Laurie Engel cancer fund achieves its goal

By Matthew Engel
SJA members who were at the 2006 Sports Journalism Awards dinner may dimly recall that the raffle that night raised more than £3,500 for the Teenage Cancer Trust Laurie Engel Fund.

Actually, it raised far more indirectly: that was the night President Parky offered to do a one-man show for us (which he duly did, and it was a triumph) and many other members have made their own individual efforts and donations.

Anyway, this is to reassure everyone that we have not used the loot to pad the pension or decamp to Barbados. The new unit for teenaged cancer patients at Bimingham Children’s Hospital is now being built and should be open for business by the end of the year. Pictures and updates on our website:

When Laurie died, aged 13, in 2005, my wife Hilary and I started out aiming for £10,000 in the hope that might somehow make the thing happen. Because it’s desperately needed.

We’ve reached £865,000, and it is happening. But it’s a £2.5 million project, and we want to hold part of the money back to ensure the ward doesn’t look beautiful on Day One and shabby a year or two later.

The Teenage Cancer Trust has the balance in place, but obviously the more we raise, the more the Trust will have for its other projects. So we are continuing our efforts.

It has been an amazing experience. We miss Laurie every minute of every day. But we know he’d be immensely proud of what is now about to be achieved. And thanks to all fellow hacks for your support – emotional as well as financial – through our trauma.

TCT Laurie Engel Fund, Fair Oak, Bacton, Herefordshire HR2 0AT

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