FUNDRAISERS have amassed more than £115k in memory of their friend Worcestershire fruit farmer Colin Broomfield, to support a brain tumour charity established by England cricketer Ashley Giles and his wife Stine.
Members of ‘Team Colin’ are appealing for final donations for The Giles Trust Brain Tumour Fund before closing the fundraising campaign next month (February), which marks the second anniversary of his death.
Owner of Broomfield’s Farm in Holt Heath, Colin died in February 2020, aged 52, almost two years after being diagnosed with a terminal Glioblastoma brain tumour.
The Giles Trust Brain Tumour Fund was founded in 2015 by former England cricketer and now England’s Director of Cricket, Ashley Giles MBE and his wife Stine following her own multiple battles with the disease.
In the first year of fundraising for The Giles Trust, Team Colin have exceeded their original £70,000 target to raise lost funds due to the pandemic.
A close friend of Colin’s for more than 40 years, Ivor Allchurch, said: “Myself and another close friend of Colin’s, Jim Weston, got talking after the funeral about doing some fundraising and Colin’s wife Fiona said she would like it to benefit The Giles Trust because they knew Ashley and Stine Giles from Bromsgrove School and Stine had been helpful in supporting and giving her advice.
“The original £70,000 target was set because that is the amount the charity would have raised at the Giles Trust Gala Dinner which had to be cancelled due to lockdown.”
Jim Weston’s Broom Wagon Wobblers raised more than half of the total in a cycle challenge in May last year.
Jim said: “The Wobblers just needed a good excuse to get fitter and what was going to be four of us turned into 14. It was a good way to remember Colin, has given us all some great muddy memories and raised some funds towards the great work that the Giles’ Trust do.
Other support included £10,000 raised from a fundraising dinner hosted by a group of Worcestershire businessmen who call themselves ‘The Fine Fourteen’ and digital support from another of Colin’s friends Steve Thomas.
Fundraising is being encouraged until the end of February in all forms, including social and sporting events – or donations here.
In 2006, Ashley Giles rushed back from Australia, where he had been part of the Ashes team, to be with his wife, Stine, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was removed successfully, but the family were devastated to learn in 2012 that more tumours had developed. In 2018, Stine was diagnosed with another tumour that required immediate treatment – and thanks to the world-class experts at QEHB, her outcome was positive.
Stine became one of the first people in the country to be treated with the
TomoTherapy machine, which had been purchased by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) Charity just weeks before. Without it, she had few treatment options available to her.
Experiencing first-hand how important research and cutting-edge equipment was, Stine vowed that if her treatment was successful and her prognosis was good, she would endeavour to raise funds for brain tumour research.
Since then it has raised more than £800,000, some of which has funded a full-time research nurse post which is helping to transform clinical research in neuro-oncology at the University Hospitals Birmingham.
As a charity the Trust operates in the medical research sector, working closely with frontline specialists, consultants, and clinicians. This helps them to target their funding to where it is needed most, including a pioneering surgical navigation system which is translating into improved patient outcomes and more rapid recovery times.
Dr Sara Meade. Oncology Consultant at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham where Colin was treated, said: “The impact from the Giles’ Trust has been incredible. The contribution from the charity has significantly impacted on the delivery of the highest standard of care in this patient group. The benefits of the Giles’ Trust donations have been felt by patients and staff.”
More information about The Giles Trust Brain Tumour Fund and details about how to help or donate, can be found here.
Ivor Allchurch added: “Colin was a charismatic kind and loving man and this fundraising is also our way of celebrating his life.
“Despite Colin having received fantastic treatment and fighting extremely hard, there’s still a long way to go in advancing the treatment of this disease and raising awareness.
He added: “Fiona has had to pick up the reins herself to keep the business going. This was very challenging for her as, like every other business, it was experiencing the effects on trading left by the pandemic, but two years later the business continues successfully and is supported greatly by the local community.
“Colin would be incredibly proud of what Fiona’s done and of his son Joe and daughter Chloe for the way they’ve coped.”