The family of Hollie Clark have launched a year of fundraising for Anthony Nolan in memory of their ‘blue eyed girl’, as they prepare for their first Christmas since she sadly died of leukaemia in November.
The Clark family from Cardiff are asking everyone who backed Hollie’s ‘pants on your head’ appeal for a bone marrow donor to now join their fundraising efforts, so that blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan can help give others like Hollie the chance of life.
‘They say that Christmas is a time for miracles. They say it is a time for hope and goodwill. If this is true, it’s because of everyone who has supported our campaign so far; you are all Hollie’s little helpers,’ said Hollie’s Uncle Matthew Clark, who devised the viral ‘pants on your head’ selfie campaign, after putting his pants on his head to make Hollie laugh while she was in hospital. ‘We now need more people to get on the good list by helping us raise money and save lives this Christmas, so that other children can find their miracle donors.’
The family are launching their efforts with a 24 hour Spinathon on Christmas Eve. Throughout the night, local people will be turning up to Tesco in Excelsior Road, Cardiff, to take on a 30 minute slot on one of the bikes – named Rudolph, Comet and Dancer after Santa’s reindeer.
The family will also be selling raffle tickets at the event to win a Signed Welsh Rugby jersey for the Autumn 2014 series.
Hollie’s father and uncle launch their Christmas appeal for Help Hollie
‘We’re so moved by how many people want to give up a little bit of time over Christmas to help others, that’s what the season is all about. If you want to be a part of this Christmas miracle, get onto the Help Hollie website and book your slot.’ said Matthew. ‘Besides, it’d be nice to have someone to chat to at 3am at Tesco!’
Hollie Clark became unwell in April this year, after being diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). ‘We were told she needed a bone marrow transplant and at the time there was no match for her,’ said her dad Stephen Clark. ‘We were devastated but we soon came to realise we needed to find that special person and not sit, hope and wait for a match.’
The family launched an awareness raising campaign urging people to post #pantsonyourhead selfies and join the Anthony Nolan register. The idea took off, leading to a 2580% increase in Welsh donor registrations in the summer of 2014 and attracting huge celebrity support. At its peak, when Gareth Bale, the world’s most expensive footballer posted his picture, the Help Hollie Facebook page had a total reach of 4.6 million.
Hollie found her match and her bone marrow donation took place in July 2014. Sadly, it wasn’t to be and Hollie died in her parents loving arms on 6th November 2014 due to complications.
‘Thanks to Hollie’s amazing stem cell donor and Anthony Nolan, Hollie had a chance. Surely everyone in this position deserves a chance? Ever since, we’ve vowed to raise awareness and funds for Anthony Nolan’, said Stephen.
The year ahead will be packed with HelpHollie fundraising activities. The next projects for Help Hollie will be a 500-mile Paris to Penybont Bike Ride, and a #pantsonyourhead charity ball.
Keep checking www.helphollie.com to find out the latest on these fundraising activities.