Dave Sissens – Fundraising to find a cure for childhood cancer
Welcome to my site.
The latitude where my unsupported expedition took me
The distance I ran from Paris to London
How much I have raised to date for Children with Cancer
Since starting my adventures I have always raised funds for the Children with Cancer Charity – this is their story……
Paul O’Gorman, as described by his adoring older sister Jean, “was a quiet boy, who loved to run and play…who raced into the wind.” In November 1986, Paul was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of fourteen. His parents Eddie and Marion and his sister Jean were shocked by the news. They were told, however, that his chances of survival were excellent as a suitable donor had been found for a bone marrow transplant.
But while waiting for the operation, Paul contracted a virus and his condition deteriorated. In the hospital, he observed the tremendous suffering other children with leukaemia endured and how they managed to cope with great courage and determination.
Sadly his cancer acted quickly and the quiet boy who loved to run and play would no longer be able to race into the wind.
Paul succumbed to the disease in February 1987, just 12 weeks after his initial diagnosis. Before his death, Paul begged his parents to help other children with leukaemia in the hopes that some day a cure would be found and no child would ever have their lives cut short by this terrible disease.
Jean immediately began to organise a fundraising campaign to honour the promise to Paul but tragedy would strike the O’Gorman family again. Less than a year after Paul’s death, and just days after the first major event – the Paul O’Gorman Banquet and Ball – Jean died of cancer in November 1987.
Despite the loss of their beloved children Eddie and Marion, along with family and friends, were committed to fulfilling Paul’s wish and continuing Jean’s work – to give children a better chance in fighting the disease.
The tragedy of the O’Gorman family and their desire to defeat childhood leukaemia deeply touched Diana, Princess of Wales and she was instrumental in forming the charity. The Paul O’Gorman Foundation for CHILDREN with LEUKAEMIA was inaugurated on 12 January 1988 by the Princess. Diana continued to offer her support and encouragement of the charity’s work until her untimely death in 1997.
The first goal as a charity was to raise £2 million for a childhood leukaemia research centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the world-renowned children’s facility in London.
Although it took seven years to reach the goal, it was the beginning of a lasting relationship with Great Ormond Street Hospital. The charity has since contributed more than £6.4 million to GOSH and has expanded the support to other medical institutions, research projects and child welfare programmes.
Over the last 22 years, the charity has grown from a small memorial charity to Britain’s leading charity dedicated to childhood leukaemia.
The charity has raised millions of pounds for research into the treatment and prevention of the disease and welfare projects for those children diagnosed. They are also actively campaigning to raise awareness about issues of concern for children with, or at risk of, leukaemia.