I am writing to thank you so much for the invitation for my husband and I to attend the Presidents Annual Dinner at the House of Lords in June. I was so excited as I ripped open the envelope with the crest on it and read the first few paragraphs. I don't get the opportunity to go out much nowadays, especially not to black tie dinners.
However, I'm afraid I shall have to decline this invitation. You see, not only am I a supporter of the James Whale Fund but I am also a patient and sufferer of this dreadful disease - renal cell carcinoma. I have been fighting advanced kidney cancer for three and a half years with operations, procedures, treatments and drugs I have had to fight tooth and nail to gain funding for. During this time I have, on behalf of the JWF, made a promotional film about RCC - 'Kidney Cancer, Jane's Journey' - taken part in several awareness events, written many media articles on the subject and have been heavily involved in the fight to secure funding from NICE for kidney cancer drugs.
Having cancer is in itself is an expensive business. I no longer am able to work. My husband has had to take a lot of time off work to both look after me and take me to my many and various hospital appointments - plus pay for the pleasure of parking there - and we still have 2 children living at home. So paying 120 pounds for a meal is totally out of the question, plus the cost of travel and over night accommodation we would need.
I am guessing I'm not the only patient to receive this invitation and whilst I can appreciate the need to raise funds for the JWF, sufferers of the disease are perhaps not the best place to start. Believe me if I were to win the lottery next week the JWF would be the first charity to benefit from it but until then I do all I can in my own way.
I wish you all the best for the dinner in June and hope you raise a lot of money - and thank you once again for the invitation,
(I wonder if I will receive a reply?)