It sounds an odd way to raise money, but a children’s cancer charity has just launched a Shoecember campaign and wants people to wear two different shoes, then do a selfie to raise funds.
And the odd shoe fundraiser aims to kick start a new charity drive with schools and shop staff already signed up to donate a quid for the Kidscan cause and they’re hoping it turns into a social media craze like the Ice Bucket Challenge, only drier.
Mum Amy Wilkinson, 45, of Anderton, Northwich, has put her best foot forward in memory of her daughter Maddie, who died from a rare and aggressive form of cancer - Burkitt’s Lymphoma – aged just six.
Amy said: “After Maddie’s death I threw myself into fundraising for Kidscan as I wanted to help with research, so maybe a child could one day be saved.
“The Shoecember idea is very simple and is a great way for people to get involved and raise money.
Childhood cancer research
“We all know a family that has been hit by cancer, but this fundraising is specifically for research into childhood cancers, which can often be the fastest moving and most aggressive.”
Amy has already raised almost £12,500 for the charity, and is hoping to boost that total by £1,000 with her Shoecember day on Friday, December 11.
And the mum-of-four has signed up St Bede’s Primary School in Weaverham for the fundraiser, along with Mid Cheshire College, Hartford-based exercise group Fit Mums and Bratts department store in Northwich.
Amy, a cosmetics sales assistant at Bratts, has a five-year-old son Bradley at St Bede’s Primary School, her 14-year-old Elliot was a year older than Maddie and her eldest Oliver, 20, was at St Nicholas Catholic High School in Hartford when his baby sister died and their mum was studying a foundation degree at Mid-Cheshire College.
Other schools have expressed interest in taking part in the event, and Amy hopes as many people as possible will support the fundraiser.
Major event for Kidscan
Amy said: “I hold a major event for Kidscan every two years, and I’m asking children or adults to wear odd shoes for the day at school or work, and to pay £1 to charity.
“I thought it was an appropriate fun event to hold in memory of Maddie, who was very giggly and fun.
“After Maddie died we didn’t want lot of flowers, and looked for a charity for donations.
“I found Kidscan, which is a small charity attached to Salford University which is trying to find safe and gentle treatments for children with cancer.
“The amount we have raised for the charity is amazing, and it would be lovely if we could raise £1,000 with Shoecember.”
Celebrating Maddie's life
Maddie died suddenly in January 2009, but the family always celebrate her life and the fundraising helped give Amy a focus after her daughter’s death.
One in 500 children in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer before they are 14, and 25% of these children won’t make it to their 30th birthday.
A Kidscan spokesman said: “By funding research into drug treatments and support programmes designed with children in mind, we are reducing short and long-term side effects of cancer in childhood.
“Our scientists are developing treatments which are less damaging to the bodies of children and young adults while retaining the effectiveness of many current treatments.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the family’s online donations page can visit justgiving.com/maddiewilkinson or go to www.shoecember.org.