman is hosting CLAN Cancer Support’s annual fundraising lunch which is taking place at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa on Wednesday, April 19.

The popular event, which is being supported again by BP, includes a champagne reception, 2 course lunch, guest speaker, auction, raffle and a Michael Bublé tribute act. A host of shopping stalls will also be in situ, ideal for picking up gifts, accessories and items of clothing.

Actress CiCi is a well-known face on TV as she currently performs the role of the waitress in the hit show First Dates.

Alastair Brookes, CLAN’s head of fundraising, said:

“We are delighted that CiCi Coleman will be joining us to host what is a hugely important fundraising event for us.

“We are sure she will be a big draw to the north-east public and are looking forward to welcoming her. We expect tickets to sell out fast so would encourage people to get in touch sooner rather later to ensure you don’t miss out.”

Tickets for the CLAN Lunch, which runs from 11am to 3pm, are now on-sale and are available individually for £35 or as tables of 10 for £350.

Alastair added:

“The north-east’s support of CLAN is always incredible and we are sure it will come to the fore for our lunch. BP’s tremendous support of the event means that all funds raised will go towards our provision of free support services to anyone affected by cancer throughout the north-east of Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. Events like this would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsor and the public, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone along to it.”

Anyone interested in attending the event is asked to contact CLAN’s Steph Dowling on 01224 647000 or email steph.dowling@clanhouse.org

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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Mar 022017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

A recent auction at Thainstone Mart, Inverurie, raised a few eyebrows as an unusual Texel Gimmer went through the ring in aid of a leading cancer charity.
Having seen a number of friends being affected by cancer during the past year Wendy Willox, from Clatt, decided to come up with a way of raising money for CLAN Cancer Support. 

After some thought she decided to donate the proceeds from the sale of one of her Texel Gimmers in lamb at Thainstone’s Christmas sale.

But Wendy didn’t stop there. To ensure her entry really caught the eye, Wendy decided to dye the sheep bright pink!

Thanks to the support of ANM Group, which waived its commission, and Wendy who rounded up the total herself, Wendy presented a cheque for £750 to Gemma Powell, CLAN’s Aberdeenshire Area Coordinator, at CLAN’s Inverurie base.

The Pink Lady was bought by Elaine and Alan Simpson, from Mains of Leslie, Insch, and went on to have 2 lambs, and still remains a pinkish colour to date!

Gemma said:

“On behalf of CLAN I would like to thank Wendy for her wonderful donation, and also for raising awareness of CLAN at one of Thainstone’s largest annual events. We would also like to thank ANM Group for kindly waiving its fee for Wendy’s sale, and to auctioneer Colin Slessor who helped to get an excellent price on the day.”

“The ingenious ways which people find to fundraise for CLAN never ceases to amaze us. We really appreciate all the support we receive from both the ANM Group and from the farming community throughout the north-east.”

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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Feb 202017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix.

A north-east family has won a new Mini in a popular annual fundraiser which supports a leading cancer charity.
Susan Green, from Peterhead, bought several tickets in a raffle organised by CLAN Cancer Support and Rotary Clubs across the north-east of Scotland. Half were put in her name and half for her husband, Karl Green.

After buying the tickets Mrs Green didn’t think much more about the raffle until she received a surprise visit from Angie Christie, CLAN’s North Aberdeenshire area co-ordinator on Christmas Eve to let her know that her husband had won the car.

Mrs Green, who works part-time as an accountant with Ocean Installer in Aberdeen, raised more than £900 for CLAN earlier in the year by organising a craft fayre after the charity supported her father, John Reid, during his cancer treatment.

As Mr Green was working overseas when the car was available for collection, Mrs Green received the keys from Mr Alastair Brookes, CLAN’s fundraising manager.

Mrs Green, 35, said:

“It was a lovely surprise when Angie came round on Christmas Eve to let us know we had the winning ticket. My husband Karl and I are delighted and our children James, Rachael and William all love it.

“We’ve been very lucky to win the car and it’s been great using it to get around town. It’s also very useful for dropping the kids off at school and visiting our friends and family. We’re very proud of it.”

More than £54,000 was raised for the raffle through ticket sales. The raffle is an integral part of CLAN’s fundraising campaign and is run by Rotary Clubs in and around the North East with members of 22 Rotary Clubs being involved.

With the Mini being part sponsored by Dominoes, the net funds raised are then shared between CLAN Cancer Support, which receives the majority of the funds, and the Rotary Clubs who in turn use their share to help a variety of smaller charities in the area.

Alastair Brookes, Head of Fundraising at CLAN Cancer Support, said:

“To be able to give someone the news that they have won a brand-new car on Christmas Eve is very special, and even more so when it is someone who has first-hand experience of the services and support CLAN provides.

“We hope Karl, Susan and her family enjoy their new car and we’d like to wish them happy travels in the years ahead.

“The raffle is a hugely important part of our fundraising and I would like to thank each of the Rotary clubs which help us so much with it each year. Their dedication and kindness really does make all the difference. We would also like to thank everyone who supported us by buying a raffle ticket.”

Alan Pirie, of the Aberdeen and North East Rotary Clubs, said:

“We were delighted to partner with CLAN Cancer Support again and would like to extend our congratulations to Karl on winning the Mini raffle.

“Our members sold raffle tickets at various events across the north-east throughout the year and it is lovely to see the Mini go to a family who will be able to make good use of the car.”

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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Feb 102017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

CLAN Cancer Support has announced the appointment of a new Head of Fundraising. Alastair Brookes has been chosen for the key role and brings with him more than 20 years’ of experience in the third sector.

Alastair has strong links throughout the business community and north-east Scotland, and has previously held roles in a variety of organisations including Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDFR) and Tay/Northsound Radio.

While at JDRF, he was responsible for the strategic development of the organisation’s fundraising strategy throughout Scotland, driving forward awareness of the charity and financial support.

He also led the development and delivery of a number of high profile fundraising events.

In his new position Alastair will spearhead income generation for CLAN, developing fundraising activities throughout the CLAN in the community network, and be a key member of the senior management team.

Dr Colette Backwell, chief executive of CLAN, said:

“Alastair’s wealth of experience and expertise in the charitable sector are a fantastic fit for CLAN and I am delighted to welcome him to the role.

“This is an exciting time for us as we continue to work towards our aim of bringing CLAN’s services closer to the heart of communities in Aberdeen and the north-east, providing support to anyone affected by cancer whenever it is needed.

“In the current economic climate, how organisations approach fundraising activity is crucial. The dedication of our team ensures we can continue to develop our services and help anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis. Alastair will lead the way on the progression of our fundraising activity and I look forward to working closely with him and building on CLAN’s success.”

Alastair Brookes added:

“I’m delighted to be joining CLAN at an important time for the organisation. CLAN is held in the highest regard throughout the north-east and Northern Isles and I am looking forward to helping the charity to further develop its successful fundraising activity.

“CLAN’s support of those affected by cancer and their families is essential, and the charity has ambition to reach and help even more people in years ahead. In order to achieve that we must continually develop our fundraising streams, engaging with supporters past and present and developing our range of events and initiatives.

“I look forward to bringing my 20 years’ of experience to the role and help raise vital funds and awareness for CLAN, as well as being part of an inspirational team that go above and beyond to help anyone affected by cancer.”

Based in Aberdeen, CLAN covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. The charity has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Buckie, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org.

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Feb 072017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

A charity ball will be held this spring in memory of a devoted mum and teacher. Caroline Thomson (pictured), of Portlethen, died last year, after courageously battling cancer for 18 months. She was just 38.

So far her loved ones have already raised nearly £25,000 for CLAN Cancer Support and Brain Tumour Action, and are now determined to add more to the tally with a party that coincides with her 40th birthday weekend.

The Ruby Ball will be held at Pittodrie in Aberdeen on March 3.

Guests will be treated to a drinks reception on arrival, a three-course meal and a disco. There will also be an auction – with prizes ranging from tickets to see comedian John Bishop at the O2 in London to a Manchester United shirt signed by star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Local businesses have also kindly donated prizes for the raffle, with treats from the Nicole Porter Gallery and Blueberry Moon in Aberdeen; the Beauty Boutique in Portlethen; and Trump International Golf Links Scotland at Balmedie among those up for grabs.

Caroline’s sister Shona Gossip, from Ellon, who is organising the ball, is urging people to snap up a ticket.

The 30-year-old said:

“Although this is a chance for my family to toast Caroline’s birthday, this is a party for everyone – not just those who knew her. It’s all about raising as much as we can for CLAN and Brain Tumour Action.

“Caroline was devoted to her family – husband David, and sons Callum and Robbie – and her role as head teacher at Cornhill Primary in Aberdeen, but loved to be with her friends too and having fun.

“We’ve all got some great memories of her hen night – when she and her friends dressed as the Village People – and her 30th birthday, which was 80s-themed. I hope we can make some more memories while remembering her in March, while raising money for two great causes.

“The idea for the Ruby Ball just came to me one day on the drive to work as I passed the turn-off for her school and the hospital. Caroline had a love for all things red, and had pretty distinctive red streaks through her hair for years. Combined with it being her 40th this year, it all just fell into place.

“Caroline was really philosophical throughout her illness, and just used to say ‘it is what it is’ but she used to worry about being forgotten. Through the Ruby Ball, and the amazing fundraising efforts of others, we won’t let that happen.”

Mrs Thomson was first diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2014, and underwent gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy.

Sadly the cancer returned in summer 2015, with a scan showing a mass on her brain. Despite surgery and more radiotherapy, doctors broke the news the tumour was inoperable.

Mrs Thomson threw everything into making it to Christmas, and spending as much time as she could with her boys. She was also determined to ensure they were looked after even after her death, and was adamant that CLAN should be involved in offering support.

Dr Colette Backwell, chief executive of CLAN, said:

“Caroline’s family are truly an inspiration and we would like to give our heartfelt thanks for all the money and awareness they have raised so far. To turn such difficult circumstances into such a positive and raising money to help us support other families throughout the north-east, is absolutely incredible.

“The Ruby Ball is sure to be a great success and will be a lovely opportunity for Caroline’s family and friends to celebrate her life with other guests.”

Tickets for the ball are on sale now, priced £49. To find out more, or to buy – or to donate a raffle prize – visit www.facebook.com/rubyballaberdeen, e-mail rubyballaberdeen@gmail.com or call 07515 349890.

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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