Norwich man’s cancer dream becomes a reality
A prostate cancer survivor has finally realised his dream of launching a new charity aimed at helping men to beat the devastating disease in all its various forms.
Mel Lacey, a former policeman, was diagnosed with cancer two years ago after being prompted to go for a test by a friend who was suffering from the disease.
Mr Lacey, now 62, had no symptoms but the PSA (prostate specific antigens) blood test pointed to a problem and he was referred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where the cancer was diagnosed and treated.
His recovery from the disease prompted him to want to do something to help other men by launching a charity to fund research and raise awareness about male cancers.
Up until now that goal has remained a dream but is now a reality after the Blue Ribbon Foundation (BRF), which will emulate the work the Pink Ribbon Foundation does for women, has become a registered charity.
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The BRF, which is awaiting its charity number and will be launched officially at the end of next month, has a major new backer after HastingsDirect.Com, the national insurance company, has agreed to sponsor the charity.
The father-of-two from Norwich said: 'I am thrilled and excited about the way this dream has developed. The slow, hard work of the last couple of years has come to fruition because of the influence and intervention of some wonderful people.
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'At the start of the journey, whilst wondering if I had taken on too much, I received a huge, yet humbling boost to my efforts by Jane Davies of Horsford when she and her family donated to my appeal, the monies given to the memory of her husband Gerry whom she had lost to cancer. After a gesture like that, there would be no turning back for me.
'Then I contacted Jonathan Prince, the chair of trustees of the Pink Ribbon Foundation and we pooled our efforts, energies and Jonathan's expertise. Our joint efforts took us to the stage where we were able to make application to the Charity Commissioners.
'And having reached this massive milestone, Hastings Direct told us they would be very happy to get involved as the first big sponsors of the BRF. In a few weeks' time, Hastings Direct will be making announcements about how they plan to help our brand new charity.'
Mr Lacey said he wanted to thank everyone who has helped his dream come true, including Smith and Pinching Financial Services in Norwich and the Harvs and Hollow Earth who ensured last year's fundraising concert at the UEA was a success.
He added: 'A big, big thank you to everyone who has supported me this far - and a plea to please stay with us now that the real work is starting! Thank you.'
In the coming weeks work on the website, www.blueribbonfoundation.org.uk, will be completed and from there the task of raising the profile of all male health issues, including prostate cancer, will begin in earnest.
Anyone interested in supporting the Blue Ribbon Foundation should contact Mr Lacey via email@example.com
Are you raising money in memory of a loved one or friend? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org