A BAKERY in Chichester has joined an 11-year-old’s campaign to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
William Kilgannon, 11, started an awareness and fundraising campaign for Prostate Cancer UK, after his dad Brian was diagnosed with the condition.
Teaming up with his aunt Lorraine Edney, who owns Spilts Bakery in St Martin’s Square, more than £2,000 has been raised so far.
Brian, 50, was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in July 2012.
Despite noticing differences in his body, Brian did not immediately go to a doctor and as a result, the disease had already spread to his pelvis and spine.
Since then, William, who lives with his parents in south London, has started a Just Giving donations page where he is doing Prostate Cancer UK’s 10,000 challenge.
He aims to collect 10,000 pennies.
While running an awareness campaign and fundraising for his gift aid page, William appeared with his father on a lifeline appeal with Michael Parkinson, which was aired on BBC1 on Father’s Day.
“He also wrote to Prince William and Kate to tell them about his awareness and fundraising, and he received a lovely letter back from Kensington Palace wishing him well,” said Lorraine.
Lorraine decided to get the team at Splits on board to help raise money for William’s donation page, and also, most importantly, to raise awareness of the disease.
“Our inspiration for the whole thing was my nephew William – if an 11-year-old can do it, then we can, too,” said Lorraine.
“Brian, Loretta and William’s family have had an amazing amount of courage – Brian’s will to fight and carry on for his family is just incredible.
“It’s so sad what’s happening to them – but their positive attitude to do something good is simply amazing.”
Earlier this month, Splits held a treasure hunt for the children, and a guess the name of the bear game in addition to a raffle.
The team all dressed up and sold lots of raffle tickets, and Prostate Cancer UK sent the bakery literature about the disease as well as lots of items to decorate the shop.
Lorraine said: “There are other people in Chichester who are going through the same thing – people are really suffering and if more men take the time to get this test, they can prolong their lives.”
“We also put Prostate Cancer UK information in the other Splits bakeries in North Bersted and East Wittering, as well as collection boxes with William’s story.”
The team at Splits raised £1,056.66 in a week for William’s just giving page, meaning he has now raised around £2,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.
“The local businesses have been simply amazing – we’ve had donations to the raffle from places like Robert Dyas, Starline taxis, Nandos, and the Ship Hotel gave us bed, breakfast and dinner as a prize,” said Lorraine.
“Customers have been bringing in bottles of whisky, and a man from the local estate agents came in and donated £50 to William’s online donation page.”
“The generosity of the people of Chichester and the local businesses has been incredible.”
“We really felt like we raised awareness – we wanted people to know that a simple blood test can save your life.”
“I know it encouraged men in Chichester to go out and get tested, and it’s great to know that more people are taking care of their health.”
“We’re just a little shop, but the generosity of the community was astounding and we were able to raise an incredible amount of money – we didn’t expect anywhere near the amount that we had donated.”
“It was a really good week and we are absolutely thrilled to bits – we’re really proud of ourselves, but very exhausted!”
If you have concerns or questions about prostate cancer, you can call Prostate Cancer UK’s confidential Helpline on 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostatecanceruk.org