One year ago this weekend we launched Hold Amy’s Hand (HAH).
Our aim was to raise £100,000 for our beloved Amy Watts to have a life-saving operation to halt the bowel cancer she had been unknowingly suffering from for years.
Thanks to every single one of you and a whole host of celebrity friends – including Simon Cowell, Gary Lineker, Matt Goss and publisher Richard Desmond – we did it in ten whirlwind days. But devastatingly it was already too late, and our brilliant Amy passed away just two months later.
At the time, it was something we refused to believe could happen. Bury-born Amy was 37, a bright and vibrant woman who, as a showbiz journalist, Dr Who fanatic and force to be reckoned with, never backed down from a fight.
But bowel cancer is a silent killer. And we know now that of the 2,000 young people who are diagnosed with it every year, the majority are, tragically, already at stage 3 and 4.
One of Amy’s last requests was that the money raised in her name should go to raising awareness of the disease that she knew was taking her away from us all.
With that in mind, Amy’s family and the HAH team have been searching for the right way to fulfil this request – now we’re proud to announce our amazing new partnership with Bowel Cancer UK, which will use the money you raised to support its Never Too Young campaign.
The bulk of the money raised will fund an all-important new policy post in their already successful Policy and Public Affairs team. The new Policy & Campaigns Officer will be solely dedicated to the development and progress of the Never Too Young campaign. The outcomes of the work they carry out will create more opportunities to generate further funding, raise awareness and enable Bowel Cancer UK to grow and develop Never Too Young even further.
Not only that, but over the coming months we will be announcing new fundraising initiatives to raise even more for this brilliant and important campaign, which not only aims to improve the experience of young bowel cancer patients in the UK, but to raise the profile of bowel cancer in younger people in the media, fund important research, and make much-needed policy changes.
We still grieve the loss of our darling girl. But the simple fact is, if Amy’s cancer had been caught earlier, she’d still be with us today. It’s in her memory that we want to make sure that thousands of young men and women just like Amy get to stay with their loved ones.
Hold Amy’s Hand will now be dedicated to raising both money for and awareness of bowel cancer in young people so that people like Amy are diagnosed earlier and treated more efficiently. We hope you will offer us your ongoing support, in Amy’s name.