Why I took part in the ‘Caring Matters Now Coffee & Cake Morning’
When my daughter Isabelle was born in 2009, she had a large brown birthmark on her leg. The doctor came to see us the following day and explained that it would have to be removed due to the increased risk of melanoma. This was carried out when she was 2 years old using a split-thickness skin graft. Almost immediately after, the pigmentation began to return and we were advised that she would need another graft. During her consultation with the registrar in 2013, I expressed our decision to leave any further surgery until Isabelle was old enough to decide for herself. With this the registrar strongly advised surgery sooner, again to remove all risk of developing melanoma.
It was at this time that I decided to search online for other cases of CMN to help enable me to fully understand the condition. This is when I came across the Caring Matters Now website. It was through the information provided here that I was able to get an appointment at GOSH in December and Isabelle had the opportunity to meet with Dr Kinsler.
Dr Kinsler and her team were very knowledgeable and were able to confirm that further surgery was not necessary. After meeting the team we felt as though a great weight had been lifted and that we could finally start living our lives without the constant uncertainty and worry.
Through my experience alone I believe that Caring Matters Now is a fantastic charity and that they still have a long way to go in raising awareness of this condition, so when they put out a request for volunteers to host a Coffee and Cake morning to raise funds I didn’t have to think twice about taking up the challenge!
I spoke with the reverend at our local church and he was happy for us to use the church building as our venue. Then my husband and I emailed and wrote to local businesses with requests for donations to use as our raffle prizes. A local entertainer agreed to donate his time and offered a disco, bouncy castle, face painting and games and Isabelle’s teachers, family and friends agreed to bake the cupcakes. I was amazed by everyone’s generosity and eagerness to help with such a worthwhile cause. To increase the amount we could raise, we decided to start selling our raffle tickets a few days before the event to our work colleagues and friends who were unable to attend on the day.
I also advertised the event on facebook and that is when I was contacted by a lady called Emma. She had seen my event through the Caring Matters Now facebook page and contacted me to say she would like to come along to the event with her family. Emma’s daughter Ava is also 4 years old and was born with CMN (her story is on the Caring Matters Now website). We discovered we only live about an hour away from each other so have decided to meet up during the school holidays to allow the girls the opportunity to develop a friendship and support each other as they grow.
On the day of the event, we had hoped to hold some of the entertainment outside but the weather had other plans for us! But we needn’t have worried, everything fitted inside the church perfectly. As well as the disco and games, we also had biscuit decorating and name the bear. The turnout was fantastic and everyone commented on how much fun they had. The organising did take up a fair amount of time but it was worth it to see the results and to be able to donate £1,034.63 to Caring Matters Now. We are already making plans for next year!