Friends and family of a much-missed Chester man have once again disrobed as part of a charitable calendar.
The group, known as Totty 4 Tom, took part in the calendar photoshoot in a bid to raise even more funds for the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, which cared for Tom Arnold before he passed away from oesophageal cancer in June 2012 at the age of just 27.
Tom, a cricketer, footballer, law graduate and former King’s School Chester pupil, was much loved in the Chester community and now nearly £50,000 has been raised for cancer research at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in his honour.
The donations have led to pioneering research into oesophageal cancer, a rare form of cancer which is normally found in men aged above 55, with the aim of developing a blood test so it can be diagnosed at a much earlier stage without the need for invasive surgery.
Jane Arnold, Tom’s mother, explained: “Tom had suffered from heartburn and indigestion. He had an endoscopy which then showed up lots of cancerous cells and he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.
“Unfortunately, by the time the cells manifested themselves, the cancer is at an advanced stage.
“So this is why this work is being funded at Clatterbridge.
“As a family, we have no answers why Tom got oesophageal cancer, but if we can help with early diagnosis then that can make a difference.”
The various fundraisers in memory of Tom Arnold have helped fund the BioBank project at the Clatterbridge Cancer centre, which stores tissue and blood samples from patients and their family members at different stages in their cancer journey.
These samples are helping researchers not just at Clatterbridge, but all over the world, detect oesophageal cancer earlier.
The BioBank project can also be used to aid the treatment and diagnosis of other cancers.
Jane added: “We are very grateful to all the businesses who have sponsored our calendar pages and those who will help pay our printing costs this year.
“People like those at Piste Bar have been very generous as they did a charity auction earlier this year and the Grosvenor Arms, where Tom worked as a student, have been very supportive as always.
“We also had a great friend who loaned the use of the garden which was used for the majority of the photos in the calendar this year.
This was all Elise’s idea – Tom’s sister. She has rallied around and even though she now lives in the US, she still is a driving force behind the calendar initiative.”
Professor Daniel Palmer, who has been leading research into oesophageal cancer at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, said: “Myself and my team continue to be blown away by the amount raised in memory of Tom Arnold.
“As we progress with the BioBank we are hugely grateful for your donations.
“Thank you once again from all of us at Clatterbridge.”
The calendar can be purchased for a minimum £10 suggested donation at the Erj Boutique in Hoole, the Grosvenor Arms in Aldford, the Piste bar in Tarporley, Dettagli Menswear in Tarporley, at the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity office or via totty4tom.com.
There will also be an official launch party at the Commonhall St Social bar in Chester tomorrow evening (Friday) at 6.30pm, where people can buy calendars and get them signed by the Totty 4 Tom team.