Fundraising in memory of Issy: November 2015 – April 2016

On the last day of school in July last year, we lost our beloved fourteen-year-old daughter Issy, and our lives changed forever.

We know we can’t bring her back, so we have made it our mission to stop as many other families suffering the same trauma as ourselves, by raising as much money as humanly possible to fund screening days and equipment for CRY.

We started our fundraising careers with a ladies’ day held on Novermber 23, 2015, in Woodford Green, Essex, to coincide with CRY Awareness Week. We originally planned to keep it small – just a cakes and coffee morning – but were blown away by the offers of support and help. In the end we had nine stalls, ranging from clothes, to candles, to a Christmas stall, nails and beauty and, of course, cakes and coffee. More than 400 people turned up throughout the day – including children from Issy’s school, teachers, friends and families – we even let in some men!!!

The support was incredible, and we ended up shooing the last few people out at 7pm – too much delicious home-cooked food. What a day and what a success – we ended up making £8,710 on the day and a further £4,561 with the auction – and amazing total of £13,271.

Since then we continue to be blown away by the endless generosity of our friends and the way people push themselves to their limits in honour of our Issy. Our dear friend Jason Whitingham started the trend walking ‘The 3 Peaks’ and raising £953, Dave Hobbis ran a half marathon and raised a staggering £3,287 and Steve Mann who was brave enough to have his hair shaved off by our other (11-year-old) daughter Sophia – raising £3,602. The list goes on and we are eternally grateful to all our friends.

Our next big event was the April London Marathon. Leo and his friend Joe Payne were not runners before (or after) but rose to the challenge, complete with injuries, finishing the race in five hours. They ran on behalf of CRY and raised more than £18,000 between them. On the same weekend Della and 20 of her friends completed the Warrior Adrenaline Race, raising thousand more to add to the weekend total. Last, but not least, at the end of May Ellie and Abby Mann ran the London 10K run and the money is still pouring in.

Our next big event is a family day on 18 June. We have taken over a local rugby club and the aim is to get all our family and friends together to spend quality time. We’ve got games, a BBQ, DJ, band, a raffle and an auction. We’re also using the day to continue raising awareness of CRY and the fantastic work they do in memory of our Issy.

Again we can’t thank our friends and family enough for the generosity in both giving items to raise money, but also their time and support and care in the run up to all our events. It has been immensely humbling. So far we have raised more than £50,000 for CRY and to set up two screening weekends next year in our area. Please see our Facebook page #forissy for more details.

Della Tudisca