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What is Cards for Cancer?
In September 2016, I created five original illustrations and turned them into Christmas cards. I sold them on my online store, and the intention was to raise money for my brother Matt who had been severely disabled after a life altering surgery to remove a tumour on his spine. Unfortunately, my brother passed away in October 2016 at the age of 27 years old, but his attitude towards his life, and his death, was inspirational. However, I had already sold cards, and wanted to put the money towards something important to me. As such, I gave the money to my parents, to support them with funeral costs, and decided to set up Cards for Cancer as a yearly project to raise money for various cancer charities that had benefitted my brother and my family over the course of his illness.
The project so far:
- Each year we will chose a new cancer charity to raise money for.
- 50% of the profits will go towards the charity. This is because, as a one-person-band, I need to take considerable time off to manage the project and need to support myself! In the future, the amount donated to the project will increase considerably until I can eventually donate as much of the profits as possible.
- Eventually I would like other artists to get involved, so if you are interested or know someone who might be, send me an email to get in touch (email@example.com)
Here are the designs from the 2017 collection of Cards for Cancer.
The 2016 collection:
On Friday 28th October 2016, my brother Matt passed away at the age of 27. He was surrounded by people that loved him. He died almost exactly two years to the day since he got diagnosed with a very rare strain of kidney cancer – Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma, at stage four. Despite his illness, Matt’s attitude was one of positivity and hope. He kept everyone upbeat, pushed himself to do amazing things, and inspired thousands of people through his blog, matt-bates.co.uk.
I started the Cards for Cancer project shortly after he had received spinal surgery to remove a tumour that was severely damaging his spine. It seemed as though he was getting better, as though the biggest hurdle he had to face was relearning how to walk, and the cancer was a secondary issue. We had even planned a short family break with our parents and his fiances family, as a way for us all to bond and grow closer together. Unfortunately, he dramatically deteriorated before we got to go away. In mid October we were told it was a matter of weeks, before being admitted into our local Hospice, where he died the day after getting married to his long term girlfriend and fiance Gemma.
Getting married wasn’t the only incredible achievement Matt did before he died. After he was diagnosed, he decided to record an incredible album of his music. We’re an incredibly creative family, and music has been an integral part of our lives. Matt wrote and recorded his album, and he was able to hold the physical CD in his hands while he lay in Myton Hospice just a few days before he passed away. You can purchase his CD here (link takes you to Matt’s website).