Sunday, 31 July 2016

Lives & Times Meets Rachael Chadwick Author of 60 Postcards

Rachael Chadwick

Whilst I was promoting the first fundraising book Beating Bowel Cancer, I came across a wonderful blog, 60 Postcards, written by the quite remarkable Rachael Chadwick. The blog tells how Rachael went to Paris to scatter postcards around the city in memory of her late mother who sadly passed away quite suddenly from bowel cancer. It was a story that needed taking forward, and the 60 Postcards book soon followed which en-captures the complete story from Rachael's mum's final months to Rachael's journey to Paris and beyond. There is no point me trying to retell the story in a paragraph, so I will just recommend you read the book. It is a fantastic read...

I was delighted when Rachael agreed to be part of the Lives & Times book. I have made no secret of the high profile public figures that I have managed to get on board the book, but chapters like Rachael's are in many ways the heart and soul of it. Without giving too much away we had to meet up twice to do the photo, but you will have to read the book to find out exactly why...


My mother was diagnosed with Stage 3 bowel cancer in 2012 and successfully had surgery to remove a section of her bowel. Unfortunately the cancer had also spread to her left lung and over the last four years she had undergone four more operations to remove nodules from that lung. The most recent operation was in March when she had the lower lob of her left lung removed in an attempt to stop the cancer coming back. Unfortunately last November Mum had a seizure and after tests we discovered that the cancer had also spread to her brain. In January she had "CyberKnife" treatment over three consecutive days for the brain cancer, which zapped one of the tumours, but unfortunately the other tumour has not responded and has increased in size. Her most recent seizure put Mum in hospital unable to move her right hand, right leg and badly affected her speech. It was while she was there that we got the devastating news that her cancer is now terminal. Last week she moved into a lovely nursing home where she can get the 24/7 care she needs. If ever she has needed positive vibes now is very much that time.

If anything the whole point of doing the book has been even more reinforced by this recent turn of events. Please support this fundraising book as every sale counts both in raising money and raising awareness about bowel cancer.



Saturday, 30 July 2016

The Last Photo of Mum Riding Her Horse


It is almost impossible to believe that this photo of Mum riding her horse Shimara with granddaughter Anna was taken just a week before the recent seizure she had from the bowel cancer that has now spread to her brain. It's a fantastic memento that Mum now has at her bedside in the nursing home. Sadly Mum has had to accept that at age 79 her riding days are over, but happy that Shimara is going to enjoy a long and happy retirement. What a wonderful final photo to cherish of a riding career spanning 70 years or so...

Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and after a long 4 year battle sadly the cancer is now terminal. The Lives & Times fundraising book, which features photos and anecdotes about celebrities and people I met, has raised over £2300 so far for Beating Bowel Cancer. Please support the book and help raise funds for the charity and also raise awareness about this awful disease.



Thursday, 28 July 2016

NHS Continuing Healthcare Package for Mum


Last week Mum left Wexham Park Hospital after 6 weeks. She'd had a seizure caused by the brain cancer, which is a secondary cancer from the original bowel cancer. It left her virtually paralysed down her right side and it also badly affected her speech. The hopes were that Mum would have chemotherapy or even at an outside chance an operation to tackle this setback. However sadly we got the heartbreaking news that there was no medical treatment options left and that the cancer is terminal. The result of this was a palliative care package to me put in place. Mum's preferred option was to go to a nursing home where she could receive the 24/7 care that she now needs rather than move back to her house. The staff at Wexham Park were brilliant in the way that they cared for mum, dealt with the terminal cancer and sorted out the palliative care. On Mum's behalf they applied for NHS Continuing Healthcare, which is the name given to a package of care that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for individuals who are not in hospital and have been assessed as having a "primary health need".

Mum has moved into the St. Mark's Care Home in Maidenhead, which is run by BUPA. She has settled in really well and we all, including mum, can't believe how fortunate she is to have got this high quality package of continuous care funded by the NHS. 

In the above photo you can see myself and dogs, and my niece Anna with Mum. This was the first time in almost two months that the dogs had seen Mum and it was a lovely moment. It's a case of taking things one day at a time and making the most of the time that Mum has left.

I will continue with the fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer. The recently completed silk screen prints by Reigate artist Adam Green are now on sale, alongside the Lives & Times book, and they have helped boost the fundraising total to over £2,300. So please take a look at my fundraising website and all support really is greatly appreciated.

Charity Painting for Beating Bowel Cancer & Love Hope Strength


I am delighted to be able to announce a new fundraising project. This painting of Mike Peters from The Alarm has very kindly been donated by artist Cathi Simpson. Like myself Cathi is a massive fan and this wonderful painting captures the man in action.

The acrylic painting measures 50cm x 70cm and will cost £100 plus postage (cost of postage will vary depending where in the world it goes to). I have agreed with Cathi that the funds raised are split equally between Beating Bowel Cancer and Mike's Love Hope Strength charity.



Anyone familiar with my recently published Lives & Times book, Mike Peters pictured above with his copy, will know how much I like music of The Alarm. All four original members of the band feature in the book along with numerous other celebrities, and there are a number of ways you can buy the book which you can see by clicking here. All proceeds from book sales are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and has recently received treatment for cancer on her left lung and cancer on the brain. Both cancers are secondaries from the original bowel cancer. A seizure recently put her in hospital for six weeks virtually paralysing her right side and badly affecting her speech. Sadly her cancer is now terminal.

Love Hope Strength (LHS) is the world's leading rock and roll charity. It was found by Mike Peters and James Chippendale who have both battled blood cancer. The charity uses the funds it raises to purchase medical equipment and supplies, raise awareness through special events, documentaries and media, and help build cancer centers. LHS host marrow donor drives at concerts and festivals across the world. The program encourages people to sign up for the International Bone Marrow Registry via a simple cheek swab. Mike is currently fighting cancer for a third time.

The painting is a unique one off original piece of work, and it will be sold on a first come first served basis. To see more examples of Cathi's work click here.

To purchase the painting or express an interest please email me here.


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Lives & Times Meets Billy Franks


For some chapters in the Lives & Times bowel cancer fundraising book I was able to combine business (not that I considered the book as work) with pleasure. One such chapter was photographing one of my all time musical heroes Billy Franks at The Union Chapel in London.

Billy was the lead singer in the 1980s band The Faith Brothers who I first discovered when they supported The Alarm. These days he is a brilliant singer songwriter and has just released his latest offering, A Far Cry From Sunset, which is a wonderful collection of beautifully crafted songs.

The original idea we came up with for the book photo was to photograph Billy in Fulham, doing a now and then type idea with present day Billy versus Billy from the 1980s. However when the concert at The Union Chapel was announced it was too good an opportunity to miss. For the first time in his career Billy played an acoustic show back by a gospel choir. To see his performed in such a way was truly magical and The Gospel Touch Choir were magnificent.

Billy is currently undertaking a 600 mile trek from France, across the Pyrenees into Spain, writing and recording songs for his next album along the way!

My Mum is now in a nursing home after 6 weeks in hospital following recent complications with the bowel cancer that has now spread to her brain. The most recent seizure has left her virtually paralysed down her right side, and her speech has also been badly affected. We got the devastating news three weeks ago that the cancer is now terminal.

ALL proceeds I receive from sales of the book are donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.

Bestselling Author Freya North Supporting Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


ALL proceeds raised from sales of the Lives & Times fundraising book are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The book has raised over £2100 so far.

On an a chilly spring evening in 2015 I met up with the author Freya North in London and photographed her for the book. This chapter was a fascinating chapter to write up for a couple of reasons. Freya is an Ambassador for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity having lost a close friend, Hannah Berry, to this awful illness. Also while we were making arrangements to meet up we discovered a shared love of The Charlatans, so we decided to do the photo before their gig at The Roundhouse in London. In the above photo she posed with the Beating Bowel Cancer tie which is helping to raise awareness through a group on Facebook.

I was also quite a good boy as I steered clear of asking Freya for writing or publishing tips. She had kindly given up some of her free time to meet me on a night out, and I would imagine she gets asked for advice all the time. However I have to confess that since then and over recent months Freya has very kindly given me quite a lot of tips and advice for which I am very grateful. I sent Freya an advanced copy of the book, and I was very pleased, and a little relieved, when she gave it the thumbs up. She also very kindly ordered some more copies of the book when it was published.


Last year Freya published her 14th novel The Turning Point which is already a bestseller and a great success for her. I have just finished reading it and it is a brilliant book. Here was I taking 18 months to produce my 2nd book, I have some way to catch up on so many levels! 

Freya was absolutely lovely and it was great to finally meet up with her. It turned into a great evening as after the photo I went to Belgo in Camden for a meal, which is one of my favourite restaurant chains, and then The Charlatans were simply stunning.



My mother successfully had surgery in February 2014 to remove a cancerous nodule from her left lung, which as expected was a secondary cancer related to her bowel cancer of 2012. This was her fourth cancer operation in two and a half years. She made a great recovery, but unfortunately last October another cancerous nodule was detected on her left lung following her regular CT scan. The plan was for Mum to have surgery to have the nodule removed, but unfortunately in November Mum had a seizure and after tests we discovered that the cancer had spread to her brain, so that operation was postponed. In January she had "CyberKnife" treatment over three consecutive days for the brain cancer. Attention was then turned back to the lung, and she was operated on in early March and they removed the lower lob of her left lung as more nodules had appeared. Although Mum made a good recovery from the operation, unfortunately the brain cancer returned with a vengeance and a recent seizure put mum in hospital for 6 weeks virtually paralysing her right side and badly affecting her speech. Sadly while she was in hospital we learned that her cancer is now terminal. She has recently moved into a nursing home where she can receive 24/7 care and be comfortable for the time that she has left. The courage and dignity she has shown on the back of this devastating news is amazing, she remains a true inspiration. If ever she has needed positive vibes now is very much that time.

If anything the whole point of doing the book has been even more reinforced by this recent turn of events. Please support this fundraising book as every sale counts both in raising money and raising awareness about bowel cancer.


Lives & Times All Over The World


I have spent some time recently researching different ways of the various ways to buy the Lives & Times book. After all it is available all over the world. In the UK many people have used my own www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website or bought it from Amazon. In countries such as the United States, Amazon is a good place to buy the book as it is shipped locally and saves on postage costs. However in many countries it is not possible to buy the physical edition of the book on Amazon, and for me to post the book from the UK is not really financially viable.

So one excellent option is the Book Depository online store and you can view the book on their website by clicking here. This site offers Lives & Times at the same list price as you would pay in the UK from Amazon, but with the added advantage that it offers free shipping to anywhere in the world! So now people in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa, Dubai, Singapore or you name it, can order a physical copy of the book and have it delivered for free. 

My mother has recently had treatment for the spread of the bowel cancer to her lungs and brain. She had the lower left lung lob removed in March, whilst she underwent "Cyberknife" treatment in January for the brain cancer. A recent seizure caused by the tumour on her brain put mum in hospital for 6 weeks leaving her virtually paralysed down her right side and badly affected her speech. The devastating news is that the cancer is now terminal. 

All proceeds from sales of the book are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Carrie Grant Supporting Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book

Carrie doing voice-over work for the One Show

It was back in November 2014 that I went to Soho to meet Carrie Grant when she was doing some voice-over work for the BBC One Show. This was another first for me and it was a fascinating experience watching how this work was done. Carrie was keen to support the book as she suffers from Crohn's disease, which is a potentially threatening bowel condition. People with Crohn's disease are a higher risk of getting bowel cancer, and the two conditions share many symptoms. Carrie has lived with Crohn's disease for more than 20 years and still suffers from excruciating stomach pains that can stop her eating for weeks. Read more about Carrie's life with Crohn's disease here

Carrie was very interested in the book and my mother's battle with bowel cancer. Once we had finished the photography we went outside and were able to have a quick chat. Carrie gave me some useful tips in my quest for meeting celebrities for which I was grateful. This was especially helpful in me finally getting to meet Gabby Logan for the book.


Thanks to the amazing support of everyone so far, the Lives & Times book has raised over £1300 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. My mother has had a tough few months. In January she had "CyberKnife" treatment for two cancerous lesions on her brain, and then in March she had the lower lob of her left lung removed. The left lung has been affected by cancerous nodules on four different occasions. Attention has now switched back to the brain, as unfortunately it looks like one of the tumours has increased in size. Unfortunately after her recent holiday in Cornwall, Mum's health has deteriorated and she spent 6 weeks in hospital following another seizure. Sadly the cancer is now terminal and Mum has been moved to a beautiful nursing home in Maidenhead where she can receive the 24/7 care she needs. This devastating turn of events has only made me more determined to push on with the fundraising. All proceeds are donated to the charity and the book is also helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer.

Carrie with her copy of the book

  

Turner Barnes Gallery Official Framers For The Lives & Times Screen Prints


More good news as the Turner Barnes Gallery has become the official framer for the stunning Lives & Times bowel cancer charity screen prints created by Reigate artist Adam Green at the Ochre Print Studio. Anyone who is interested in getting a print framed can contact the gallery at any time and get a quotation for a framed print. 

The gallery exhibits Adam's work so it is a great place to see some of the other amazing pieces of work that Adam has produced.

At the gallery Interior Angle picture framing services provides framing advice both for protective and aesthetic reasons. They provide a range of framing services, mirrors, acrylic box frames, oversize museum standard framing, hand finished frames, and specialist design services. A framed print will coat £235 with the £125 for the print included and donated to the charity.



Sunday, 24 July 2016

Lives & Times Meets Blowers From Test Match Special


Photographing Henry Blowers Blofeld for the book was particularly interesting as I met him in my Mum's road! Blowers has been one of the main stays on BBC Test Match Special commentating on cricket for over 40 years. Henry was appearing with the former TMS producer Peter Baxter at Norden Farm in Maidenhead, and was very happy to meet with me before the performance to be photographed for the book in spite of spending all day travelling to get to the venue. It was another wonderful experience and a great addition to the book.

My mother has been fighting bowel cancer for four and half years, and is the inspiration behind the Lives & Times book. She has fought cancer every inch of the way undergoing four lung operations as well as the original bowel operation. At the end of 2015 the cancer spread to her brain, and in June a seizure put her in hospital for six weeks virtually paralysing her right side and badly affecting her speech, Sadly while she was in hospital we learned that the cancer is now terminal. She has now been moved to a nursing home where she can receive 24/7 care. She is comfortable and in good spirits.



Lives & Times Meets Melinda Farrell From ESPN Cricinfo


I met up with Australian sports journalist and broadcaster Melinda Farrell, who works for ESPN Cricinfo, outside Bank Tube Station in London last summer, 2015, to photograph her for the Lives & Times charity book. As you can see she was a great sport posing for a photo with the bowel cancer tie, and recording a video message to help promote the book. The location gave us the magnificent backdrop of Mansion House for the main photo. My Sunday ended up going out for a curry in Reading. Melinda's ended up with dinner at The Ritz!



Melinda spent our British winter in the much warmer locations of Australia and India covering cricket, although I think she got slightly caught out with the weather when she covered the cricket close to the Himalayas! Melinda is now back in the UK for our summer of cricket, and I am looking forward to getting a copy of the book to her. The book was published at the end of November and the fundraising, including the new Lives & Times Screen Print, has so far raised over £2100 for the charity.

Whilst Melinda has been away my mother's battle with bowel cancer has continued. She had her 5th major operation in four years in March when she had the lower lob of her left lung removed. The primary cancer from the bowel has also spread to the brain in the form of two tumours. One tumour has responded well to treatment, but the other one has recently increased in size. Unfortunately another seizure put Mum in hospital for six weeks pretty much paralysing her down her right side. Two weeks ago we got the devastating news the cancer is now terminal, and Mum has now moved into the St Marks Care Home in Maidenhead where she can get the necessary care 24/7 and be as comfortable as possible. So whilst the book is a warm, heartwarming and uplifting read, the reasons for doing it, raising funds for Beating Bowel Cancer and awareness about this awful disease remain ever so important. Anyone buying the book is helping to make a difference and work towards beating bowel cancer.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Lives & Times Meets Ben Richards


One of the first people I approached and photographed for the Lives & Times book was the actor Ben Richards. Ben is in remission from bowel cancer, having been diagnosed in 2012, and was very enthusiastic to get involved.

In the above photo he posed with the Beating Bowel Cancer 2012 Olympic tie, which is now use to support and promote the Follow The Bowel Cancer Tie group on Facebook. You can take a look of what that is about here. I won't reveal too much of what happened when I met Ben here and instead hope you might buy the book and read the chapter instead, because the afternoon turned into a great story in itself with me getting unique access to rehearsals for the Rock of Ages musical that Ben was about to go on tour with. Once again the support for this project never fails to surprise me and every time that I think things couldn't get any better they did!

Thanks so much to Ben for his help and support and I followed up our meeting by going to see Rock of Ages in Oxford on the tour a few months later which was fantastic. Ben is currently playing Sergeant Ben Bradley in the Channel 4 series Hollyoaks. Finally congratulations to Ben and Kirsty on the addition last year to their family with the arrival of little Freja-Amelie.


Similar to Ben my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and successfully had surgery to remove a section of her bowel. Unfortunately the cancer had also spread to her left lung and over the last four years she had undergone four more operations to remove nodules from that lung. The most recent operation was in March when she had the lower lob of her left lung removed in an attempt to stop the cancer coming back. Unfortunately last November Mum had a seizure and after tests we discovered that the cancer had also spread to her brain. In January she had "CyberKnife" treatment over three consecutive days for the brain cancer, which zapped one of the tumours, but unfortunately the other tumour has not responded and has increased in size. Another seizure six weeks ago put Mum in hospital unable to move her right hand, right leg and badly affected her speech. Sadly the cancer is now terminal and Mum has been moved to a wonderful nursing home in Maidenhead where she can be looked after properly and made comfortable.

I have no intention of stopping my fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer so please take a look at all the fundraising products I am selling on my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website.


Friday, 22 July 2016

Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Screen Prints Promotional Video


The Lives & Times promotional video for the silk screen prints is launched today. The limited edition run of 25 prints is raising funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The idea of the video is to help the screen prints reach as wider audience as possible and hopefully raise the profile of bowel cancer.

Each print is a unique piece of art created by Adam Green inspired by the Lives & Times book. The stunning screen prints on 300gsm Somerset paper are available to purchase on the www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website costing just £125. Due to the generosity of Adam and the Ochre Print Studio, who donated all the materials used, the whole £125 is donated to the charity for each sale.

My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. It is the 2nd biggest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Sadly Mum's cancer is now terminal and she is in a nursing home where she can get the 24/7 care she needs. The screen prints, books and everything I do is aimed to also help raise awareness about this awful illness.


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Lives & Times Beating Bowel Cancer Screen Prints : The Work Involved


In the above photo Reigate artist Adam Green proudly shows off the finished Lives & Times screen print. Over the course of three months Adam worked on the design at the Ochre Print Studio in Guildford, who very generously donated all the materials Adam used. These stunning screen prints are raising money for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. 

Adam's design is inspired by the Lives & Times book I published at the end of 2015. The screen prints are on sale on my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website retailing at just £125 each. There are only 25 prints so not only would they make a wonderful addition to any home, but they are also a great investment. 

The amount of work involved is phenomenal! The print was created in layers. So when Adam has a layer he has to run each of the canvases through the screen printing process. The final print has at least 10 layers. So the maths of that is 25 x 10 = 250 separate printing actions. And this would be a conservative estimate... 

So what you are getting is not a photographed print of an original piece of work. Each screen print is the genuine real deal, an original piece of art.

Due to Adam's kind generosity the whole selling price of £125 is donated to the charity so it really is a wonderful way to raise funds for the charity.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Lives & Times Book and Print Raising Money For Beating Bowel Cancer

Lives & Times Silk Screen Print
Lives & Times Book

The latest addition to the fundraising for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity is the amazing Lives & Times screen print created by Reigate artist Adam Green. Adam met my brother Noel whilst overland travelling in Africa some years ago and they have remained firm friends ever since. We met up a few months ago to discuss the possibility of him producing a piece of art to help raise funds. The resulting piece of work is stunning! The prints are a limited edition of just 25 and on sale for only £125 so you need to get in quick before they all go. Adam has generously donated this complete edition, and with the Ochre Print Studio in Guildford donating all the materials used, 100% of the selling price will be donated to the charity. 

I asked Adam if the piece of work could draw its inspiration form the Lives & Times book. As you can see from the images above Adam has managed to do this perfectly.

The prints are available to buy from my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website along with the book.


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Finishing Off The Lives & Times Charity Prints For Beating Bowel Cancer


Adam Green based at Ochre Print Studio has been working on a original piece of work to raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. When I met Adam at Easter he was keen to do something to help and over the last few months he has been creating the Lives & Times print which is inspired by the book of the same name. The print is now finished and this picture gives you a first view of this wonderful creation. 


Coming very soon will be details of how you can order one of these strictly limited edition prints. Adam's work is very collectible so its a win win win situation for everyone! Thanks to Adam and Ochre Print Studio every penny of the purchase price for direct purchases will be donated to the charity. If we go down the gallery route we will have to forego some of the proceeds in commission fees. 


I would like to thank Adam for all his hard work, creative genius, and generous efforts to help rasie funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012.



Sunday, 3 July 2016

Katherine Grainger in the Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Book


Four-time Olympic medalist, including gold at London 2012, Katherine Grainger has been a big supporter of the book. I recently sent a copy of Lives & Times to Katherine, and she sent me me this great photo of herself in GB attire holding the book. Fortunately she was also very complimentary about it. When I first contacted Katherine about 2 years ago she was in the process of deciding whether or not to return to rowing and aim for Rio 2016. She was honest enough to say at that time she wouldn't be able to be in the book. As things transpired my own publication ended up being a year later that I originally planned due to the success of getting people to be in the book. So I contacted Katherine once again and with the time factor not being so critical she happily agreed to be in the book.


We are arranged to do the photo for the book during Henley Royal Regatta this time last year, but things didn't quite go to plan. Going into the final day on the Sunday I still hadn't been given any arrangements from Katherine, who understandably was in great demand during the regatta, so I was beginning to think it wasn't meant to be. Then right at the end of the afternoon I spotted Katherine watching the prize giving presentations, and it was one of those moments which you just have to go for, so I went and introduced myself to her. Those who know me, will know that this is the least typical behaviour you would normally expect from me. Katherine couldn't have been nicer and we had a nice chat taking the photo of her by the river, which you can see in the book. She also posed for a photo with the Beating Bowel Cancer tie.



Just before the book was published in November, Katherine sent me a video message with a message for the book. It was an idea I'd had to get some of the people in the book to record a short video to help with the promotion. Once again Katherine was a great sport.

The book has now passed the £1350 mark in funds raised for Beating Bowel Cancer. To see how you can buy the Lives & Times fundraising book click here. My mother, the reason for my fundraising efforts, has been in hospital for the last three weeks. The cancer has spread to her and a recent seizure has left her paralysed down her right side. It is likely that she will be in hospital for some time. In the last few days some movement has returned, which is a great boost as good news has been in short supply in recent months. Hopefully she will soon begin a course of chemotherapy.

The countdown to Rio 2016 is on. Katherine has not enjoyed the smoothest of builds up, but it was recently confirmed that she and Vicky Thornley will compete in the double skulls. I wish Katherine and team GB every success.