Laurel and Family Raise Funds and Change Lives

Laurel Allen and her family helped raised £16,000 to support Team Jak, a charity that have done so much for them…

 

Laurel and her representing Team Jak.

Laurel’s mum and dad, Laura and Mike, decided to take part in Kiltwalk Edinburgh so they could give back to a charity that had given them invaluable support, Team Jak. They wanted to say thank you for all the support they had received and they wanted to get the whole family involved!

This year, Team Jak’s supporters raised £11,000 through the Kiltwalk, this was topped up by an extra 40% thanks to The Hunter Foundation for a total of £16,000. 

Team Jak offer a broad range of support for young cancer patients, ranging from counselling, play therapy, music therapy, support groups to outreach services who raise awareness and supply snacks, drinks and more to hospitals.

Laura said: “Laurel was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma just before her second birthday. After two years of fighting to save her sight she had to have both her eyes removed to save her life.

Laurel and family with BBC presenter Neil Alexander.

“Having Team Jak and their facility, Jak’s Den has been our saving grace, it’s been a safe space for us to make memories as a family, the Den has also helped us to try and come to terms with what has happened.”

Laurel loves her music therapy and the sibling days help the boys to see they aren’t the only ones going through the feeling either.”

Of course, Team Jak don’t stop at supporting the patients, they have been a huge help to Laura and Mike themselves: “Mike and I have made friends and it’s amazing what a difference it makes speaking to people who know exactly how you feel and what you are going through.”

Laura isn’t done with the Kiltwalk yet, she’s signed up for all four 2019 Kiltwalks!

The £16,000 raised by Team Jak’s supporters is going towards the continued support of 100 families, as well as the continued development of Jak’s Den Mark 2, a brand new facility in Livingston.

Hazel McLinden, Fundraising Coordinator for Team Jak can’t wait to see more teams like Laurel and her family get involved next year.

Hazel: “It was fabulous to be involved with the Kiltwalk  in 2018 with Pit Stops in Aberdeen and Edinburgh – we increased our walkers by 50 percent from 2017 and would be amazing to do this again in 2019!

Thanks to our walkers, Team Jak raised over £11,000 this year and with the very generous top up from The Hunter Foundation it was a whopping £16,000 – this is a phenomenal amount and will make a huge difference to the 100 families we currently support whilst living with childhood cancer.”

And Hazel has some big news for 2019…

“The support from the Kiltwalk Team has been much appreciated and we are delighted to be hosting a Pit Stop at all four walks next year!

After having Pit Stops at two Kiltwalks in 2018, Team Jak will be present at all four 2019 Kiltwalks.

In spring of 2019 we move to our much needed, accessible Jaks Den Mark 2 in Livingston and the money raised from the Kiltwalks will go towards the cost of this fabulous place for our families to receive emotional and social support.

We would love to welcome new walkers for all walks in 2019 and encourage you to get in touch with hazel@teamjak.org.uk for more details of how you can walk for this fabulous cause.

We can’t wait to cheer on thousands of walkers from our Pit Stops in 2019 – we will make sure we have plenty Haribo to keep you going!”

Get involved in 2019 and choose Team Jak or a charity close to your heart and sign up for the Kiltwalk.