I had the idea to make items for my school's Christmas craft fair, donating all of my profits to Pancreatic Cancer UK back in May when I finished a charity run. Someone very close to me is a recent 'survivor' of this disease having been diagnosed in January this year. When you hear the words 'pancreatic cancer' (and I hope you never do), there are so many questions. But what it boils down to is ' what are the survival chances?'
Well in the last 30 years the chances have not improved very much. There is little funding for treating this disease and the charities are so important. 90% of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have an inoperable form of the disease and receive a terminal diagnosis. The 10% who have a major operation and then some chemotherapy then have a 20% chance of living beyond 5 years. The thing about pancreatic cancer is, it doesn't have many symptoms until the tumour is often too big to do anything about. It's a silent killer and affects thousands of people.
Anyhoo, that's why I did the craft fair and boy did I learn a lot about myself from it.
1. I am NOT good at mass production - I get easily bored and frustrated.
2. I am NOT good at keeping my flat tidy when in the process of mass production; my craft pile was bordering 'hill' status.
3. I AM actually capable of holding down a full-time job while producing enough goods to sell.
4. I AM capable of still surprising people. Lots of the students seemed shocked that I had made all of the stuff and that it was something they wanted to buy.
5. I AM not as bad at selling as I thought!
On the morning of the sale, I was a bundle of nerves. I set out my stall while shaking, couldn't eat a thing and practically hid under the table as people started to look around. I had a steady stream of customers, perhaps more due to the fact that parents and kids felt a little bit obliged to help out one of the teaching staff. They're pretty lovely like that. On the day I made:
And then, since I took my suitcase of wonders down to the staff room I am now at:
I still have the opportunity to sell some of my pencil cases and key rings next week, so I hope I can make it to £200 to the charity. It doesn't seem like much considering the man hours that went into preparing for it, but every pound counts.
I am now thinking of more ways I can raise money for the charity and plan to start a new project in the New Year. Until those odds of survival are drastically improved, I don't feel like I can stop trying.
What could I do as a fun fundraiser? Have you had any experience of pancreatic cancer?
I'd love to hear from you.