Factor 50 comprises of a group of people, all brought together by their experiences of Melanoma.
Gill Nuttall first attended an appointment at the Christie in March 2007. "When I first went to the Christie with Jon, it struck me what a lovely place it was. That might seem a strange thing to say about a hospital, especially one dealing with such serious illness, yet everyone there was there for the same reason, they were being treated, diagnosed, recovering etc.
As Jon's treatment progressed and it became clear what a difficult place he was in, I made up my mind to do something that really mattered and try to make a difference to the sufferers of melanoma. I met with Dr Lorigan and asked if there was anything I could do to help his team raise funds and awareness of skin cancers, melanomas etc.
In April 2007, Factor 50 was launched and has now become the focus of all my spare time. I love the work this involves and it has gone far beyond what I ever imagined. The aim initally was to raise funds but we are now so much more than that. We give patients support and help raise awareness of this disease. We are also stakeholders with NICE and are part of the Government's melanoma task force. We make a real difference and we are very proud of that.
Skin cancer and melanoma affects families in a way you can't imagine. After seeing how Jon and his family were affected, I knew we had to do something positive."
Mike Nuttall is heavily involved with Factor 50, through his support of his wife Gill. Mike said "We were all good friends with Jon and we miss him very much. I just knew that when Jon passed away, Gill would find something good from what had happened and she did. Factor 50 is proof of what Jon meant to so many people and just how hard she has worked to take this further. I started off by doing the 3 Peaks challenge which was great fun and I'm planning on more physical events in the coming years.
Before we met Jon, we didn't know anyone with skin cancer. Sadly, we now know of a lot of people but we hope that through our efforts we can make a difference. We train hard for the walks that we do, always aware of the dangers of the sun, the possibility of sun burn and skin cancer and we use high factor sun screens and cover up properly.
Andy Worthington has been friends with the Nuttall family for a while. Andy's niece Cheryl had a melanoma removed a number of years ago. Andy decided to get involved with the group and is now a vital member of the team. "I didn't really need much persuading to get involved. It was absolutely the right thing for me to do. Like Mike, I've done the 3 Peaks and am very involved in the events side of things, organising collections, quiz nights, golf days and 5 a side competitions. In May 2010 I did the Manchester 10k to fundraise, something I hope to make an annual event. Raising awareness of melanoma and funds to research better treatments has become an important part of my life"
If you would like to know more about fundraising for Factor 50 and for melanoma research, please get in touch.