Smiling through adversity

Thea Clarke is 13 and lives in Reading. She loved to play football, enjoyed playing the drums, listening to music and going to school at the Willink School in Burghfield.

In January 2014 she fell and hurt her leg. The pain persisted and the usual Doctors appointments followed. She was consequently misdiagnosed until September 2014 when the family received the shattering news that she had Ewing Sarcoma, which was present in her femur.

Ewing Sarcoma is a rare form of bone cancer. It most commonly affects people between the ages of 10 to 20 years old. It’s an aggressive form of cancer and requires intensive treatment. As a result of diagnosis Thea underwent an operation to harvest eggs and ovarian tissue and insert a Hickman line. She then underwent intensive chemotherapy for 18 weeks.

In March 2015 she had an operation to remove bone and tissue and insert a metal knee joint, which was screwed into her tibia and femur. Thea is undergoing consolidation chemotherapy for another 24 weeks.

The John Sykes Foundation became aware of Thea’s plight and decided to help. Whilst undergoing treatment Thea has been struggling with school work and being able to get on with any kind of normal life, she’s constantly having treatment and in and out of hospital.

When the foundation discovered that Thea wanted an ipad plans were made to bring a smile to her face. Representatives from the foundation went to meet Thea and listen to her story. As a result the foundation were able to present Thea with an ipad air.

Thea was absolutely thrilled and said, “Thank you so so much for my iPad. I love it!

The foundation recently worked with the organisers of Reading Festival to get Thea along to see her favourite bands. Around her intense treatment programme she was able to get along to the Friday of the Festival and had an amazing day seeing bands she loved. Thea’s Mum said, “Thank you for organising the day at Reading – Thea had a great time and it rocked!!!”

Thea has ongoing treatment and the foundation hope to support her through such a difficult time.

My Charity Run for the John Sykes Foundation

A big ‘Thank You’ from Charlie Sykes

It was an early morning start for Charlie Sykes when he set out to the run on a cold crisp August morning alongside his dad, founder and chairman of the JSF, John Sykes and  foundation trustee Andrew Strong, the aim was to run 6 kilometres, however, with his get up and go attitude, Charlie ended up running a strong 6.4 kilometres. Charlie said “The time leading up to the run was amazing, I felt electric and really happy I was giving back to the community of Reading, although I was really nervous as the only practise I had done was one practise run. Although I was exhausted after the run I kept a smile on my face knowing that I had done something good”.

Charlie Sykes would like to thank  everyone for their kind donations and support.
Currently Charlie has raised £304 for the JSF 

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Welcome to our new website

Welcome to our new website. We have now been established a year and felt the time was right to develop our website so that it reflects our aims and goals for the foundation and illustrates how we want to make a difference to the community of Reading.

The foundation is supporting individuals within its area of reach and wants to hear from people who need help or an extra helping hand. We’ve worked hard to make the website simple to follow and easy to look through. We want to reach as many people in the Reading area as possible and hope that the new website reflects our commitment and passion to help.

We also need our community to get behind us, we know that 100% of the money raised for the foundation will make a difference to the people that apply, they will come from different situations, backgrounds and circumstances. It’s our aim to give someone a chance to have a better life or simply change the course of their life through opportunity.

Simply look through the website and get in touch.

The road to Rio 2016

Liam MacDevitt is our local sporting hero. He’s training hard to reach the Rio Olympics in 2016. Liam was born in Reading in 1994.  He went to school at Little Heath and trains at Palmer Park.

He’s determined to get to the top of his sport and he is committed to his training regime and with the support of JSF is passionate about reaching his ultimate goal.

Liam, aged 20 has always loved sport, when he was at school in Tilehurst his teachers recognised his talent. When Liam left school he went on to play football for Yeovil FC but realised his real talent and passion was in athletics. Since taking up the sport in 2014 he’s gone from strength to strength with help and support from the John Sykes Foundation. Liam is managing to fit in his training around his university studies and is determined to reach his goal and get to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Reading half marathon

Our founder John raised £3,000 at the weekend for our foundation after running the Reading Half Marathon. He completed the race in 1:41:08 on Sunday 22nd March.

After the race he said:

“Running the marathon this year was a wonderful experience. It was so well organised and is a great event for Reading. The community spirit was overwhelming, people of all ages came out to support us, offering water, jelly babies, bananas and even beer! The cheerleaders and singers along the route were fantastic entertainment and what I thought was going to be a long run ended up feeling much shorter than anticipated.”

“We plan to have lots of representatives next year who will take part and raise money for the foundation. I was the first to jump on our Skydive last year and I would not ever expect our fundraisers to participate in an event that I would not do myself! Being part of the marathon is a fantastic occasion to build our community spirit in a wonderful town which I am so passionate about. I can’t wait until next year!”

 

Skydiving

A 13,500ft (4,115m) skydive took place on Sunday, July 6th 2014 from RAF Benson in Wallingford. It marked the John Sykes Foundation’s launch and raised over £20,000 for the charity.

The inaugural event received amazing support from the community with a group of 19 brave jumpers committed to supporting the charity. John Sykes led the way!

Parachute jump for John Sykes Foundation at the London Parachute School, Ipsden.