Carnival theme for fundraiser’s farewell ball

Press release posted 24 August 2015

Christie fundraiser Jo Edwards is throwing a farewell ball as she reaches her fundraising target.

The Rio Carnival themed evening will take place on Saturday 10th October at The Isla Gladstone Conservatory, in Stanley Park, Liverpool.

This will be the fifth and final ball Jo, from Birkenhead and now living in Newton-le-Willows will be organising.

Jo's husband Chris, a detective with Greater Manchester police, sadly passed away, aged 33, in 2010, from a rare form of stomach cancer after being treated at The Christie. Jo was six months pregnant with their son Luca when he passed away.

And to honour her husband's memory and to give something back to The Christie, Jo has been tirelessly fundraising ever since.

Jo said: "It all started with a 20 mile sponsored walk from my home to Anfield Football Stadium, as Chris was a big Liverpool fan. I wanted to give something back to The Christie. They'd extended Chris' life long enough for us to have Luca and I was so grateful.

"I didn't have any expectations so I was shocked when we raised£8k. It made me think it might be possible to raise £15k and add Chris' name to the Tree of Hope memorial at The Christie. So I signed up for some of the sporting events organised by the charity, and I organised a few more events of my own and I found out I was quite good at it.

I decided to really push myself and organise a ball - I never thought I'd be able to do it but I did, I've gone on to organise another four and I've now raised £80k and am well on track to reach my final target of £100k.

The money Jo raises goes to Chris' specialist team at The Christie for research into upper gastrointestinal cancer.

The ball includes a three course dinner, live entertainment from popular local band the Flynn and Tonics, and an auction with fabulous prizes including a four star holiday in the Algarve, a four star skiing holiday in Bulgaria, and 'money can't buy' tickets to the X Factor live final and London fashion week. All guests will take home a goodie bag filled with complementary products courtesy of local beauty spa The House. And as this is the final ball there will be some special surprises for guests on the night.

Jo said: "Despite reaching my fundraising target I will still continue to fundraise for The Christie. I don't know where I'd be without my son, he's a miracle. And without The Christie Luca wouldn't be here, they gave Chris and me another precious two years together. I can't thank them enough."

Rebecca Jones, Community Fundraising Manager at The Christie charity said: "Jo is a true inspiration. She has raised an incredible amount of money at what must have been a very difficult time for her family. She has really pushed the boat out organising her fifth and final ball, we wish her the best of luck. It's sure to be an amazing evening."

Tickets are on sale for £55 each or £550 for a table of ten, and can be bought by emailing Jo directly via chrisedwardstributefund@gmail.com.

If you would like to support the cause by donating an auction or raffle prize for the event, please contact Jo on the email address above.

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust through its fundraising activities, and delivers projects, equipment and improvements that are over and above what the NHS funds. The charity has over 30,000 supporters who helped raise £13.3m last year. 

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