Gemma Styles supports GirlvsCancer

 

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Founder of GirlvsCancer Lauren Mahon

February 9th, 2019: Gemma Styles, sister of Harry Styles, shared a post on Instagram this week in support of GirlvsCancer, a brand of t-shirts designed by cancer survivor Lauren Mahon the sale of which goes to support four cancer charities. In the Instagram post, Gemma is wearing a special edition t-shirt with the logo “Keep your cool” which was designed in dedication to the late Rachel Bland, a journalist and a presenter with BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC North West Tonight, and to the crew at Paxman Scalp Cooling, who helped Rachael keep her hair during treatment. Indeed, Paxman Scalp Cooling has engineered a cooling cap that can be worn by patients undergoing chemotherapy to prevent hair loss.

 

The founder of GirlvsCancer Lauren Mahon was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 31. While the diagnosis was obviously a shock to Lauren, she maintained her positive attitude and got to work.  At one point during treatment, Lauren could no longer attend to her job, so as a mean to support herself and to bring attention to breast cancer in younger women, she started to design t-shirts that she named TIT-TEES. The t-shirts are an ironic twist to breast cancer with eggs, hearts, bananas, and melons designed on the breasts or with uplifting logos such as “Fierce as fuck” and “Hope is dope”. To launch her collection Lauren reached out to influencers including Gemma Styles who participated in the launching photoshoot (see pictures below).

 

Lauren is selling her TIT-TEES and donating the proceeds to four cancer charities that are particularly geared to supporting young people diagnosed with cancer. Indeed, during treatment, she realized that there was little support for young women diagnosed with breast cancer. While support seems to be in place for older women diagnosed with the disease, it is not there for women in their 20s and 30s. The charities that Lauren supports with the sale of her TIT-TEES are:

Coppa Feel: this charity was founded by Kris Hallenga who was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer at age 23. Kris with her charity is encouraging self-exam in all women but in particular in young women. She brings her message and tutorials to schools, colleges, festivals and at other gatherings where young women are prominent, and of course online.

Trekstock: is a cancer charity specifically geared to support young adults with cancer. They work to provide practical support in modalities that are more light-hearted and understood by younger people. For example, they use social media like Facebook and gatherings/events to help people get back into the dating scene after a cancer diagnosis. They also help young people with cancer get back into exercising in a safe way. (Read here our article about Trekstock)

Future Dreams: this charity was founded by mother and daughter Sylvie and Danielle. They were both diagnosed with breast cancer when they were quite young and were both able to get better and healthy again. Unfortunately, breast cancer came back for Sylvie in 2008 and for Danielle in 2009. This is when the two women decided to found Future Dreams first for Danielle’s daughter Amy and then for all the women facing this disease so nobody would have to ever go through breast cancer alone. Sylvie and Danielle passed away 1 year apart in 2009 and 2010. Their charity continues on, though, and has raised since its inception more than 4.5 million for breast cancer support, awareness, and research.

Look Good Feel Better: this is the only international charity of this kind which provides beauty support to women with cancer. With their tutorials, makeup donated by companies like Chanel, Clinique, bareMinerals, and Revlon, and volunteers from the makeup industry this charity helps women with cancer feel beautiful again.

The TIT-TEES are really an expression of Lauren’s personality, they are beautiful and funny and are a powerful way to bring attention to breast cancer. The proceeds from their sale go to support charities that are doing amazing work to support young people with cancer and in particular breast cancer. To view all the designs available and purchase one for you, perhaps in support of someone you know with breast cancer, visit the shop at this link.

Pictures are shared from GirlvsCancer website and Gemma Styles Instagram. 

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Harry Styles, TPWK Series: Melbourne City Mission

February 2nd, 2019: The second Australian city Harry Styles performed in for his world tour was Melbourne (April 24th, 2018). Here he donated the proceeds from the sale of his Treat People with Kindness merchandise to Melbourne City Mission.

Melbourne City Mission is a Melbourne based charity that supports and helps the most marginalized and vulnerable individuals and families in the city of Melbourne, providing the most diverse types of services. The vision of Melbourne City Mission is “To create a fair and just community where people have equal access to opportunities and resources” and their mission is to “help people and communities to develop their own pathways away from disadvantage.”

Melbourne City Mission was founded in 1854 by Hester Hornbrook and Dr. John Singleton out of the need to help the thousands of immigrants that had arrived in the area via sea to seek their fortune on the goldfields. Indeed, starting from the early 50s hundreds of boats arrived in Melbourne carrying families from other parts of the world; while the men left the city to head for the goldfields, women and children were often left behind. They had established their homes in the only part of Melbourne that still had land available, the southern part which was mostly made of swamps. Here they lived in tents, with poor sanitation, often surrounded by mud in what became known as Canvas Town. Hester Hornbrook, a local widow, convinced Dr. John Singleton to ask support from the local church to establish a formal organization that would provide help to these families and this is how Melbourne City Mission was founded. While initially there was a clear connection between the charity and the church, nowadays Melbourne City Mission is nondenominational and apolitical.

Melbourne City Mission provides the most diverse types of services to people of all ages, from children to the elderly, in the city of Melbourne. The video below, shared from the charity website, illustrates well the major types of services that Melbourne City Mission provides.

This charity provides community childcare for children of all abilities and individualized respite service for families with children with disabilities. The charity has cars and vans that it uses to transport disabled adults to centers where they learn life skills and where they are entertained with music and other types of activities.  The Compass is another program at Melbourne City Mission that helps individuals with acquired brain injury regain their independence.

Another major service provided by Melbourne City Mission is the Front Yard. This is a center where individuals of all ages can walk in and find help. The Front Yard helps with doctor, dentist, and optometrist appointments, it provides a place to sleep for the night or for extended periods of time both for the homeless and for people in an emergency situation, like victims of domestic abuse. It provides practical help with job searching and job application, it helps individuals and especially teens reconnect with their families or, if this is not possible, find an alternative long term solution for housing and financial independence.

Melbourne City Mission has also training opportunities for young adults that need to enter the workforce. For example, there is a barista training course where individuals earn a certificate and a first aid training towards a certification that can be used to apply for a job or as a stepping stone for further more specialized training. This charity often offers these training courses to ex-cons to support them while they transition back in the community after serving their sentence.

Finally, Melbourne City Mission offers palliative care for individuals with a terminal illness. Their support is in all aspects of end of life care, with medical staff assisting with medical needs, mental health professionals attending the psychological needs of the patients and spiritual support as well. The charity has also a hotline available for individuals that are in situations of crisis including for example individuals that want to or attempt to commit suicide.

At this link, you can read the individual and heartwarming stories of some of the people that have been helped by the Melbourne City Mission.

To support this charity you can either donate to one of their appeals, become a regular donor by donating a sum monthly, help with their fundraising events, or volunteer for them (link here).

The picture of Harry Styles is shared from his Twitter account (Helene Panbrun’s photography).

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Mom of 5 yo Harrysson is trying to reach out to Louis Tomlinson

January 27th, 2019: Karly Rogers posted today on twitter a message to one of Louis Tomlinson’s update twitter accounts (@ttomlinsondaily) asking for help in getting Louis’ attention.  Karly’s son, 5 years old Harrysson suffers from an undiagnosed condition and his health has now taken a turn for the worse.

Harrysson has been suffering from a mysterious illness since birth. This condition causes excruciating pain and problems with both his bladder and his kidneys. Since birth, Harrysson has had to undergo over 20 different surgeries to try to alleviate the suffering.  Harrysson’s mom says “When he’s home usually suffering from yet another infection, a brave smile is often on his face but it breaks my heart watching him battle every day or miss school because he is too poorly it’s so sad.” (source)

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Not too long ago Harrysson’s family set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds that will allow them to take Harrysson to Portland Hospital in London for a diagnosis. Indeed Harrysson has been under the cure of NHS so far where they have kept him stable until recently, but at NHS there are no resources for a more in-depth investigation of what Harrysson’s condition might be. The family is desperate for a diagnosis that will hopefully provide a path towards treatment and hopefully even a cure. So far the fundraiser has raised just over 2,000 pounds.

Karly is now trying to get in touch with Louis Tomlinson who met Harrysson a few months ago at the X Factor through the Make a Wish Foundation. A post on Karly’s Twitter account dated November 11th, 2018 shows a picture of Harrysson with Louis Tomlinson backstage at the TV show. Karly explains that Harrysson misses Louis and goes on to say how so lovely Louis was when they met.

Please, lets’ try to get Louis to see Karly’s post.

Pictures are shared from Karly Rogers’ Twitter account.

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Harry Styles, TPWK Series: Focus Ireland

January 26th, 2019: Harry Styles performed in Dublin, Ireland on April 16th, 2018, as part of his solo world tour. Here he donated proceeds from the sale of his Treat People with Kindness merchandise to Focus Ireland.

Focus Ireland is the largest non-profit in Ireland and it works to prevent homelessness and to help people and families who are homeless to secure a home. Focus Ireland was founded in 1985 by Sister Stanislaus Kennedy and its mission is “to advance the right of people-out-of-home to live in a place they call home through quality services, research, and advocacy”.

It is indeed estimated that there are at least 10,000 homeless people in Ireland, 4,000 of which are children. Astonishingly, every 8 hours a family becomes homeless in Ireland, and it appears that the number of homeless people increases as the years pass, urging for most investments in the sector of affordable housing. For this reason, Focus Ireland has shifted its focus in the last few years on preventing homelessness, which it does by assisting individuals and families that are at risk of losing their home, and in advocating for more state funds to be dedicated to preventing homelessness and to helping homeless individuals and families. Research conducted by Focus Ireland indeed shows that there is simply not enough affordable public housing in Ireland that can assist individuals and families that are not able to keep up with the increase of private homes’ rent and the increase of the cost of living.

The stories behind homelessness are unique and personal and stem from financial difficulties but also from broken homes, health issues, and drug-related problems. Focus Ireland approaches each individual case in a uniquely personal way to try to find the best solution for each individual involved.

On its webpage, Focus Ireland tells the stories of a few individuals that it has helped over the years. One of these stories is the story of Alan. Alan was born in Britain and is one of 7 children. He recalls a good childhood in Britain with an orderly family life. After his mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she took the decision to bring the family to Dublin, the city where she was from. From that moment on, Alan’s family life became chaotic and full of financial and health problems including the death of two siblings from HIV and of one from a road accident. Alan was placed in a care home when he was 14 years old and at age 17 he lost both parents. Following the death of his parents, Alan started to be involved with drugs and to have troubles with the law. He was arrested and served prison sentences throughout his adult life and was even diagnosed with schizophrenia. After his last stint in jail, Alan lost the only person who had stood by his side for almost 30 years, a woman who Alan had a relationship with. He also lost all his possessions and was left homeless. What saved Alan, after he left prison, was being able to get a flat through Focus Ireland. Alan says that having a home is what keeps him grounded and out of troubles.

Focus Ireland is supported in its work for 50% by the state and for the other 50% by donations and fundraising. The charity has also two shops called Beloved Shops where it sells high-end designer clothes and jewelry at affordable prices. The proceeds from the sale of this merchandise, generously donated by Focus Ireland supporters, go towards supporting the charity. Learn more about you can support Focus Ireland by visiting this page.

Harry Styles’ picture is credited to his Twitter account (HSHQ, Helene Pambrun’s photography).

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Liam Payne to hold a poker event to benefit UCLH NHS Foundation Trust

January 20th, 2019: Yesterday Liam Payne posted on his Twitter account a video in which he announced that he will take part in a poker tournament in London on January 25th to benefit the official charity of the University College of London Hospitals (UCLH NHS Foundation Trust). The event will be supported by PartyPokerLIVE a global organization that runs live poker events all over the world.

The video explains that all the proceeds from the charity poker tournament Liam will take part in will go towards a revolutionary proton beam therapy treatment center. Proton beam therapy is revolutionary in that the beam of protons used to irradiate diseased tissues (normally cancer) is much less damaging than other traditional radiotherapy approaches making it particularly suitable to treat pediatric cancer. The proton beam therapy center will be housed at the University College Hospital, one of the London hospitals that are part of the UCLH NHS Foundation Trust, and it is set to open this year.

The UCLH NHS Foundation Trust was established in 1994 and at the time it comprised the Middlesex Hospital, the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and University College Hospital. In 1996 other two hospitals were added: The Eastman Dental Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. Historically hospitals in the UK were founded as charities and were therefore supported by donations. In 1948 the National Health Services (NHS) was established leading to a change in the way in which hospitals were supported. Instead of being supported by donations, they became supported by the public via taxation. Following the foundation of NHS, hospitals also started to be grouped according to the regional areas. UCLH NHS Foundation Trust was one of these groupings formed by the above mentioned London hospitals.

In addition to treating over 100,000 inpatients and 500,000 outpatients per year, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust has major research and training activities supported in its hospitals in partnership with the University College of London, including training for doctors, nurses, and other types of health care professionals. Scientific research carried out by the UCLH NHS Foundation Trust is among the most cutting edge with many clinical trials running simultaneously with currently over 12,000 recruited patients.

Starting from February of this year the UCLH NHS Foundation Trust will have a new chair. Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE who is originally from the area and still lives in London has accepted the task to chair the Trust.  The Baroness comes to this position with a lot of experience having chaired the Community NHS trust in the 1990s.

If you want to learn more about the types of services offered by the hospitals of the UCLH NHS Foundation Trust and about the research and educational activities of the Trust, visit their website.

January 30th, 2019 update: The poker event Liam Payne participated to and that benefited the UCLH NHS Foundation raised £17,613, 15,000 of which were donated by Nick Raphael, the president of Capital Records UK.

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Liam Payne’s picture is a still frame of the video and is credited to his Twitter account.

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Young goalkeeper diagnosed with liver cancer gets a video message from Louis Tomlinson

January 18th, 2019: Today Jordan Dawes posted on her twitter account a video in which Louis Tomlinson tells her that he has heard about her and how brave she is, and that he sends all his love to her and her family. Jordan thanks Louis in her tweet and tells him how much she loves him.

Here is the full transcript of Louis’ message to Jordan:

“Hi Jordan, It’s Louis here. I just wanted to send you a quick message. So many people have been in contact with me about how inspirational, incredible, and strong you are. So I did some reading up on your story and I have to agree,  very very strong woman. [I’m] also a keen football fan me-self. The last couple of years I’ve kinda lost me touch, I’m not gonna lie, but I’ll get it back. I just wanted to send you all my love in the world. Sending all my love to your family as well. Keep strong. Loads of love.”

Jordan Dawes, from Swanley, is a very talented goalkeeper currently playing for North Kent College’s Kent Football United where she is a student.  Jordan was instrumental in helping Kent Football United reach the first round of the Women’s FA Cup at the end of last year. The team went through three qualifying rounds in addition to the preliminary round to reach that stage where, unfortunately, it lost to Luton Town on penalties kicks. Before playing in Kent Football United, Jordan played until she was 16 years old in the Charlton Athletic FC’s women’s team

At only 18 years of age, Jordan suffered a stroke in November of last year. Immediately hospitalized, Jordan was subjected to a battery of tests and was subsequently diagnosed with liver cancer.  While liver cancer is typically a type of cancer that occurs in older adults, there is at least one form that is diagnosed in teenagers and young adults.

While Jordan was recuperating in the hospital following her stroke, Ciara Watling, one of her coaches, posted on Twitter a message asking to send messages of support to Jordan. In particular, Ciara was trying to get the attention of Jordan’s favorite soccer player and fellow goalkeeper of the Manchester United, David de Gea. Luckily, David de Gea saw Ciara’s message and responded to it stating that he wanted to gift the glove of his 250th Premier League game to Jordan.

The tweet attracted the attention of other celebrities including England internationals Fran Kirby and Carly Telford, Brighton’s Laura Rafferty, Manchester United head coach Casey Stoney and reality stars Dan Osborne and Jack Fincham, and today of Louis Tomlinson.

Meanwhile, a Justgiving page has been set up to collect donations to help Jordan and her family during this difficult time. Initially, the goal was set at 1000 pounds but as of today, donations have surpassed 7,800 pounds (787%). Please visit the Justgiving link if you want and can help.

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Harry Styles, TPWK Series: Help Refugees

January 13th, 2019:

“No one leaves home unless / home is the mouth of a shark”, ‘Home’, by British-Somali poet Warsan Shire.

In addition to Nordoff Robins and Spread a Smile, in London Harry Styles, chose the charity Help Refugees for the donation of the proceeds of the sale of his Treat People with Kindness merchandise.

Help Refugees is a UK charity, based in London, which works to help refugees all over Europe and in Lebanon. The charity sends help and volunteers where it is most needed partnering with local grassroots organizations to bring help exactly in the form in which it is needed at each location.

Help Refugees is active in Greece and Northern France, among other European regions. In Greece, this charity assists refugees by supporting the work of a Refugee Rescue team and by providing food, in particular, fresh fruits and vegetable. Refugees that escape their countries due to wars, civil wars or famine, often do so in flimsy modes of transportation. Refugees that arrive in Greece, for the most part, do so via sea and in particular via the stretch of waters between Turkey and Greece mainland. They often do so on flimsy boats or boats that are not made for being in high seas and that are overcrowded. Sometimes refugees are even left by smugglers on the coast in areas that are not accessible from the land.

To rescues refugees from the sea and from these inaccessible areas a group of volunteers founded in 2016 on the Greek island of Lesvos a Rescue Team which uses the rescue boat called ‘Mo Chara’ (Gaelic for ‘My friend’) for their rescue operations. Help Refugees has been funding their work ever since, supporting the repair of the boat, the purchasing of their GPS navigation system and the purchase of infrared goggles for night vision, among other things.

Help Refugees also distributes fresh fruits and vegetables to the refugee camps in Greece to allow better nutrition and the cooking of the food in warm homemade meals that help lift the spirit of the refugees and create a sense of community.

The refugee crises in Northern France is especially centered around Calais and Dunkirk. In these areas, there are at least 1,300 refugees sleeping in tents, 200 of which are children. In some cases, refugees do not even have a tent and sleep in the forest in a sleeping bag. Help Refugees distributes in these areas shoes, clothes, hygiene kits, blankets, and sleeping bags. In addition, the charity together with Refugee Youth Service and L’Auberge des Migrants, created a multi-agency Child Protection team to help the overwhelmed system in the region, support the lives of the many children and infants of refugees in the area.

Help Refugees is active in other areas of Europe that see a large influx of refugees. These include Croatia, Italy, Serbia, and the UK. They also operate in Lebanon which is the nation with the largest number of refugees per capita. Indeed, Lebanon has absorbed so far over 25% of the Syrian population and has seen the arrival since 2011 of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Palestine and at least 20,000 refugees from other parts of the world.

The work of Help Refugees can be supported in many ways including with monetary donations, donations of blankets, clothes, shoes, and hygiene products, fundraisers and donating your time to do volunteer work with them. To learn more about how you can help, visit their “Get Involved” link. The charity also has a line of merchandise that includes t-shirts and bags with the slogan “Choose Love” that can be purchased at this link and an online store where you can purchase items that will go directly to refugees through the many projects the charity is supporting.

Pictures are credited to Help Refugees’ and Harry Styles’ Twitter accounts.

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