Dozens of fundraisers who held tribute events for a much-missed Chester man have helped Clatterbridge Cancer Centre reach a funding milestone.

Popular cricketer, footballer and law graduate Tom Arnold passed away in June last year from oesophageal cancer at the age of just 27.

Tom’s family – mother Jane, father John, sister Elise and brother Luke – set a target of £25,000, and through a range of themed events including Trek 4 Tom, Taches 4 Tom, Totty 4 Tom and Together 4 Tom, they have smashed their original funding goal.

The target now stands at more than £32,000, but as Jane explained, the fundraising will continue.

She said: “What we are hoping from all of this is to raise awareness of oesophageal cancer, as it is one of the five biggest cancer killers but usually happens to older people who tend to smoke too much and drink too much. However, it’s on the grow in younger people.

“We might never know why Tom had it, but it would be good to get some kind of answers – is there a trigger? We don’t know. The research will help to find if there is, but we already know there was no genetic link.

Chester man Tom Arnold who died of cancer
Chester man Tom Arnold who died of cancer
 

“We have got to keep the programme funded so the work into this condition does not stop, which is why we’re continuing to help raise money.”

Jane said many businesses, schools and individuals helped along the way.

She said: “A lot of businesses have been very generous, whether it has been a quiz night, or a reception for the boys who took part in the Trek 4 Tom, or for those who have given raffle prizes.

The Trek 4 Tom team reach the summit during the group's Three Peaks Challenge
The Trek 4 Tom team reach the summit during the group's Three Peaks Challenge
 

“Earlier this year, at the 10th anniversary reunion of Tom’s King’s School Chester year group, £800 was donated to the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre from old classmates.

“In June, we had the quiz night, with the help of Jenni Simmons, who has been very supportive, and we collected about £2,500 from that night which included a raffle.

“Then there was a week at the Grosvenor Arms in Aldford, where people were challenged to put 20p on a slice of lemon that was floating in a tank. We had £145 raised from that.

“A few days later that month, £600 was donated from Tom’s cricket team, The Outlaws. Later this year, we held the Together 4 Tom ball at Chester Town Hall, where people were very generous with gifts and raffle prizes.

“Bar Lounge showed great support too, with a collection that took about £1,500.

“The Trek 4 Tom team were fabulous and the 16 of them have been able to raise £12,000 between them by doing the Three Peaks Challenge, an enormous amount.

“We have also produced a second Totty 4 Tom calendar, which this year is in colour, and has attracted a lot of interest.”

The Totty4Tom 2014 calendar line-up, raising funds in memory of popular Chester man Tom Arnold
The Totty4Tom 2014 calendar line-up, raising funds in memory of popular Chester man Tom Arnold
 

In addition, students at the Hammond School now have Christmas tree boxes filled with baubles that they are selling in memory of Tom.

The prefects are organising a sweet sale for the charity, while the school held a non-uniform day yesterday, with money from that going towards the funds. The school is also holding a DVD afternoon to raise money.

Now the money has been raised, work can start on the research project at the Clatterbridge cancer centre, where Tom was treated.

Jane said: “ We are pleased this research will take place here in the North West. Tom was a wonderful young man who touched the lives of so many.

“The amount raised is a tribute to the person he was. Sadly we will not know the man he would have been.”

Jade Barrett from the charity added: “The combined effort lead by Jane, John, Elise and Luke is truly inspirational.

“Since Tom’s family and friends started the TOCA memorial a year ago, they have become a huge part of the team at the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity supporting us to raise funds for Clatterbridge cancer patients across the region.”

Professor Daniel Palmers, who will be leading the research at Clatterbridge, added: “The fundraising for The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity lead by the Arnold family is phenomenal.

“Over £32,000 has been raised so far with much more planned. This funding will support our research team in undertaking pioneering research into oesophageal cancer, which will ensure we are able to offer the very latest treatments to Clatterbridge cancer patients across the region.

“Thank you so much from all the team at Clatterbridge, we are incredibly grateful.”

The Totty 4 Tom 2014 calendar is still available to buy online. For more details, visit

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