A committee led by author, journalist and BBC broadcaster Pat Murphy has raised over £40,000 for Cure Leukaemia in memory of their friend Andy Payne who died of leukaemia in 2016 aged just 55. The committee’s aim was to raise enough to fund a specialist research nurse at the Centre for Clinical Haematology at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, a goal they have comfortably surpassed.
Andy, who left a widow and three children, was a cameraman for the BBC in the Midlands working on popular shows including Gardener’s World. A keen cricketer, Andy played for a number of teams around the region where he developed a host of friendships that were hit hard when they heard of his death.
Pat, Anthony Monk, Andy Hickinbottom, Tom Moss, Malcolm Richards and Cure Leukaemia co-founder Graham Silk formed a committee to raise these vital funds through a series of online auctions, raffles and charity events. Drawing on their excellent contacts they managed to secure a host of ‘money can’t buy’ items for people to bid for including a Match of the Day studio experience, a tour of Monty’s Don’s famous ‘Longmeadow’ garden, a coaching session with England cricket star Chris Woakes and lunch with Stiliyan Petrov and Martin O’Neill to name just a few highlights from a fantastic list.
Pat, on behalf of the ‘Andy Payne Fund A Nurse’ committee said: “The feeling is bittersweet for us as we would much rather still have our good friend Andy with us but we are so pleased to have surpassed our fundraising target. We wanted to fund something tangible in Andy’s memory and it is heartening to think that patients in similar position to Andy will have access to pioneering treatments for this cruel disease through our funding of a specialist research nurse.”
“We are eternally grateful to the many people who have helped us source these fantastic auction items, without their generosity we would not have reached our goal. There are too many people to thank and they know who they are! If our efforts save just one life we will feel that this project has made a real difference.”
Cure Leukaemia CEO James McLaughlin said, “ever since Andy sadly passed away we have seen how immensely popular he was. Many people have raised funds in his memory and, this year, Pat and the committee have achieved this remarkable total through a very innovative idea. The auction items they managed to source were so unique and I was not surprised to see the bids flying in. We are immensely grateful to the whole committee for their tireless efforts to achieve this figure which will fund one of our specialist research nurses for a year.”
Cure Leukaemia's £1m Centre Appeal 2017