Ovarian Cancer Action Supporter Awards 2020

29 October 2020
Rob Can & Sons

We are so pleased to announce the winners for the Ovarian Cancer Action Supporter Awards 2020! Everyone who supports us is a champion in our eyes, but we would like to recognise four supporters who have been both innovative and inspirational with their fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Action, especially in this difficult year when many fundraising events have been cancelled.


Young Fundraiser of the Year – Tom Hand 


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At just 18, Tom is true a reflection of how resourceful and resilient the younger generation can be. When he was just 12 years old, sadly Tom lost his mum Shelley to ovarian cancer. Six years later and he continues to fundraise for Ovarian Cancer Action in her honour. This year Tom shook up the idea of traditional fundraising with a 24-hour virtual Le Mans race, the oldest running motor sports race in the world. 60 teams took part in the event which raised a whopping £1,853. 

He says, " I’m honestly so honoured to receive such an amazing and thoughtful reward. I would never imagine me trying to do my bit would turn into me being receiving such a heart-warming award. " 

"I want to thank my mum. For making me the person I am today. Without her I wouldn’t have even thought of doing such an event. I love all of you and I hope I can do the same next year"

"I held one of the most historic racing events of all time online, while raising money for a cause close to my heart

Tom Hand

Find out more here.


Innovative Fundraiser of the Year – John Whitelaw

John Whitemore

This year, our supporters have demonstrated how truly imaginative they can be in a time of crisis. In April, longstanding supporter and volunteer, John, got creative to support ovarian cancer research during lockdown. John gave his friends and family the power to determine his ‘lockdown look’. Friends and family cast their votes by making a donation to John’s fundraising page on whether he should keep what he called the ‘beardy weirdy’ or go clean shaven. John’s fundraising brought some much-needed light relief and humour during lockdown whilst also raising vital funds at a time when all fundraising events had been cancelled. John’s creative fundraiser raised £405, thank you John!

Find out more here, and here.


Fundraising Team of the Year Award – Janet MacKechnie's Global Marathon Team 

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In a year where we felt more isolated than ever, Janet brought friends and family from across the globe together to do something amazing. Enlisting a team that spanned London, Suffolk, Edinburgh, Isle of Tiree (Scotland), Amsterdam, Igistri Island (Greece), Melbourne, Canberra, Delhi and Washington DC she organised a virtual relay. Sharing their progress on social media, the team ran alone from their separate locations. In total they ran 43 miles across four continents, raising an amazing £3,400. 

I feel extremely proud to have brought everyone together to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Action at this difficult time when as much support as possible is required to continue vital research. To connect and raise awareness across the globe felt particularly powerful and showed how much can be achieved even in the time of Covid restrictions.”

Janet MacKechnie

Find out more.

Longstanding Support Award - Rob, Toby and Oliver Coan
Raised to date: £31,588

Rob Can & Sons

We are always impressed by anyone who has used their time to fundraised for us, but those who provide us with consistent support are truly special. Since 2015, Rob and sons Oliver and Toby have organised countless events to raise funds and awareness in memory of wife and mum, Aleasha. The family started out with the aim to raise £1,000, but since then, through skydives, half marathons, collections, swimathons, raffles and more, together they have raised an incredible £31,588 in Aleasha’s memory.

This year, even in lockdown, the family still held their annual Walk in Her Name in March, and over the months of August, Rob took on an incredible 1000km cycle challenge. 

“We weren’t able to get together as a big group of friends and family, as we normally do. Instead we got everyone to do it remotely near their own homes and send pictures in which I then put together and posted on Facebook. It worked really well and was a good way of people still being involved and feeling connected.” “Even in lockdown, it’s something we can do together to both comfort each other and celebrate this remarkable woman”

Rob Coan