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.
All those that completed the Fundraising Event Registration Form on our website throughout 2018 were in with a chance of being selected!
We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 Jessica Ma Award is Mark & Francine Melia.
Mark and Francine Melia
Jessica’s husband Peter, and her children Jasper & Pascale said “The amount of money and the number of events and fundraising activities they have organized is so inspirational to us. Thank you for all the effort and congratulations. Keep up the good work!”
Thank you so much for this wonderful award- we are really touched that we were selected to receive it from the family of Jessica Ma.
We have been inspired to take part in fundraising because our daughter, Sofia, was born with CMN in 2017, but also from reading personal stories on the website and through the support we have received from the charity to date, such as the Support Day.
Jodi kindly met us in Liverpool 10 days after Sofia was born and we were so grateful for the support she gave us then and that she still gives us. We are also grateful for being provided with the information to see Dr Kinsler at GOSH and to support the amazing research work that is going on. We want to be able to support this work, along with the support the charity provides, by trying to raise as much money as possible.
Last year, we were able to raise money through lots of different ways- my husband performed at a charity Beer Festival, I did a 50 mile bike ride, and both our employers have also pledged to help us raise money through the coffee and cake morning and other fundraisers.
We are extremely blessed to have friends and family who have also got on board by organising and being part of fundraising events too- a groups of mum’s from my eldest daughter’s school were involved in doing a Gung-Ho 5k run, three of my friends joined me on the bike ride, a friend did Tough Mudder, Sofia’s childminders organised a sponsored toddler walk and my friend’s mum did a sponsored walk too.
We are so overwhelmed and encouraged by the support we have been given from our friends and family and we will be forever grateful. We hope to raise more money this year and already have three events lined up. The amount of money everyone connected to the charity collectively raised last year was brilliant and we are so happy that we could contribute to it.
Emma and Gareth Spray – with a special mention to their friend Dave Chapman
Jessica’s husband Peter, and her children Jasper & Pascale said “It’s wonderful to see all the different ways they have been fundraising. From cycling to dance to family fun days. It shows us all that anyone can use their skills and talents to fund raise for CMN.”
I would like to say a huge thank you to Peter and his family for choosing my family as the runners up for the Jessica Ma Award. We are overwhelmed and a little taken back to have been chosen but do feel very proud to have achieved what we have so far as a family for Caring Matters Now and will continue to fund raise for such an amazing charity who support those affected with Congenital Melanocytic Naevi.
Our journey supporting CMN began in August 2013, when our daughter was born with a large Naevi on her back as well as several satellites over her body. Having no knowledge as to what this condition was or the risks to our daughter’s health it was with great comfort that we were put in contact with Caring Matters Now. They have hugely, and still continue, to support us as a family.
We soon realised that without the support of others (parents, carers and those affected by CMN) this charity wouldn’t be able to continue each year with all the research and developments, as well as giving the continued support to families across the UK.
So, in May 2014 I decided to plan a community fun day. I hadn’t planned anything of this scale before, but before long with a huge amount of family support we had lots of stalls, rides, donations, sports events etc all coming in to help us make this event as successful as we could. It raised a huge amount of awareness as well as funds to support Caring Matters Now. Due to the success we decide to organise it all over again for summer 2015. As awareness started to spread throughout our family we had ideas and support for more fundraising popping up all the time. This was when my amazing cousin came forward and wanted to also help us, so therefore set himself the enormous `crazy` challenge to cycle from his home town in Kent to our home town in Nottingham (approx 240). It was an amazing challenge which not only brought in more funds but raised a huge amount of awareness, we were overwhelmed and so proud of what he achieved & can’t thank him enough.
The fundraising continued, in July 2015 Georgia`s grandma organised a student bake off at Derby College, then in August 2015 a very close friend and his cycling club G.C.C set themselves a challenge to cycle to Scarborough, it was a fantastic day following their journey and being there at the finish line. And the (FUN)raising didn’t stop there, in June 2016 Gareth and I took part in the 5k colour run, such a brilliant, colourful and fun event allowing us to raise a few more pennies for Caring Matters Now.
We were now heading into 2017 (the 20 year celebrations) therefore had to make this year’s challenges extra special. So, myself, Gareth, my Dad and my best friend signed up to complete the 3 Peak Challenge, we really had not prepared ourselves for this challenge but as hard as it was it was worth every minute to achieve what we did for Caring Matters Now. At the same time my Cousin was also beginning his next cycling challenge from Snowdown to Snowdon. Georgia is so proud of her big cousin for all the support he has given her and all her CMN friends over the last 5 years.
2018 was the girls turn; Georgia and her sister Freya had only recently started dancing for Sarah Patricks School of Dance, and in April 2018 they were going to be taking part in their first dance show at Mansfield Theatre. With help from mummy they wrote to the Dance school and told them about Caring Matters Now and how it was a charity close to their hearts. It was then that the school decided to support Caring Matters Now as the shows chosen charity, lots of awareness was raised throughout the months leading up to the show and funds via ticket sales, merchandise and sponsorship etc. it was such a huge success and the girls were amazing on the night!!
I have missed so many things out, raffles at school, friends organising fundraising at work, family choosing to gift donations instead of receiving presents for special events. I could not be prouder of what my family and friends have achieved over the last 5 years for us and all those affected by CMN. This award is for each and everyone of you.
Runner Up – Special Recognition
“Thank you so much for my award. I am very proud to raise money and awareness for such a great charity. Inspired by my cousins and the supporters of CMN, I will continue to raise money and watch this amazing charity grow with the all recognition it deserves. Thanks again. Dave.“