By putting himself in his granddad's shoes, Jay Grainger gained a greater understanding of the effects of oesophageal cancer.
|Name||Mr Jay Grainger|
|Cause fundraised for||The Anne Forrest Fund for Oesophageal Cancer|
|Method of fundraising||The Liquid Diet Challenge|
Why did you decide to fundraise for your chosen cause?
My granddad has been suffering with Oesophageal cancer. I have watched my granddad go from being a 13 stone and very outgoing positive fun loving man to a 7 stone weak and giving up OLD man and I have felt frustrated at not being able to understand why he is not fighting, why it is so difficult to just stop eating solids and do what the doctor tells him to do.
Every time my granddad attempts to eat anything other than in a liquid form he gets a blockage which has to be moved via an endoscopy which my granddad has now had 33 times. Each endoscopy leaves the oesophageal lining thinner which can be equally as life threatening as the cancer itself.
I chose The Anne Forrest fund because they are a smaller charity that are not dominated by advertising like the larger charities. They set up the charity after having their own personal experience with Oesophageal Cancer.
I wanted the money raised to go to Oesophageal Cancer research specifically, not just cancer in general as other cancer related illness as awful as they are receive a lot more donations and raised awareness than what Oesophageal Cancer does. Many people I speak to have never actually heard of it.
How did you raise money?
I invited friends, family members, celebrities, supermarket cashiers, anyone I could get in contact or conversation with to join me in having only a liquid diet for 7 days.
I also asked that people kept a liquid diet diary and posted to the online group I set up daily – recipes, pictures of liquid meals and a place for people taking the challenge to encourage each other, share their ideas and spread the awareness by adding their own contacts to the group.
I wanted my granddad and others suffering with oesophageal cancer to not just see that we have raised money but to feel like others understand a little more about how they are suffering and to gain inspiration from the meals we came up with. To not have that same tomato soup each day and get creative, enjoy cooking again rather than giving up.
I wanted my granddad and others suffering with oesophageal cancer to not just see that we have raised money but to feel like others understand a little more about how they are suffering[...]
Don’t just raise money, do something that challenges you, something that helps those suffering know you understand a little bit more about the pain they are experiencing. You can help people so much more if you put yourself in their shoes rather than just assuming you know how they are feeling.
The liquid diet was a lot harder than people thought it would be and now I understand why my granddad has changed so much due to his illness. I also understand how I can help more.
Ultimately the charity fund does also need donations so on that side of things even though in the last year by completing the liquid diet challenge twice we have managed to raise over £1200, if we had a challenge that was easy we may have raised a higher amount as more people might have been willing to take part.