Having cancer has made me look at life in a different way, it’s given me the drive to fulfil my dreams, dreams I didn’t even really know I had until I was told that I might not be able to do them. In June 2020 when things were looking grim I made a list of things I wanted to do in case things got worse. So, I bought a canal boat.
Sitting in the waiting room of the cancer centre is one of the worst parts of my treatment, sitting and waiting for results and not knowing if they will be good or bad this month, waiting for new treatment plans etc. so I wanted to highlight that the cancer journey isn’t all negative and that some positives can come from it, if you think about it with the right mindset – having positive images on the walls of people of have been through it and are continuing to go through it would help spread some positive energy, encouraging other people to have a more positive outlook.
To be able to make a difference and to bring some positivity to the waiting room I wanted to raise some money to have motivational quotes, or similar, printed – this idea has now grown – and to do that, I wanted to hold an event to raise money for the Royal Berks Charity, specifically the Berkshire Cancer Centre fund.
My original idea was to hold a small gig at the Rising Sun Arts Centre with friends and family performing. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the Rising Sun were unable to hold the event due to not having correct ventilation, so we used to gig to rectify that situation too. After an opportune conversation with the owners of South Street, we began our planning.
The event just seemed to grow, and grow with more bans signing up to take part, including my own band “Dolly and the Clothes Pegs”. The pubs and shops around Reading were fantastic at displaying our posters, by event day the venue was packed with people all ready to have a great time after some Covid restrictions had been lifted – the gig came at the perfect time.
I’ve never been to an event where the whole audience was dancing, and that’s exactly what happened at the Vent event!
The nurses on King Edward are outstanding. From the very first minute you step through the doors, to minute leave back through them. I wanted to show my appreciation to them somehow, which is how I came up with the idea of offering them a free ticket to our event – a chance for them to let their hair down.
Work is ongoing with Berkshire Cancer Centre to bring Ellie’s idea to life…