Dreams come true for cancer patients in Doncaster

Football star Paul Merson at a fund raiser for the Eve Merton Dream Trust with Martin Lawrence and Clynton Johnson, charity co. founders
Football star Paul Merson at a fund raiser for the Eve Merton Dream Trust with Martin Lawrence and Clynton Johnson, charity co. founders
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Dream maker Sarah Maye knows all about the good work the Eve Merton Trust does.

That is because she is one of those who had their dreams come true thanks to the work the organisation was doing before she joined.

Eve Merton Trust volunteers at an awards ceremony in Doncaster

Eve Merton Trust volunteers at an awards ceremony in Doncaster

Sarah, aged 45, from Denaby, was helped by the trust back in 2014. She had been suffering from breast cancer when she first encountered its work.

"I underwent my own cancer battle, which is how I found out about what it did," she said.

"They fulfilled my dream, and when I realised how the dream made me feel on that day. It made me want to do the same for others.

"My dream that they made come true was to have a pink themed party, because I had had breast cancer. I wanted to get all my family and friends together once my treatment had finished, to celebrate life and to thank them all for the support they had given me. I wanted everyone to be able to let their hair down.

Sarah Maye with Curtis Allen

Sarah Maye with Curtis Allen

"I wanted everyone to smile. Sometimes through my treatment I felt really selfish, and I did what I could to get through it. But I knew what a struggle it was for my friends, too.

"I also had a balloon release with cards sent into the air listing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. I never self examined and had no family history. People have to be aware."

One of her friends, Marie Caygill, had nominated her with the trust.

After that, she wanted to help others in the way she had been helped. The trust helps people who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Martin Astill with friends and family at his Eve Merton Dreams Trust even at his home in Doncaster

Martin Astill with friends and family at his Eve Merton Dreams Trust even at his home in Doncaster

She was given her first dream to work on in January 2016. The plan was to bring a bit of magic to Martin Astill, from Dunscroft.

Martin was a scooter enthusiast, and the trust's plan was to create a major gathering of riders to join him for a ride.

An appeal by the charity led to around 300 taking part in a giant convoy. A delighted Martin, aged 46 at the time, said it was something he would remember for the rest of his life.

Sadly, he died later in the year.

Sarah Maye at a fundraised for the Eve Merton Dreams Trust

Sarah Maye at a fundraised for the Eve Merton Dreams Trust

The scooter enthusiasts who took part even raised £500 for the trust.

Another dream she helped bring to life was for football-mad teenager Curtis Allen, who was suffering from leukaemia.

With help from another charity, she was able to arrange for Liverpool fan Curtis to visit his favourite team's training ground and meet manager Jurgen Klopp and the players, including his favourite, the Brazil international Philippe Coutinho.

Sarah is not alone in making the dreams come true. She was one of six dreams co-ordinators, who are among around 21 volunteers who help run the charity

Others do fundraising, helping the charity raise £440,000 since 2011 to make dreams come true.

Doncaster based One Call Insurance donated £47,677.94 to the Eve Merton Trust this month following a year-long fundraising effort involving almost 500 staff members. The firm has also introduced a round-up feature that allows existing customers to round-up their payments to the nearest pound, with the additional funds being donated to the charity.

The next big major fundraiser is expected to be an annual Charity Legends football match at the Keepmoat Stadium, between a team of sponsored fundraisers, and a team of former professional soccer stars.

For more information about the trust, contact them on www.evestrust.co.uk

Home from home

The Eve Merton Trust now has its own holiday destination - and it is already providing dream breaks for those in need of a break.

The Caravan of Dreams has been bought by the charity with a grant it was awarded by the insurance firm Aviva, and is based on a caravan holiday park in Skegness.

Many of those who have a dream they want to come true ask for a family holiday to make memories.

The charity has been done up to be a home from home, with facilities including Netflix, board games and a kitchen. A local company, Mukaway, provides cleaning for the charity for free, and a welcome pack for those who stay.

Background

The Eve Merton Dreams Trust was set up in memory of Eve Merton, who spent over 20 years working on the Doncaster Market and in her spare time did everything she could to help others.

This included creating a Christmas club, running Weight Watchers, looking after the elderly and even founding a football club which is still running to this day.

Eve died in 2011, after a two year battle with cancer, surrounded by her family.

Eve’s son, Martin, who described his mum as his ‘inspiration and hero’, set up the charity in her memory to fulfill the dreams of local people suffering from cancer.

They have brought about hundreds of dreams which included a wedding for a 27-year-old woman, who just weeks before was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer; and a family holiday for an eight year old girls year old with an untreatable brain tumour.

They have also supplied the whole of the Doncaster Royal Infirmary Cancer Ward with phones and tablets in order for patients in isolation to keep in touch with their loved ones.