The family of Hollie Clark are continuing their year of fundraising for Anthony Nolan in memory of their ‘blue eyed girl’, this time with a brand new event ‘Le Grande Spin’.
The Clark family from Cardiff are asking everyone who backed Hollie’s ‘pants on your head’ appeal for a bone marrow donor to take part in their new French-themed spin-a-thon event, so that blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan can help give others the chance of life.
It all began with ‘A Miracle at Christmas’ to launch their efforts with a 24 hour Spin-a-thon on Christmas Eve last year, in memory of Hollie, who sadly died of blood cancer in November. The family, friends and people from the community turned up to Tesco in Cardiff to take on a 30 minute slot on one of the bikes – named Rudolph, Comet and Dancer.
Through the Spin-a-thon and generous donations, including raffle prizes such as a signed jersey from Gareth Bale, Hollie’s Little Helpers have raised nearly £39,000 a towards our lifesaving work.
An amazing fundraising target
The family have now set themselves an almighty target, to raise a whopping £100,000. Supporters of HelpHollie are taking on a number of challenges, including running the Virgin Money London Marathon and taking on triathalons, Iron Man challenges and even an ultra marathon.
And now the family have launched their next big fundraiser, the ‘Le Grande Spin’. On 1st May they are holding another spin-a-thon at Tesco in Bridgend, this time with a French theme. This is to launch their Paris2Bridgend cycle where seven of Hollie’s Little Helpers are cycling the 500-mile route from Paris to Bridgend, where Hollie’s family are from.
‘We were so moved by how many people wanted to give up a little bit of time to take part in our last spin-a-thon on Christmas Eve’, 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. ‘It was an amazing event and a fitting testament to Hollie’s lifesaving legacy. We now need even more people to get to help us raise money and save lives this year, so that other children can find their miracle donors.’
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.
Keep checking www.helphollie.com to find out the latest on these fundraising activities and see the brand new website.