Hitchin woman who lost brother, 16, to blood cancer holds Waitrose fundraiser in his memory

Jess Smyth and Ellie Males

Jess Smyth and Ellie Males - Credit: Archant

A woman who lost her brother to blood cancer has held a charity event in his memory to add to a special fund now totalling more than £20,000.

Waitrose worker Ellie Males decided to hold a quiz night at the Hitchin town centre store where she works, raising more than £500 for national charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research with the help of family, friends and staff.

The 22-year-old’s brother Joe tragically died from the disease in 2007 eight days after his 16th birthday.

A constant stream of fundraisers to remember Joe have taken place since, with Ellie’s colleague Jess Smyth helping organise the latest effort at The Lairage store in Bedford Road.

“Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research is very close to our hearts as I lost my brother to the illness,” said Ellie, who lives in Old Hale Way, and spent hours setting the questions alongside Jess.

“Within the charity we have set up the Joe Males Forget Me Not Fund which allows us to keep track of how much money we raise in Joe’s memory.

“The fund so far has raised approximately £20,000 and we want to continue to add to this.

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“Not only did we want to raise money for this charity but we also wanted to raise awareness and inspire people to give blood and platelets and join the bone marrow register.

“I’m very proud of the work we’ve all done to help raise money for this event. There were about 25 people there and it was a really great atmosphere.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped – our manager Lawrence Gould was a good sport, acting as quizmaster for the night.

“I’m also pleased we managed to get a lot of people to sign up to give blood, and to be on the bone marrow register.

“I think my brother would be pleased with what we did.”

Jess said: “The evening was good fun – although some people did claim there was a fix when my boyfriend’s team won the quiz night!”

Ellie’s mum Sue added: “I’m very proud of my daughter – and a big thank you to everyone who helped.”

Visit www.leukaemialymphomaresearch.org.uk for more.

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