Two years ago at the age of 39, Stuart Fullerton was diagnosed with myeloma. Having found Myeloma UK a great support since his diagnosis, Stuart decided to hold an event that paid homage to the big parties he had held during his teens and raise funds for Myeloma UK.
On 26 August 2012 he held a dance music night at a prominent art gallery, the Turner Contemporary Gallery in his old hometown Margate, Kent, where he lived 25 years ago. With the support of his friends he raised over £6,000 which was more than double his target.
Stuart said, “Myeloma UK invest every pound raised effectively and I wanted to do my bit to help their work, as they helped me.
“My friends have been a huge support. My diagnosis hit many of them hard, I think for many of them, this was the first time they’ve really thought about how the 1 in 3 statistic is going to affect us.
“I wanted to show everybody that I’ve not given up on life – in fact, quite the opposite. I also wanted to throw a big party that everybody could enjoy.”
Once Stuart came up with the idea he ran it by a close a friend, “I knew that having a right hand man would be critical and Joe is not only a great businessman he’s also a doer. From the word go he was passionate about making things a success and that helped spur me on.”
Within days the venue was secured, Facebook page live and drinks sponsors were on board. Not afraid to tell people that he had myeloma, a form of cancer, and why he was holding the event, he received big discounts on items including the sound system.
Stuart also set up a Virgin Money Giving site for those who couldn’t come but wanted to donate. On the night he played music from 7pm - 1am. Sold CDs and tried everything to raise as much money as possible. Even the loose change fishbowl with Myeloma UK wristbands held £250 by the end of the night.
Stuart said, “I’m immensely proud that I’ve raised the profile of myeloma and shown it can affect both young and old. I see people who came along to the event still wearing their orange wristbands months later. It’s an incredible buzz. Not just raising the money but the love and support people showed me made me feel very special.
“I was amazed by people’s generosity and feel that the success of the night was in reminding people of a very happy time in their lives. The music, décor, and the people - it all added up to a special, memorable night. We’ve now established a ‘brand’ and a recipe that we can reuse and maybe even build on next year.”
If you would like to hold a fundraising event in aid of Myeloma UK contact the Fundraising Team on email email@example.com or +44 (0)131 557 3332.