Vic used humour and the support of her community to ‘move a mountain’ for breast cancer research – all without changing out of her pyjamas! Read how she raised an incredible £330 in just half an hour, and why she was inspired to do so.
Last October I lost my wonderful friend Jo to secondary breast cancer, and the loss hit me hard. Christmas was particularly tough and last week when her daughter turned 13, it really hit me. It was on this day that I had an idea. The recent press focusing on parents doing the school run in their PJs and the many complaints around this made me laugh, Jo’s journey had taught me that there are more important things in life to worry about!
My lightbulb moment
I decided that it would be great to put a positive spin on this topic and get parents together to do one morning school run in our PJs/onesies and collect money for Breast Cancer Now, a charity which is supported by Jo’s family. Within two days, using the power of social media, I had a sufficient number of parents from Claygate Primary School who loved the idea and were on board! The head teacher thought it was fun and gave his approval and we rallied the troops. Picking a day was a challenge but I decided to just go for it, to do it now! The PJ school run would soon be old news.
Putting the PJs in motion
It was so easy to set up the Facebook page for the event, where I was able to put photos and details to promote it, then it was up to others to share it with their friends and make it go viral! On the morning of 2nd February, after we'd done our hair and make-up, we gathered at the various entrances of the school with our collection buckets (and PJs of course!) It was drizzling sadly, but maybe this was fitting weather for the event - frizzy hair and soggy PJs! Whatever the weather, it was amazing to see so many people willing to get involved.
Incredibly, we managed to raise £330 in just half an hour of collecting! It was such a buzz. Whilst we were there, we were interviewed by two radio stations too and got great coverage in the local press, even a video of us walking in!
Fundraising can be a scary word…
Everyone was laughing and it was so easy to get involved that some parents turned up in their pjs, dropped the children off and then were home in good time to then get on with their day. I was home by 9.20am! Some fundraising events can be hard work, like training for a challenge (I do the Moonwalk every year); or organising a coffee morning – in contrast, this seemed so easy! So many of us are affected by breast cancer and other cancers, many of whom are young, with children, and this is devastating – so we all want to do something to help. Life is precious.
A friend said that I moved a mountain as I did it so quickly, but it was only because of the support and love of the PJ army that this was possible. There is one mountain that sadly could not be moved, and that was saving Jo’s precious life. But, by raising money for life-saving research with charities like Breast Cancer Now, hopefully we can save more lives in the future.