Fundraising news // 7th May 2020
Dave Powell was a popular man: a grandfather, an avid supporter of his local football team, who lived with myeloma for 20 years of his life. Sadly, Dave died of myeloma on February 15, 2020.
Dave started his working life as an apprentice in Portsmouth Dockyard. He worked hard, in various different roles to support his family. He was medically retired at 42 when he was diagnosed with myeloma.
Emma explained how difficult it was for her family to live with the reality of myeloma, but that her dad always kept a positive attitude and gave hope to others.
“For 20 years, we have lived with myeloma hanging over us all. We feared every hospital consultation, hoping we could breathe a sigh of relief for another month before going through the process again.
Watching my dad going through stem cell and bone marrow transplants and so many rounds of chemotherapy, I lost count. Worrying about the pain, discomfort, and emotional turmoil he was going through but at the same time being so grateful that we could cherish him and had been given the opportunity to fully appreciate time with him.
That said, in those 20 years, my Dad rarely faltered or lost the belief that he could fight to see another Christmas or grandchild being born. He is my absolute hero. On those numerous hospital visits, he would chat to fellow patients, he would counsel them, he would share his experience, he would give them hope and encourage them that the fight was worth it. He cared about everyone else’s plight and made people realise how important life is. He no longer feared growing older but appreciated every extra year.”
Emma spoke about the importance of treatment options, myeloma research, and why the family chose to raise funds.
“As my Dad had had myeloma for so long and endured so many different treatments, his options were very limited as time went on. As a consequence of that, he was part of two different treatment trials.
He was always so grateful for the work Myeloma UK did. As a family, we were so grateful he got to make a mark on his grand children’s lives and be around long enough for them all to love and remember him.
So, when he passed away, coupled with the fact he was a very popular man, we thought rather than have flowers at his funeral, we would ask for donations to Myeloma UK.”
To raise funds, Emma set up a JustGiving page and shared this on social media. She initially set the target at £200 and soon smashed it.
“My Dad was an avid, lifelong Pompey (Portsmouth Football Club) fan and before every game would meet the lads at our local pub The Red Lion, Portchester. So in his memory, they had a fundraising night, and that raised £400 – which went to the JustGiving page. The final amount raised was £3,182.30 plus £505 gift aid.”
When speaking of why it’s important to raise funds, Emma said:
“I think it’s important people support Myeloma UK for two reasons. Firstly, the work and research done helped my Dad survive for 20 years. He was infamous amongst the consultants who had had the pleasure of treating him for so long, and that would not of been possible with will power alone.
And secondly, my family and I have taken a lot of comfort from knowing that we’ve been proactive in doing something in my Dad’s memory, that he would be very proud of. We have enabled his legacy of helping everyone else to continue.”
Emma expressed that she and her family have found comfort in the experience and she hopes that the funds will help other families like her own:
“I hope that our donation gives another family the opportunity to cherish their loved one for as long as is physically possible. I hope that someone can breathe that sigh of relief because they are another month clear. Ultimately I hope one day a cure is found, but as my Dad would say, sometimes it’s the little victories.
This process has been extremely cathartic and purposeful, which in times of loss, is very important. It’s also so heartwarming and touching to witness how much others thought of your very special person.”
We want to send our warmest condolences and say a huge thank you to Emma and her family for raising funds in memory of Dave.
If you would like to donate to Myeloma UK in memory of a loved one, and help us to continue with our important work, please get in touch with our fundraising team on 0131 557 3332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.