If you've been reading my blog for a while you will already know that my beautiful sister, Charlotte, is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. She has her final chemotherapy treatment this coming Tuesday 27th May 2014. Yaaaaaay!
In 2012, my gorgeous mum was diagnosed with cancer and was successfully treated for it. She has been cancer-free for two years. That feels good to write out.
Two of my grandparents died from cancer.
Cancer is an illness very close to my heart. It's an illness that can leave you feeling very powerless when you are watching members of your family experience it. The fear and the physical hardships they are going through can be very, very painful to witness. I have felt at a loss to know how to help my sister and mum as they have been walking their journey through living with cancer.
Supporting my sister, holding her hand, as her husband shaved her head will be an experience that will never leave me. The memories of hearing both my mum and my sister say to me, "it's cancer" within a year of each other will stay with me. Watching them both bravely face their fears, and the gruelling physical treatments, will stay with me. Watching my dad worry about his wife, and then the following year, see his eldest daughter go through chemotherapy, will stay with me. As a little girl, and young woman watching my grandparents fight and ultimately lose their battles with cancer is something that will stay with me.
Cancer sweeps into your life and brings with it huge change, uncertainty, fear and gruelling physical treatments. It is devastating for the person going through the treatments. It is frightening and painful in ways I don't know how to explain. It is devastating for the families of those diagnosed with cancer, as they watch their loved ones suffer and feel powerless to know how to help.
Because of this I have decided to raise money for Cancer Research UK. A wonderful organisation that fundraises to finance research and studies into the causes and treatments of all kinds of cancers. Cancer Research UK receives no government funding and relies on donations from people like you and me to support their wonderful work.
Due to my own physical limitations I am unable to do the traditional things normally associated with fundraising. Running marathons, climbing mountains and sky-diving are not things that I am able to do (I'm slightly relieved!) but I have decided to raise money by doing something I can do. I have painted a picture in honour of my family members who have been diagnosed with cancer. I am raffling three prints of this painting, all proceeds going to Cancer Research UK.
Here is the painting I have created...
She is called "Ella" which is a derivative of "Eleanor" and means "beautiful fairy". She is made from antique book pages, vintage Japanese washi paper, acrylic paints, Prismacolor pencils, and art pens.
She has been painted with huge love, and has the words "Love", "Joy" and "Hope" hidden within the layers of paint and paper. In honour of my sister , mum and grandparents and all other people living with cancer.
I have opened a JustGiving page here www.justgiving.com/Emma-Saunders6, and am asking people to make donations to Cancer Research UK through my JustGiving page in increments of £5 (£5, £10, £15, £20 etc), giving whatever you wish to give in increments of £5. Each increment of £5 = one entry to the raffle. So if you donate £5 your name is entered into the raffle once. If you donate £10, your name is entered into the raffle twice, if you donate £15, your name is entered into the raffle three times, etc, in increments of £5. If you enter your full name when making your donation, so that it is visible to me next to your donation amount, I can enter your name into the raffle the relevant number of times.
If you donate anonymously, I will take that as meaning you want to make a donation, but do not want to be entered into the raffle.
If you are NOT UK based and wish to enter, make a donation at the current exchange rate, of £5 British sterling or in increments of £5. For example, at today's rate £5 GB Sterling = US $8.42
Please follow this link to my JustGiving page to make donations. Thank you so much for each and every donation you make to support Cancer Research UK. A wonderful organisation that doesn't receive any government funding at all, but tirelessly works to fund studies into the causes and possible treatment of all types of cancer.
There will be three fine art glicee prints of Ella available to win, printed on fine art paper using archival quality inks, tested and printed to Fine Art Trade Guild standards. The first prize will be signed by me, mounted and framed, and will be A4 sized. The second and third prize will be mounted and signed by me ready for you to frame yourself, and will be A5 sized.
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I don't sell my paintings. They are something I do, as and when the illnesses and energy allow, to lift me. No other paintings or prints of my paintings are currently available. Only these three prints of Ella will be made. No further prints of Ella will be available.
I have been scared of doing this in case no-one likes my paintings or is interested in owning a print, and I'm therefore not able to raise much money. But, on reflection, my sister and mum know the meaning of fear. With that in mind, I can put prints of my painting out into the world...! ♥
The draw for the raffle will take place on 21st September 2014, when all the names of the people who have donated will be entered into a hat the relevant number of times based on their donation amount, and three names will be pulled from the hat by my sister, Charlotte, my mum, and me. The winners will be announced here on my blog in the days following 21st September 2014. The 21st September is my sister's and brother-in-law's wedding anniversary, and seems a happy day to draw the prizewinners on.
I hope that this is all easy to understand. It seems the easiest way to do the raffle with the money going straight to Cancer Research UK. I will not be handling any of the money. All proceeds go straight to Cancer Research UK once you have made your donation via my JustGiving page. Thank you so much for all your donations. I spoke to my sister, Charlotte today, and to my mum, and they both wanted to let you know, they very much appreciate your donations and your support.
Much love to you through the internet ether,