In December 2014, one of our founding trustees Jessica Ma sadly lost her battle with cancer. Jessica was not only a trustee to the Caring Matters Now charity, but also an amazing, courageous and inspirational friend to many in the charity and beyond.
Caring Matters Now established the Jessica Ma Award to publicly acknowledge and remember Jessica’s outstanding and unique contribution to our charity. The prestigious Jessica Ma Award is for an individual or group who have gone above and beyond in raising funds for Caring Matters Now.
The wonderful fundraisers in 2020 who completed the Fundraising Event Registration Form on our website, were in with a chance of being selected for the prestigious Jessica Ma Award!
The Caring Matters Now Trustees selected five finalists and from these five finalists Jessica’s husband Peter and two children chose their winner and runner up.
This is what they had to say…
“Pascale, Jasper and I wanted to say how delighted we were to see this many entries this year given the COVID situation.
We read through all the finalists and one stood out. The winner of the 2020 Jessica Ma Award is Gabriella Melia”.
Winner – Gabriella Melia
Peter, Pascale and Jasper said…
“We are delighted to say that we all agreed that Gabriella’s Bike Ride stood out for us in so many ways and is the deserving winner of the Jessica Ma award 2020. First, she (with help from her mum) embarked on a mission to help others on behalf of her little sister. That is an example to us all that we should help when we can. Secondly, it was a prolonged event, over 4 days. That is a great example of tenacity; something we would be wise to remember in these difficult times.
“When I received my award, I was on a call with my friend and I could hear my mum, dad and sister Sofia (who has CMN) coming to see me in my room. I wondered why they were all crowded around me. Then, my sister walked in with a black box, I opened it, and inside was a glass trophy with my name engraved on it! I feel super grateful for winning the Jessica Ma award and I hope that Caring Matters Now inspires more people to raise money for people who have CMN.
I chose the Caring Matters Now charity because my little sister Sofia has CMN. I knew as soon as I met her that I wanted to help her and other people with CMN. I am so proud of my sister. She is only 3 and she can already accept that her birthmark is just part of her – sometimes she’ll just walk up to me and say “Gabby, I got a special birthmark!”
It means a lot to me to know that I am helping a charity that is extremely special to my family and other families in the UK and around the world.”
Runners Up – Isla & Ruby Bailey, Emma Robins, Kathy Neal and Hannah Cree
This is what Peter, Pascale and Jasper had to say…
“The Runner up award goes to all the remaining fundraising finalists, Emma, Kathy, Isla and Ruby and Hannah for their amazing efforts to raise money for CMN support and research during what has been a challenging year. Jessica would be proud of everyone for their hard work.
This is what our runners up had to say…
Isla and Ruby
“Isla and Ruby are both very excited and proud about being chosen for their award, so much, that they took it into nursery at the first chance they had to show all their teachers and friends. We too as parents are glowing with pride. We chose to raise money for Caring Matters Now as Isla was born with CMN and it means the world to us to know that we are helping to support the charity. We all look forward to plenty more fundraising events and we have some exciting ideas for the future.”
“I am delighted to receive this award. Ever since hearing about Caring Matters Now in March 2019, I have been so impressed by the work the charity does in supporting those living with and the parents of children with Congenital Melanocytic Naevi. Hearing of the difference they have made in so many lives including my own inspires me to fundraise for the charity.”
“Thank you so much!!
Ever since making contact with Caring Matters Now in those early days following the birth of our son, then meeting Prof. Kinsler, it was decided as a family that we wanted to fundraise on an annual basis to do our bit.
When COVID struck I was upset that we wouldn’t have the opportunity to host our CMN Coffee & Cake Fundraiser.
Meeting Prof Kinsler hearing the research that Caring Matters Now had funded had been a pivotal moment in our journey, giving us control back and allowing us to bond with Elijah having been too scared to initially.
I creatively considered how we could still do SOMETHING, and we hosted a drive through coffee morning instead at the front of our house, using the back of our camper van! It was a great success and worked well social distancing wise! During Lockdown, I have also run a number of quizzes for the charity- mostly because I’m better there… trust me you wouldn’t want me on your team!!!”
“It is an honour to receive this award in Jessica’s name and I am so thankful to Jessica’s family for considering me.
Caring Matters Now has provided our family with so much support over the years so raising funds for the charity is something I regularly try to do. This time I wanted to further challenge myself which is why I decided to take part in the Great North Run Solo Challenge. Being a non-runner, the challenge of 40 runs in 78 days was never going to be easy for me, but with the support of friends and family, in addition to Caring Matters Now, I ran over 100 miles within the timeframe and achieved my goal.
My daughter, Ava, is an inspiration to me. She was born with CMN syndrome in 2010. I love her free spirit and determination despite the challenges she has faced. I will never forget the lonely times when she was born. No one seemed to know anything about her condition and the uncertainty was frightening. Once we learned of Jodi and Caring Matters Now, everything changed, and we were soon supported by Prof. Kinsler at Great Ormond Street.
I know the importance of raising funds for such a vital cause and I hope to continue to do all I can to help those involved with the charity.”
With heartfelt thanks from all the Caring Matters Now Staff and Trustees to all our 2020 fundraisers, you did amazing and overcame many challenges to continue your support for our charity. We couldn’t do what we do without you.
Please consider supporting Caring Matters Now in 2021. Take a look here to see what you can do to support the work of Caring Matters Now. And don’t forget to register your fundraising here to be in with a chance of winning the 2021 Jessica Ma Award.