|Alua Nascimento with the Lives & Times book|
Monday, 24 July 2017
One of the most amazing experiences whilst doing the Lives & Times book was going to meet the cast of the London stage show STOMP. The amazing production combines dance, comedy and music. Dustbins, brooms and kitchen sinks are all used to create a unique rhythmic experience. I contacted the show after I had been to see it, and I was delighted when some of the cast agreed to meet me. I met Alua Nascimento, Paul Bend and Hugo Cortes at The Ambassador Theatre one afternoon to photograph them for the book. The guys couldn't have been more helpful, and were happy to do some shots on stage with me before we had a long chat about their careers and the production. It was absolutely fascinating and made for quite a unique chapter in the book. I am not going to reveal too much here, but the chapter is worth a read...
My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and she had a successful operation to remove the tumour from her bowel. However the cancer had also spread to her lungs and she had four operations to remove cancerous nodules. Finally the cancer spread to her brain, and this was one final battle that she couldn't win. She passed away peacefully on August 29th, 2016 after fighting the bowel cancer with great courage and dignity for over four years.
The Lives & Times book has now raised just over £3250. To see all the ways you can order the book click here. ALL proceeds raised are donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK. If detected early it is treatable in over 90% of cases. Raising awareness is key to reducing the 16,000 lives that are lost each year to this awful disease.
Wednesday, 5 July 2017
After 18 months of travelling here, there and everywhere to meet and photograph people for the Lives & Times fundraising book supporting the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, one of the final photos I took for the book back in October 2015 was when I met Shaun Keaveny, who has presented the breakfast show on BBC 6 Music for the last decade. As Shaun will testify the photography would have been completed a week earlier, had it not been for a bit of a mix up at his end with me coming off second best to Bloc Party! The full story features in the book.
We met at the 6 Music headquarters in Great Portland Street, and Shaun was very generous with his time for me, especially having been up since some god unearthly hour to do his early morning show. Following on from our meeting, Shaun was happy to send me a photo of himself with the recently published book, and he also kindly did me a video snippet to help promote the book. He took a great interest in the book, bowel cancer and my mother who, at the time, was still battling with secondary cancer from the primary bowel cancer. Sadly, in August 2016, she passed away after a 4 year brave and courageous battle with bowel cancer.
Lives & Times was published in November 2015, and has so far raised over £3250. All proceeds I receive are donated to the charity, so please support the book if you can. As well as raising funds for the charity, the book is also helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. It is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, claiming 16,000 lives each year. However if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.
Tuesday, 4 July 2017
Back in March 2015, I travelled to Oxford to see Stiff Little Fingers play live at the O2 Academy. Having made contact with the band a few weeks earlier, they invited me to go and photograph them at their sound-check before the gig. This particular photo shows Jake sporting the bowel cancer tie, which I try and get everyone on the book to do a photo with to help raise awareness about bowel cancer. It was fascinating going back stage to meet the band in their dressing room, and the gig itself was absolutely brilliant with the band playing many of their classic songs alongside new tracks from their most recent studio album, No Going Back. This was a great chapter to write, as not only was it a brilliant evening, but having first seen the band play live in 1987, and buying the At The Edge 7" single in 1980, there is a long history of me following the band.
At the time of the meeting my Mum was still fighting the bowel cancer. Although she had successfully had the tumour removed from her bowel in 2012, she also had secondary cancer on her left lung, and underwent four operations over a four year period to remove nodules. On the day that Lives & Times was published in November 2015, Mum had a seizure, and the cancer had spread to her brain. She underwent CyberKnife treatment in early 2016, but more seizures followed and her condition slowly deteriorated, and she sadly passed away in August, 2016. All proceeds raised from sales of the book are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer, and it has raised over £3000 to date.
Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK taking 16,000 lives each year. If detected early it is one of the most treatable in over 90% of cases. Much more work needs to be done to raise awareness about this awful illness, to help reduce the number of deaths.
The book contains chapters on people from all walks of life, including the world of music, sport, television, and people affected by cancer.
Monday, 3 July 2017
I have decided to continue hosting my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website for another 12 months. Whilst the Lives & Times book is now almost two years old, and the follow book is a year or so away, I think it makes sense to continue with the website and selling products, even if sales are pretty quiet at the moment. I think the cost of hosting the site is worthwhile, and I continue to pay that myself, so that all proceeds donated continue to go to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.
We lost another brave cancer warrior, Ben Ashworth, this week. I never got to meet Ben, but I followed his amazing fundraising efforts, and his brave and courageous battle with this awful illness. He inspired so many people, and my thoughts go out to his family at this sad time.
So far just over £3250 has been raised for the charity by Lives & Times, and the other items on the website. I'd love to push the figure as high as possible, so please take a look at the website, and I'd be grateful for any support.
It is now just over 10 months since my Mum lost her battle with bowel cancer. She was diagnosed in 2012, and fought it for over four years before passing away in August, 2016. Bowel cancer takes 16,000 lives each year, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Raising awareness about bowel cancer is key to helping to reducing this figure, and the heartache endured by so many families.