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"I’m determined my mum won’t be just another statistic"

21 April 2016

Kelly Donovan

Siblings Kelly and Darrell Donovan throw a fabulous Gala Ball every year in support of Ovarian Cancer Action, and we want to say a massive thank you for their incredible and dedicated efforts.

Until Kelly and Darrell Donovan lost their mother to ovarian cancer in November 2009, the only fundraising Kelly had done was to sell cakes for Comic Relief at school. Now – in less than 6 years – she and Darrell have raised more than £50,000 for Ovarian Cancer Action. And while she’d deny she’s a Superwoman, Kelly’s managed it while raising two young children!

"Honestly, it hasn’t been hard. It’s been fun!", she says. "I only do what I can, when I can. But I’m determined my mum won’t be just another statistic. We lost her so young – and so quickly – to a cancer we’d never really even heard of. We won’t let her be forgotten."

In the days after their mum’s death Kelly and Darrell searched for a charity tackling ovarian cancer. ‘We weren’t interested in cancer research. We wanted ovarian cancer research,’ she says. ‘When we found Ovarian Cancer Action we knew immediately they were the one.’

Kelly and Darrell hold a Gala Ball each spring, and the last two events have raised over £20,000 each. These involve a dinner, live music, an auction, raffle, DJ, and dancing.

"When you’ve done something once it gets easier", says Kelly. "I’ve learned to ask, ask… and ask again. I explain what I’m doing and tell people my mum’s story – and they want to help. And if they can’t help they often know someone who can. Word of mouth is incredibly important."

Kelly and Darrell will be holding their fourth Gala Ball tonight and Ovarian Cancer Action wish them the very best of luck! We are sure it will be as much a success as the last few – and a beautiful Tribute to their mum, Tricia.

Kelly’s fundraising tips

  • Choose to do something you can put your heart and soul into, even if it takes you outside your comfort zone.
  • Ovarian Cancer Action has loads of great ideas and contacts – don’t be afraid to ask them for help.
  • If you don’t know where to start, sign up for a sports challenge. The support and encouragement you get from fundraising as a team is fantastic.

If you would like to do your own fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Action, please contact fundraising@ovarian.co.uk