We were approached in May 2018 to help provide organisational support to a group of people who had set up Mighty Magnus’ Medicine Fund. On the 4th of January 2018, this 6 year old, Viking warrior was diagnosed with an aggressive type of childhood cancer, high risk (stage 4) Neuroblastoma. A large tumour had been found in his abdominal area, and like many other children with Neuroblastoma it had spread to his bones and bone marrow. He started chemotherapy to treat this aggressive childhood cancer the following day.
Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer largely affecting children under the age of 5. It originates from embryonic tissue and unfortunately can be present for a long time before it is diagnosed. Approximately 100 children in the UK will be diagnosed every year, of those around half will be in the high-risk category. Mighty Magnus has been placed on the standard treatment protocol that would be given to a child diagnosed with this disease anywhere in the world. It is a punishing, prolonged course of treatment over approximately one year with many different aspects, including chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and stem cell replacement. It is a challenging illness to treat and due to the risk of relapse Magnus will require constant monitoring in the years following the initial treatment protocol.
Even at the end of the protocol there remains a high risk of relapse. There are ongoing trials in the USA and elsewhere of therapies which are aimed at reducing relapse rates and maintaining children like Magnus in remission. There has been some promising data published recently by one of these trials demonstrating an increase in the number of children remaining disease free.
Magnus’ parents are now looking at ways they can access one of these trials for him. The costs of accessing these treatments abroad are considerable and this is why the fundraising drive was setup and will continue with further events planned for 2019. If for any reason the funds raised are not required for Magnus then all monies will be donated to supporting research into beating this terrible illness and reducing the side effects of the current treatments.
Since the initial request we have supported three events.
Organised with tremendous help from the Might Magnus Team who chased sponsors, sold tickets, horses and riders throughout their personal contacts at the local school, scouts, brownies and local sports clubs. This resulted in over 70 people attending the event.
The event was a standard charity race night with the showing of horse racing films with a Tote system of ‘betting’ and a bar run by the MMM volunteers. As people settled in, with their first drink, for a night’s entertainment the event was explained by the host for the evening, Rtn. Colin Bain. Betting commenced for the first race and the film to be used was randomly selected and shown. Excitement mounted in the crowd with everyone cheering on their horse until the winner crossed the line. Those that had selected the winning horse collected their winnings and the winning horse owner and rider collected their winnings. This continued for the first 3 races and then there was a surprise Gentlemen’s Handicap, the Caterpillar Day Nursery Novice Chase.
The tote worked the same as before but 8 men volunteered from the audience to take part in the race. They had to wind in a string pulling their wooden ‘horse’. There were 8 Magnus logos on wooden plinths and the fastest to wind theirs in would be the winner. What they didn’t know was that the ‘horse’ was only loosely fixed to the plinth and if the pulled rather than wound they would be a faller and out of the race. After betting was closed the race commenced. Excitement in the room was tremendous with the whole crowd cheering on their favourite and trying to get the best view of the race.
Horse 5 moved into an early lead and was looking to be a sure fire winner until it fell with 2m to go and horse 6 fell shortly after. Both riders were very disappointed. The race was won by horse 2 with the crowd cheering louder than ever.
After a short break races 5,6,& 7 followed the normal format and race 8 was an auction race. This time 8 ladies volunteered as the riders and this added to the excitement in the auction. Bidding was brisk with husbands bidding but not always on their wives. Once the auction was complete, the tote opened and betting was brisk. The race was just as exciting as the first with the crowd cheering on their rider. There were no fallers this time and the race as one by horse 3.
Overall it was a great night and there were lots of requests for another in early 2019. Overall the night raised an amazing £2500 for MMM thanks to the efforts of the MMM team in getting so many people and organisations involved and the frenzy of the auction.
Mighty Magnus Big Swish Event
This was a clothes swap and pamper evening aimed at the local ladies. People took along 5 items of clothing and swapped them for something someone else had brought. Think of Saturday Swap Shop but for nice clothes. There was a range of stall holders also selling a range of items and services such as hair dressing, make up stylists, henna designs, gifts, jewellery, scented candles and everything else a woman would want to relax with.
We helped them to sell tickets online and helped out on the evening with the clothes preparation and swaps as well as helping to run a stall selling items made from recycled items such as paper necklaces and handbags made from ring pulls. Overall the night was great fun and it raised £1400
Mighty Magnus Ball
Working again with the MMM team we organised a charity ball and auction. The team were magnificent in engaging local and national organisations to provide raffle and auction prizes. The ladies also managed to drum up support from local people, business and entrepreneurs to buy the £45 per head tickets. The ball was being held in late November and several local people made it their Christmas party so that added to the atmosphere.
Tables were prepared on the Friday and party favours provided by Maxine Henderson and Cakery Bay were distributed. Early on Saturday the raffle and auction prizes were displayed and the team was ready for the guests to arrive
We were thrilled that 200 people attended the Ritz Banqueting and Conference Suites in Desborough on the evening and created such a fabulous atmosphere. We had a great 3 course meal and were entertained by ballroom and latin dancers, Scott Woods & Vladimira Dzhalova and Sam Morris & Jasmine Woods from the Step by Step Dance Academy. Jane Ellis Designs Photography were on hand to record nearly everyone dressed in all of their finery.
To get the party going we played Heads & Tails with the winner winning a £1000 diamond and setting of their choice from Steffans the Jewellers. This was actually the second game as those who arrived by bus had already played the mobile game on the journey from Brixworth. Wesley Suter led the auction magnificently raising an incredible £7925 from the 19 lots keeping the audience engaged throughout.
Once the meal was finished we were entertained by Grande Quattro who played a wide range of music keeping the dance floor full until the end of the evening, being loudly cheered back on for an encore. A huge thank you has to go the Ant Foreman at A-Teck for supplying the sound, vision and lights on the night.
Overall the evening was a great success raising nearly £17,000 for the MMM Fund. Future events are already being planned by the MMM team and I’m sure that they will ask us along in the future.