Never ever did I think I’d find myself writing a book; yet here I am! I couldn’t be prouder to launch In Our Shoes, a short poetry book telling Jess’ story as we journeyed through her illness and then began to tackle the heartbreaking process of bereavement.
I’ve very much kept the project under wraps as I’ve navigated the unchartered waters of getting a book published, so I imagine I’ll have a fair few surprised friends to hear of the news; mischief that Jess would definitely have approved of 😀!
It’s available to buy on Amazon, with all profits being donated to Children’s Cancer Charities. I can’t promise it won’t bring a tear to your eye, but if you can spare a bit of cash and would like to have a read, you’d be helping a good cause. Click here to see more.
After what feels like a never ending lockdown 3, Christmas seems like a very distant memory, even though only really a matter of weeks ago. So it was lovely to hear from Jess’ old school yesterday, with news of their amazing Christmas jumper fundraising in memory of Jess for Children with Cancer UK. Another £626.80 to add to the totaliser is an amazing result! Thanks Westerton, and so heartwarming to hear that Jess’ memory lives on with you too.
Jess would be proud of her friends and teachers raising a fantastic £384 for a Children with Cancer UK by holding a fancy dress day at school. Jess loved dressing up, here’s a photo with her brother when they dressed up as Where’s Wally for World Book Day a few years ago. Ironically, it was the Where’s Wally Books that took Jess’ mind away from the blood tests in the early days. Thanks Westerton, fantastic effort!
Today was the first ever Day of Memories that I’ve attended. I’ve been invited to a couple of, ‘remembering days’ held by other groups since Jess passed away, but never quite felt in a place where I could go. But I felt different about today’s event, held by Candlelighters. For the month of Jess’ illness , I saw more of the Candlelighters and hospital team than anyone else I know. And whilst being in hospital is no fun for anyone, the team really did do their best! I will never forget the kindness shown by such a fabulous team, so it felt fitting to join their event. All the same, I was apprehensive about what to expect. Like the other families, watching the event meant we are part of a club that no one ever wanted to be a part of in the first place, and to be honest I wondered if remembering so many lost children would be too much; one loss is tragic, never mind more. But I was surprisingly comforted by the Day of Memories, the unity of it all and of seeing some familiar faces who looked after Jess so well when she was in hospital.
With it being my first event. I can’t comment on the differences between a virtual event and an in person one, but it running remotely meant complete strangers were spared my rather unattractive ‘bawling my eyes out’ look, so that part was probably a benefit . 😀 It was nice to see other people’s memories and to write my own tribute in the memory book too. I lit my beautifully fragranced candle and made a Jessica bracelet. It’s the first time I’ve done anything remotely like that since Jess was here in person, and it reminded me of times we used to sit and do things like that together 😀. When we chose to support Candlelighters with fundraising shortly after Jess passed away, I knew how valuable your service was and how much we’d already benefited from you being there in the short time Jess knew you. Today only reinforced my sentiments. Thank you for all you do. ❤️
So very proud of Oli and Ben gaming for 12 hours straight to raise money for Children with Cancer UK. No doubt Mr Weaver will be blogging about it (when he’s recovered!) but 3 hours in and both boys seem to be having a great time, smashing the original £500 target. Oli’s take on the event is “This gaming event is insane, but can you get me some more food, mum” (he better not get used to this room service delivery!). Meanwhile Ben reports, “It’s decent, a new challenge for my body but not impacting me at all”. It’s great to see both boys getting involved for such a good cause, and I’ll happily spend all day as chief runner, leaving Russell to make odd guest gaming appearances (any excuse to harness his inner child again)! That said, with comments like “I think after this I’m ready for my actual Grand Prix debut”, it’s a good job this is only a day long event! Well done boys, proud of you all.
I am delighted that we have just passed the £20K fundraising point and we’re still going strong 😀. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d raise so much (and be able to help a number of charities too), so a massive thank you to all those who have supported us! With the challenges that COVID has brought, charities need our support now more than ever.
It’s great to see that the Team Jess website has inspired the birth of another website! Really proud of Jess’ big brother for launching www.mrweaver.co.uk. Amongst his preteen blogging, (and dabble with website coding!) he hopes to raise awareness of childhood cancer and his fundraising ventures too. Go Oli! 😀
So today was the original date for the Team Jess Sheffield 10k to raise money for Children with Cancer UK. Sadly, ‘corona chaos’ means that the event has been postponed until next year. Whilst we will patiently wait and run as planned next year, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to mark the original date with a run too. It might not have been the 10k we had planned, or even the reworked plan that we had planned (another strike from corona chaos!), but it was a mighty fine work around with independent runs happening across the north and coming together via zoom afterwards. Thanks to this lovely bunch for doing a virtual 10k event with me….. and a special shout out to Sandy for completing your first ever 10k. Jess would have loved that we managed to find a way to run in spite of the challenges. Thanks to all those who sponsored us…… It seems that with us running two races, the 2 for 1 concept is infiltrating even the sporting world these days 😂. As for all events these days, I’ve marked the event with a poem. Click here to take a look.
For anyone wanting to see some live video evidence, here you are! We’ve even added the trusty Team Jess Anthem to recreate the running experience!
A massive well done to Jack, school friend of Jess and son of one of the Team Jess runners. Not only has Jack been running each week to help his mum train for the Team Jess runs, but he’s also managed to find time to complete a sponsored swim too! Jack jumped into the water with his friend Euan to raise funds for Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK, swimming 1500 metres (a phenomenal 60 lengths!) in memory of friends and family affected by cancer and Team Jess. That will make a massive splash as it jumps into the fundraising pots of both charities. Well done Jack and thank you for being a super fundraiser… with a swim and lots of runs under your belt, maybe your next venture should be a triathlon….. 😉
Today I stumbled across a nifty little app called Ziffit, which allows you to sell the stuff you don’t want online (they even collect) and donate the proceeds to a nominated charity. Clearing out the garage of old books whilst donating to Children with Cancer UK has been a very worthwhile way to pass a few hours and I’m loving the fact we’ve reclaimed a whole host of space! If you would like to donate too check out http://vmgiving.co/wbdc