After being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014, Vicky selflessly channeled her energy into changing the outcome for the next generation of women. She was the architect of a national advertising campaign for Ovarian Cancer Action, which went live on the day she died in October 2019.
In honour of his wife and her vision, Alex decided to raise an incredible £75,000 for Ovarian Cancer Action. Here he tell us why he felt motivated to raise money for the cause, and how he's managed to achieve such an incredible target.
I wanted to carry on with my wife Vicky’s work for Ovarian Cancer Action after she died in October 2019. She had been diagnosed in 2014 and when she knew the disease wasn’t going away, she selflessly ploughed herself into increasing the chances of not only survival but of better treatment for the next generation of women with the 'I Will Survive' campaign. Since her passing I have seen an increase in the awareness of ovarian cancer but there is still much, much, more to do.
I wanted to raise £75,000 for Ovarian Cancer Action, which I had been told was the total production and media budget for the campaign (thanks to Vicky this equates to less than 10% of what it should have normally cost). That way Vicky would have got the awareness of ovarian cancer to the entirety of the UK but at no cost to the charity.
I decided that I would use my eulogy at Vicky’s funeral to announce my plan and there was an Ovarian Cancer Action insert with a link to my JustGiving page in her funeral order of service.
We raised a considerable amount on the day itself and money would trickle in on the big anniversaries, birthdays and Christmases. When we went into lockdown in March 2020 raising money became almost impossible; I had 2 friends running the London marathon on my behalf but of course that was cancelled as were a great deal of other fundraising events.
I didn’t put myself under any pressure in terms of how long it would take me, which I think was a good strategy.
I set up a committee of Vicky’s best friends to try to help with brainstorming ideas and fundraising in general and to see who wanted to do what; whether it was a Walk in Her name that Vicky’s sister and mum did, or a marathon that 3 of my friends, Barny, Kieran & Adam did (2 real and 1 virtual!), or organise a ticketed lunch like my mum did, or a swimming challenge that one of Vicky’s best friends Vanessa did. It all adds up.
At times it felt like I was never going to reach my target amount but it crept up slowly but surely. Sometimes there would be big increases in a short space of time and at other times nothing seemed to happen for months! I kept telling myself I would get there and sure enough we did.
The highlight came when my amazing brother in law Philip rang me to tell me that his business had set aside some money for the last couple of years for charitable causes and they wanted to donate the whole amount (over £9,000!!) to my fund. I couldn’t believe it and it left me speechless! He knew that that would not only take me to my target amount but smash it as well.
I remember going to bed having not felt that good since before Vicky died and waking up the following morning feeling like I had really achieved something.
Now, Alex is taking on his own sports challenge and has signed up for the London Triathlon in summer 2023. Even though he's beaten his original target of £75,000, Alex continues to strive and raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Action - there's no limit to what friends, family and loved ones can achieve when they pull together.
You can still support Alex and help him continue to raise money in Vicky's name. Take action with us now and transform the lives and prospects of women today and for the generations to come. This is Vicky's legacy. Donate today.