It has been quite a year! On 4th July, Alex was awarded a British Citizen Award for volunteering; in late July, over the course of a day and a night, Alex and Miles, alongside a host of amazing volunteers, walked from Charing Cross Station, London, to Hove. The walk, which totalled 58 miles, has thus far raised just over £4900 in donations, all of which will be used to fund direct research into Glioblastoma; in addition, Nala – Alex, Miles and Charlotte’s family cat – who supported Charlotte during her paralysis and final stages of physical decline, has been shortlisted for Cats Protection’s Cat of the Year award.
British Citizen Award, Alex Eades BCAv
Alex was thrilled to be honoured with a British Citizen Award in the category of volunteering. Miles, Cressy and Alex travelled to The House of Lords on 4th July 2019 to attend a wonderful award ceremony. It was a truly remarkable event; awardees gathered in the House of Lords’ conservatory, overlooking the London Eye and The River Thames. Alex and Miles were privileged to meet Matt Allright, presenter of BBC Rouge Traders, who was functioning as master of ceremonies. Alex is now officially encouraged to use the letters after her name (we’re sure she will!)
Team Charlotte’s Mammoth Trek from Charing Cross Station, London, to Hove, East Sussex
On Thursday 27th June, Miles, Alex and eight of Alex’s work colleagues took part in CBAG’s biggest charity fundraising challenge to date – a 58 mile overnight walk from Charing Cross Station, London, to Hove. The walk took the intrepid trekkers through central London, Brixton, Streatham, Croydon, Gatwick, and various other locations, before culminating just east of the Sussex Downs. Miles and another colleague had severe blisters; fortunately a support minibus shadowed the journey, allowing opportunity for tea, coffee and numerous applications of blister plasters! At one stage, Miles felt almost overwhelmed by the pain of the blisters covering the balls of his feet. However, he refused to board the minibus in order to rest his feet for a few miles. Miles told Alex that Charlotte, his sister, had endured far more pain and that he would carry on. The walk took a total of 26 hours. So far, it has raised just over £4900 for the charity.
The school in Hove, which Charlotte attended and where Alex and her colleagues work, was the designated finishing point. Upon arrival, the Head of School had arranged for all the students and staff to be on the front field to welcome the returning walkers (approximately 1600 people). They were greeted by cheers and claps; Alex has stated that the emotions stirred by this lovely homecoming made her realise what an incredible achievement the walk was. Watch this space, Team Charlotte are having a meeting in September to begin planning next year’s challenge and training!
Nala, Alex, Miles and Charlotte’s Cat Shortlisted for Cat of the Year
Earlier this year, Alex noticed that Cats Protection were asking people to nominate their cat(s) for the prestigious title of Cat of the Year. As Nala and Charlotte were so very close, especially during the months Charlotte was confined to her bed, Alex thought Nala may stand a chance of being recognised for her loyalty and companionship. After her passing, Nala seemed to sense that her friend was no longer there; she would sit searchingly in Charlotte’s chair in the lounge for days on end, expecting Charlotte’s immanent return.
The awards are split into five categories. Alex decided to nominate Nala for the award for most caring cat. She submitted 150 words, briefly outlining Nala’s caring nature and a picture. A few weeks passed and Alex thought no more of the entry. Out of the blue, however, she received a phone call. It was Cats Protection! Alex was asked for more information about Nala and Charlotte. A few days later, she received an email informing that Nala had been shortlisted under the category of Outstanding Rescue Cat! We at CBAG are so proud of Nala and the extraordinary difference she made to Charlotte, not just during her illness, but throughout her life. Alex and Miles are off to attend a star-studded awards ceremony at The Savoy Hotel, London, on 8th August. Charlotte would have been so, so proud.
Money and Views on Charlotte’s Beloved YouTube channel
Charlotte would be so pleased to know that her channel continues to attract an enthusiastic, global viewership. Indeed, total views, by last count, have hit 7.5 million. Via YouTube, Alex and Miles have received many kind messages of encouragement and support. Recent feedback regarding Charlotte’s channel has referred to us to the idea of including Charlotte’s BAG’s PO Box address as a means of donating (we appreciate that not all people wishing to donate are able to do so online). As such, the PO Box address can be found at the end of this newsletter. A huge thank you to all who have donated, both in aid of our recent charity walk appeal and to those who support donations monthly.
News from Kings’ College Hospital
We are delighted to say that a Biomedical Scientist has now been appointed to work in Charlotte’s Lab. This appointment has been paid for by funds donated to the charity. Historically, analysing the specific composition of glioblastoma and the treatment that will be most effective has been very challenging, this research project, called the whole genome methylation analysis will study both the DNA and the cell origin which will enable us to develop a very specific treatment plan, tailored to the specific tumour that we are dealing with which is very useful for glioblastoma.
We plan to meet her in October 2019.
Miles – Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.), University of Cambridge
Alex could not have been prouder as she sat in the University of Cambridge’s famed Senate House to witness Miles’ graduation on Saturday 20th July 2019. Miles did not have an easy ‘university experience’. He started as an undergraduate at the University of Southampton, in 2013, where he read Philosophy and History. In September 2013, just as Miles’ course began, Charlotte was becoming critically ill. His decision to read Philosophy and History was made at the last minute as he, of his own volition, changed his degree programme from English and Philosophy. Alex and her husband, Terry, were unable to help Miles during this difficult and stressful beginning to university life, as they had little choice but to be with Charlotte at hospital. Miles worked hard during his first year, gaining first-class honours. He was awarded the 2014 Philosophy Alumni Prize for the Best Performance by a 1st year Combined Honours Student for his efforts.
Miles’ second year at university proved far more difficult. Charlotte’s cancer and a decline in his own mental health led Miles to defer from his course in January 2015. He had originally planned to carry on half way through his second year, in January 2016, but his plans were halted by the devastating news that Charlotte’s prognosis was terminal. Following the passing of his sister, Miles resumed his studies in January 2017. All his friends had left and accommodation was difficult to find as the academic year had commenced five months prior. Alex decided to book a hotel which, with a generously discounted rate, became Miles’ on and off home for the best part of five months. Miles finished second year in good stead. He was awarded first-class honours and further academic prizes (this time, the Philosophy Alumni Prize for Best Performance by a 2nd year Combined Honours Student, the Alan F.H. Baylis Prize for the Highest Overall Performance in 2nd Year History and publication in the Southampton Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy, for which his essay contribution was awarded Paper of the Year 2017).
Miles began his final year at Southampton again staying in the hotel. However, the loneliness and confinement of the room got the better of him. Beginning September 2017, Miles commuted from Brighton to Southampton, a five hour round trip via train. Miles finished his third year with first-class honours. He was awarded his first-class honours degree from Southampton in July 2018. His dissertation, How Should we Weigh the Health Benefits of Different Generations? The Case Study of Glioblastoma Multiforme, was awarded Best Philosophy Dissertation 2018. In addition, Miles was honoured as the Best Philosophy Finalist.
Miles’ ambition for many years was to attend Cambridge University, where many of his intellectual heroes had been students. Having submitted his application midway through his final year at Southampton, Miles was stunned to be honoured with a chance to interview for a place at the History and Philosophy of Science Department. Thinking he had underperformed at interview, Miles was amazed further to find out, just days after his interview, that he had been awarded a conditional offer to study within the department for an M.Phil. in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine. Having satisfied the conditions for entry, Miles went up to Cambridge in September 2018 to commence his postgraduate studies.
Miles’ start at Cambridge was bumpy – there were problems with his accommodation and the room was not what had been expected. After a few weeks, however, Alex had managed to sort things out. Miles worked hard and, despite being under enormous pressure, he was awarded the grade of High Performance. Miles was congratulated by his tutors for putting his areas of academic interest before any wish to achieve the highest possible grades and for developing ideas unfamiliar to the department.
THE VERY BORING BIT…
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With very best wishes and all our thanks
Alex, Miles and Cressy
The Charlotte’s BAG team