A charity that is pioneering research into cancer, heart disease and dementia is being supported by a holistic therapist’s nationwide sales network in memory of a man who lived 300 miles away.
The Daisy Appeal, which is based at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham and covers the Hull and Humber region, will benefit from a full week of commissions donated by Karen Engstrom from her business in Ackworth, West Yorkshire.
Karen will make contributions from sales of her Neal’s Yard product range and from the virtual spa sessions that are proving a big hit under lockdown. She is inspired by memories of her uncle, Keith Godding (left), who lived at Cerne Abbas in Dorset and died in March 2020.
Karen told how her uncle worked as a contracts engineer in the oil industry and lived in England, Scotland, Norway and the United States before retiring to Cerne Abbas. He’d had surgery and treatment for cancer of the oesophagus after being diagnosed in 2006. In February 2020 Keith was diagnosed with liver cancer and he died the following month.
Karen said: “Uncle Keith was such a fun-loving man, full of humour and a zest for life. There was always so much fun and laughter in his presence.
“I have done quite a few fundraising events and as we approach the anniversary of Uncle Keith’s death on March 10, I wanted to support a cancer charity. I looked up a few online and found the Daisy Appeal, which is ideal because it also works with dementia, which has also affected my family and friends.”
Karen worked as a secretary at banks in Pontefract and Castleford and for KMPG in Leeds but retrained to launch a new career as a holistic therapist 14 years ago.
She started with reflexology and aromatherapy and massage and progressed to hot stones, Indian head massage and Hopi candle treatment. More recently she trained to offer beauty facials using Neal’s Yard products and during the last year she launched the online events.
Karen said: “Obviously we couldn’t bring people in or go out to visit them so we developed the online parties and it’s gone brilliantly.
“We send a small pack of products to clients and arrange to get together on Zoom with family and friends so they can have their own pamper sessions with me guiding them through it and giving them a wonderful spa experience in their own home.
“During the last year we’ve all discovered that almost anything can happen online and it’s just a case of finding new ideas.”
Karen will donate all commission from sales in her online shop from 9am on Monday, February 15, until midnight on Friday, February 19, with a dedicated link transferring her donations direct to the Daisy Appeal. She will also make a donation for every virtual spa booking.
Karen said: “Most of my clients are in the local area where I provide a personal service with gift wrapping and safe delivery. I also have clients in North Yorkshire and down south and I hope others will join them in supporting this.
“I’ve supported Macmillan over the last five or six years and raised more than £500 last year. I want to try and double that this year because the NHS were marvellous with Uncle Keith and I wanted to give something back and help to get rid of this horrible disease.”
The Daisy Appeal has a target of £8.2 million to complete a radiochemistry and cyclotron unit which will produce radioactive tracers at Castle Hill Hospital to improve accuracy and detection rates for cancer, heart disease and dementia and provide the opportunity for patients to receive more personalised care leading to earlier diagnosis and giving them better treatment and quality of life.
Once the facility is fully functional patients from a wider geographical area will have access to its services. The charity aims to play a leading role in clinically relevant PET-CT research over the next two decades and to show that the technology can be brought to the individual patient, quickly and effectively.
Claire Levy, fundraiser at the Daisy Appeal, said: “We were thrilled when Karen approached us with such a generous offer and we hope she gets a great response – especially for the virtual spa sessions which sound like a really fun way to bring people together in such difficult times.
“It’s amazing to think that Keith lived in Dorset, 300 miles away from Castle Hill, and that his memory is helping to support the Daisy Appeal but it shows the pioneering nature of our work.
“Our treatments are of direct benefit to patients across the Hull and Humber region and the research we are carrying out is of national and international significance so it would be wonderful if Karen’s commitment could raise awareness of what we do.”
To support Karen’s fundraising event, visit the dedicated Daisy Appeal link at uk.nyrorganic.com/shop/karenengstrom/party/W001627369
To find out more about the Daisy Appeal, visit daisyappeal.org